You may feel that Inspired Geek is going through Firefox extension mania as I have another list of useful Firefox extensions ready for your reading pleasure. But instead of tiny extensions as in the previous list today I will bring you the list of mouse gesturing extensions for Firefox that you can use to perform a variety of tasks in Firefox without ever touching the keyboard or clicking on any button or menu option but only through mouse gestures.
There is a great variety of mouse gesturing extensions available for Firefox that you can choose from to suite your needs. Here I am listing the five most useful extensions that will come handy for all the Firefox users that want to control everything with the little magic of a mouse and impress their friends or colleagues with the control they have got over that little input device called a “mouse”. As usual, I will highlight the pros and cons of each of the extensions, but the final decision of course rests with you to pick the one’s that best suite you needs.
This is a very popular choice among Firefox users. Supports standard mouse gestures (inherits code from the Mouse Gesture extension listed below but probably from an older version of it), rocker gestures, mouse wheel gestures, scroll wheel navigation and auto scrolling. It do not supports defining gestures with diagonal mouse movements. Development seems to be ceased on this one for quite some time now.
All-in-One Gesture and this one Mouse Gestures are probably the most popular Firefox extensions for gesture support. It is similar in many ways to All-in-One Gestures and this is no surprise because that extension inherits code from Mouse Gestures. However there are two key features here that are missing in the All-in-One Gestures. First is the permission of diagonal mouse movements when defining a mouse gesture and second is the assignment of a custom code snippet action to a newly defined mouse gesture. Second advantage is very important from an extensibility point of view as it will allow to define actions that are not already provided to assign to a mouse gesture.
This extension is one of my new favorites and why not? because it is provided by Gomita the person behind the Scrapbook and Tab Scope extensions. This is newest of all the extensions listed here. In many ways it is similar to Mouse Gestures in that you can define regular mouse gestures, Rocker Gestures, Wheel Gestures and Tab Wheel Gestures. Also supports diagonal mouse movements when defining mouse gestures. As with the Mouse Gestures a user can assign custom java script snippet to a mouse gesture. However, one thing that stands out is it’s support of Keypress gestures that allows to execute a gesture while holding a keyboard key (Ctrl, Shift).
For example take a look at an example below as I have Ctrl key pressed and then I have hovered over all the image links that I want to save in the Google image search(note the red trail) , when I will release Ctrl key , the associated action will executed and all the images that I have hovered over will be saved. Of course you can hover over any number of images links (or any other kind of link) that you want to save. There is another similar Keypress gesture provided to open all hovered links in new tabs and is executed in a similar fashion, for that you will have to press the Shift key instead of Ctrl key. Using Keypress gestures to save links is a unique feature, and I have not seen it in any other extension so far. I hope that in the future author will provide further keys to define more Keypress gestures or allow to customize them.
*** Please note that in the above example I am using a tweak that links the thumbnails in the Google Image search directly to the original images. By default image thumbnails are not pointing directly to the original images.
4. Drag de Go
Drag De Go is unique among all the listed extension in the sense that it allows to execute context sensitive Drag&Drop gestures, for example you want to search selected text in the current tab, no problem just drag and drop the mouse in the upward direction(or in any other direction that you have configured in preferences) and search results through Google will open in new tab. In my opinion, D&D gestures are easier to learn, memorize and more intuitive for new users.
Also supports a number of other features such as setting up predefined folders for gestures to save images and text snippets. For example, I have setup a downward D&D mouse gesture to save the current image in a predefined folder and another upward D&D gesture to save the selected text snippet in current Firefox tab to a folder. You can read more details about this extension in one of my previous articles.
Easy Gestures takes yet another route to provide mouse gesturing support in Firefox, that is in the form of a pie-menu. Pie menu pops up in the current browser tab when a defined button is pressed for example the middle mouse button. To perform a gesture to execute an action just guide the mouse through the visible pie menu and release the mouse when you are at the desired action that you want to perform. Main advantage of these kind of gestures is that no memorization effort on the user side to perform a gesture because of the visual aid.
This is a large extension and supports a wide variety of features. Some of the more important features of the Easy Gestures are listed below:
- 3 main pie menu views extended with 3 extra views, each with a different set of actions fully customizable
- Customizable pie menu layout with many built-in actions
- Possibility to launch external applications and execute scripts
- Direct URL typing within the pie menu in its integrated location bar
- Possibility to open your favorite bookmarks from the pie menu
- Contextual pie menu behavior fully customizable
That’s all folks, if you think that I missed on some important mouse gestures related extension, then let me know. If you are curious, I am personally using the 3rd and 4th from this list in my own Firefox profile.
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