Kay lives here

working with the web

Web Developer Toolbar Trickiness

Last week, one of my workmates complained that ever since upgrading to Firefox 1.0.6, his web developer toolbar didn’t work anymore.

I had a similar problem once before, and it drove me nuts for ages, until the light bulb came on that – duh – there’s a disable button on the far right hand end of the toolbar. Really close to the close tab button, where it’s too easy to accidentally hit it. Once you do, no more web developer toolbar for you! Until you hit it again, that is.

Turns out that was my co-worker’s problem. Presumably there must be a reason why it’s there, although I’m at a loss to think of one. I’ve since discovered that by right-clicking the toolbar area and selecting “customise” you can drag buttons around or off the toolbar completely, so I’ve removed the disable button (even though I now know what it does).

That’s a pretty minor complaint though, as on the whole Chris Pederick’s Web Developer Toolbar is a fantastic tool, and without a doubt my most-used extension. Two other really, really useful extensions for web-heads:

  • Colorzilla: colour eyedropper to sample colours from the current page, and colour picker dialog with heaps of different palettes. Invaluable when doing CSS work. While looking for the link for this extension, I discovered that it also allows you to zoom the page, and includes a DOM inspector.
  • LoremIpsum Content Generator: Pops up a handy dialog where you can pick the number of characters, words, or paragraphs of filler text you want to generate, in four different styles. Also has a handy dialog to copy the generated contents straight to the clipboard.

I have a lot of other extensions installed, from major functionality providers like Greasemonkey to tiny shortcuts like IE View, but the three listed above are the ones I consider most useful in my daily work. I used to trawl through the list of extensions on the Mozilla site quite regularly, but there’s so many now that’s not very practical!

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