How To Make Aardvark Add-on Work With Firefox 3!


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Aardvark Plugin for Firefox I’m a huge, huge fan of the latest Firefox release. But I was really, really disapointed that a LOT of my very favorite (and most used!) plugins were incompatible. The plugin I felt most lost without was Aardvark, which I use every single day, practically all day long to aid me in development, editing and design.

Aardvark is a simple little Firefox plugin that when activated (right click and choose “Start Aardvark”) lets you highlight each elements on the page with a red border – not only that, a tab appears on the border with the element and id/class that is associated with it.

This plugin is critical for me (along with Firebug) when diagnosing layout problems.

So, unfortunately when Firefox 3 shipped on Tuesday I realized that my favorite tool wasn’t compatible. With a little research I found a loophole to circumvent the incompatibility issue.

  1. Open up any browser BUT Firefox and download the latest version of Aardvark. Save to your desktop for easy access.
  2. Right-click on the aardvark-2.9-fx.xpi file and change the file extension to .rar (you will need a program such as Winrar or WinAce – both free- to complete this)
  3. Double click the new aardvark-2.9-fx.rar file and extract JUST THE INSTALL.RDF file. Nothing else. If you happen to extract the whole folder it doesn’t work.
  4. Open install.rdf with your text editor of choice. I used Notepad++, but regular Notepad will suffice. Search for 3.0pre and replace with 3.0. Save!
  5. Close the edited install.rdf file and drag it into the aardvark-2.9-fx.rar archive.
  6. Change the archive’s extension back to it’s original .xpi — aardvark-2.9-fx.xpi.
  7. Drag aardvark-2.9-fx.xpi into any Firefox window and it will install as usual and work!
  8. This trick was provided by Dinaz in a thread of comments in the Aardvark’s plugin page on Firefox Add-ons.

    Other plugins that weren’t automatically updating for me and I had to go to the Firefox Add-ons section to download: Firebug, ColorZilla and Colorful Tabs.

    Other plugin(s) that still aren’t updated that I miss: CuteMenus – Crystal SVG, Fasterfox (although you can make it work with the same hack used for Aardvark).

    Also, slightly off the subject – but I’m slightly annoyed with the Firefox site. I searched for “colorzilla”, “colorZilla”, “color zilla” and “colorzilla 2.0” with their in site search and each time it returned “No results to display”. Jumping over to google it was the first result from my query. Same for cutemenus. I think Firefox needs to work on their search feature!

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7 Responses to How To Make Aardvark Add-on Work With Firefox 3!

  1. happy fish says:

    You will be happy to know that the the developer has a FF3 version. It can be downloaded from his site, until the firefox team reviews it.

  2. Lindsey says:

    Awesome! When FF3 was first released it wasn’t available to download anywhere yet! Good to know there is an “official” version available now. Thanks!

  3. […] This plugin is critical for me (along with Firebug) when diagnosing layout problems. (more…) […]

  4. Rob says:

    Nightly Tester Tools is a great plugin that bypasses most incompatibility issues with add-ons.

  5. Lindsey says:

    Interesting. Definitely will be checking that out! Thanks!

  6. Quid Acer says:

    It’s October 2011 and this trick still works. I am using Aardvark 3.0 with Firefox 5.0. THANKS!!!

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