GWKB1040 : Window-Eyes and Firefox Extensions

Product: Window-Eyes
Author: Aaron Smith
Date Added: 02/10/2006
Last Modified: 06/05/2007

One of the more powerful features that make Mozilla Firefox a good choice for a customized browsing experience is the support for extensions. Extensions are small, usually third-party, add-ons that bring new functionality to Firefox. They can be as simple as adding a new menu option, or as complex as creating a whole new application feature. Extensions enable Firefox users to implement the features they want without waiting for the main browser application to be updated.

The following Firefox extensions have been tested with Window-Eyes. This is not a comprehensive list, and it is not designed to teach you how to use extensions, but rather it is a starting point for discovering new, accessible features that can be added to Firefox. This list will be updated as extensions are tested. If you have extensions that you use, or have tried (whether successful or not), and want to include your findings, please let us know.

You can read more about Firefox extensions on the Mozilla Update page.

Firefox Extensions

The following list of extensions is in alphabetical order. Each item includes a description of the extension, a link to the extension's download page, and an overview of any accessibility issues related to the extension.

Adblock Plus

  • Description: Adblock Plus is an ad blocker that removes ads (and other objects, like banners) from web pages
  • Location: http://adblockplus.mozdev.org/
  • Interface: Adds new menu item to the Tools menu. There are no known accessibility issues with the Adblock Plus extension.
  • Notes: Turning on punctuation when reading through the Filter rules is recommended, however, as punctuation is heavily used in filter rules.

Customize Google

  • Description: CustomizeGoogle is a Firefox extension that enhances Google search results by adding extra information (like links to Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, MSN etc) and removing unwanted information (like ads and spam).
  • Location: http://www.customizegoogle.com/
  • Interface: Adds new menu item to the Tools menu. Also adds new links to Google web pages. There are no known accessibility issues with the Customize Google extension.

Greasemonkey

  • Description: Greasemonkey is a Firefox extension which lets you add bits of DHTML ("user scripts") to any web page to change its behavior. In much the same way that user CSS lets you take control of a web page's style, user scripts let you easily control any aspect of a web page's design or interaction
  • Location: http://greasemonkey.mozdev.org/
  • Interface: Adds several new menu items to the Tools menu. Also, depending on the scripts installed, can modify page contents. There are no known accessibility issues with the Greasemonkey extension.

IE Tab

  • Description: IE Tab allows you to embed Internet Explorer into Firefox tabs. This extension is useful for making IE specific sites, or site that read better in IE, open directly in Firefox, while using the Internet Explorer engine.
  • Location: https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php?id=1419&application=firefox
  • Interface: Adds new menu item to the Tools menu. There are no known accessibility issues with the IE Tab extension.

MetaProducts Integration

  • Description: Allows easy integration for MetaProduct Download Express, MetaProducts Mass Downloader and MetaProducts Offline Explorer in combination with Mozilla Firefox.
  • Location: http://www.metaproducts.com/mp/mpProducts_Detail.asp?id=18
  • Interface: You can either set the download manager to start automatically for any supported file type, or use the newly added context menu item to download links manually.
  • Notes: In the list of file types, only 8 file types are visible at a time, so the list box uses 8 as the max index number, regardless of the fact that there are more than 8 items really in the list.

Tab Mix Plus

  • Description: Tab Mix Plus completely enhances Firefox's tab browsing capabilities. It includes such features as duplicating tabs, controlling tab focus, tab clicking options, undo closed tabs and windows, plus much more. It also includes a full-featured session manager with crash recovery that can save and restore combinations of opened tabs and windows.
  • Location: https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php?id=1122&application=firefox
  • Interface: Adds new menu item to the Tools menu. The only accessibility issue is that some mouse navigation is required to move through the various groups inside the Tab Mix Plus settings dialog (i.e. Links, Events, Display, Mouse, Menu, and Session). Once a main group is selected, however, keyboard navigation among the groups controls works well.

Tabs Menu

Looking for More Extensions?

Although each extension reviewed here contains a download link, there are several repositories of Firefox extensions that are worth a visit:

The Extension Room
The Extensions Mirror