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6 Browser Extensions I Can’t Work Without

Browser extensions and add-ons are little enhancements that can be real time savers for web designers, developers, and even just frequent internet go-ers. I’ve come to realized how much these little extras have increased my productivity and aided me in my coding, designing, debugging, and more. Check them out, and convenience yourself with just a few clicks.

These plugins and extensions (or very similar ones) are all available for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers. If you’re not using one or the other, well, we highly recommend you upgrade.

Firebug

Complete with real-time page editing, javascript debugging, element inspecting, and more, Firebug should already be installed on every website developer’s browser. I like to use Firebug to view my page activity and catch problems with Headers, Requests, and Post Data – especially helpful when debugging AJAX applications. Real time edits can be made to a page’s CSS and style sheet in order to discover quick fixes or adjustments, before you go back to your source files. YSlow is another great feature included with the Firebug plugin that will give you the low-down on all components of your page and the weight of each on the overall performance. Additional tools such as Smush.it™ and JSLint are right at your fingertips.

Web Developer

Control, outline, disable, edit and analyze nearly every aspect of your page with this Web Developer extension. I found the Resize function to be a great tool in order to quickly scale the browser window to number of preset resolutions. When using Firefox, try my favorite shortcuts: Ctrl+Shift+C to view all style sheets, or Ctrl+Shift+F to use a live tool, which outlines and provides information about any element on a page.

Color Pickers

ColorZilla for Firefox provides an eye dropper tool that can be used to grab the color of any element on the webpage. You can quickly copy the generated or sampled colors in CSS, RGB, Hex, and other formats. I often use this tool to match palettes that I like or to help keep styles and color schemes consistent through out. You’ll find some simple extras like a CSS3 gradient generator as well. Color Pick for Chrome accomplishes the same thing.

LightShot

I frequently find myself thinking “Wow, I like how that looks,” and so I tend to take a ton of screen captures including web GUI elements or pages that I can annotate and reference later. Extensions like LightShot, provide a quick tool that works to crop-out a specific portion of a page and save-it.

MeasureIt

MeasureIt provides a ruler tool which you can use to draw over top of any page. Another example of a tool I use to estimate the dimension of an element or a region on the page which I am designing for.

Password Generators

PWGen for Firefox, or Secure Password Generator for Chrome, are just two of several extensions that create quick and secure passwords for any purpose. I like to rely on these when setting up new mail accounts, databases, etc. Several options should be available for customizing the length and characters included in your password.



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Categories Tips, Website Design, Website Development

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