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4 Firefox Add-Ons to Ease Your Online Life

4 Firefox Add-Ons to Ease Your Online Life

    I’ve experienced 100s of Firefox add-ons, and have whittled them down to about two dozen I use on a regular basis — even out of these, I have favorites. Here are 4 I find both casually enjoyable and sheerly indispensable; I hope they add value to your browsing. Even if you’ve heard of them before, I share specific reasons why they’re so useful + fun (usefun!). All are compatible with the wonderful Firefox 3:

    DownloadHelper

    Ever wanted to download Flash videos from YouTube or another site and found yourself frustrated by sluggish web conversion utilities?

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    This add-on keeps rocketing in popularity, and with good reason: it simplifies the process of downloading multimedia with a couple clicks. It can be as easy as opening a movie-playing page, clicking the toolbar icon, and selecting the file to download. Moments later, it’ll be on your hard drive.

    The interface is a bit odd at first, but once you get up to speed, it’s a breeze. I use this for archiving FLV copies of videos I’ve created — please don’t do bad things with it.

    Picnik

    Picnik has saved me a tremendous amount of time by removing wasteful steps in my workflow. This add-on provides an easy path to visually send a webpage into my fave online Picnik image editor (many features are free) so it can be cropped and edited with delicious effects, then posted on your blog, Flickr, another photo-sharing site, or even saved back to your hard drive. For that reason alone, it has a halo appeal for bloggers who need webpage screenshots… fast!

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    Before, I suffered with saving screen captures to disk, then Photoshopping them because most lesser editors are too limited on the tasty eye candy. But Picnik has a fine balance of both, and enables the process to take place totally online.

    Alas, the Picnik add-on can’t capture your web browser or other apps’ user interface; you’ll still need a utility like Gadwin Printscreen (free) or SnagIt for that.

    ScrapBook

    Perhaps you desire to capture a webpage’s appearance, not as a static image but as an annotable file? ScrapBook will do that and more for you: it can cache whole webpages or parts of them for later review, then you can add notes and sort your clippings into folders.

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    This is terribly handy if you’re on a laptop and want to save some offline reading material for when you get on a plane or train.

    There’s lots of excellent note-taking assistants like EverNote out there, but ScrapBook integrates extremely well into Firefox.

    Tree Style Tab

    Arguably, I may’ve saved the best and most un-obvious for last. Tabs are a fundamental and common feature in every popular web browser, but they’re often positioned horizontally. If you’re a frequent tabber, instead of messing around with proportionally-shrinking or even multi-row horizontal tabs, wouldn’t you like to be able to have a long list of vertical tabs? Even better, you can expand/collapse these into trees, change the width of their titles on-the-fly (or lock the width), and tweak the nitty-gritty details. Also, on the rare occasion should you want to revert to horizontal tabs, Tree Style Tab gives you that power too.

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    Once I transitioned to vertical tabs, I never looked back: vertical tabs are far easier to manage and sort, exponentially boosting my effectiveness and allowing me to make far more use of Firefox’s “Open All in Tabs”, since the tree-view helps keep clutter down.

    Are you skeptical? Think of how long info-lists like menus, phone numbers, and spreadsheets are organized: vertically. Then dive in, for Tree Style Tab is even more tasty with the popular Tab Mix Plus.

    Here’s a raw shot of my vertical tabs before being Picnicked as shown above, but there’s no better way to understand than to experience this joy yourself — click for full-size:

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      Published on January 18, 2019

      Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

      Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

      Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

      The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

      1. Duolingo

        Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

        Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

        The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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        Download the app

        2. HelloTalk

          HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

          There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

          What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

          Download the app

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          3. Mindsnacks

            Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

            You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

            Download the app

            4. Busuu

              Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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              The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

              When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

              Download the app

              5. Babbel

                Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

                Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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                If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

                Download the app

                Takeaways

                All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

                Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

                Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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