Image links displayed

View image links as thumbnails instead of text with this Firefox add-on.

Picture hunters know that file names don't always indicate content, and it can be frustrating to click your way through a list of image files, one by one, opening and closing each, just to see what they are. Text to Image is a free Firefox add-on that displays image links as thumbnails that expand when you mouse over them.

We installed Text to Image and restarted Firefox. The program places a small hurricane-shaped icon in the Firefox status bar; clicking it toggles Text to Image on and off. Green indicates the program is active, while red means it's disabled. We toggled the program off and navigated to a page of image links. We clicked the icon to activate Text to Image and refreshed the page, which now began to be populated by thumbnails displaying the linked images. Hovering over any image caused it to expand in view; moving the cursor away caused the pop-up to vanish. We toggled Text to Image off and reloaded the page again. This time, only the links were displayed. We tried some GameFAQ image dumps, which displayed pages of thumbnails instead of file directories when Image to Text was on. Next we examined the add-on's tabbed options page, which can be accessed from Firefox's Add-On manager or the Tools menu. These let us set image dimensions and select some mode options, click check boxes for file extensions that Text to Image can preview, or enter other file extensions, separated by spaces, in a blank field. Two tabs, Blacklist and Site Blacklist, let us add filters to disable Text to Image when visiting certain sites, such as image search sites. The default installation disables images.google.com and images.search.yahoo.com; adding a new filter was as easy as clicking Add Filter and entering a Web address.

We love Firefox add-ons in all their variety--some are silly time-wasters, but most add a useful capability for those who need it. Text to Image is one that we can see being useful to most Web surfers. For picture hunters, it's essential.

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