Firefox add-on shows all the files downloaded by the current page

View Dependencies adds a tab to the Page Info window listing the URL, type, and size of the files associated with the page you have open.

Dennis O'Reilly Former CNET contributor
Dennis O'Reilly began writing about workplace technology as an editor for Ziff-Davis' Computer Select, back when CDs were new-fangled, and IBM's PC XT was wowing the crowds at Comdex. He spent more than seven years running PC World's award-winning Here's How section, beginning in 2000. O'Reilly has written about everything from web search to PC security to Microsoft Excel customizations. Along with designing, building, and managing several different web sites, Dennis created the Travel Reference Library, a database of travel guidebook reviews that was converted to the web in 1996 and operated through 2000.
Dennis O'Reilly
2 min read

These days you can't be too careful about what you download. A new Firefox add-on from Florian Queze called View Dependencies takes some of the guesswork out of knowing the content of a Web page, and the source of that content.

After you download the free add-on and restart Firefox, you'll see a Dependencies tab when you click Tools > Page Info to view information about the page that's currently open. The tab lists the files on the page, their URL, and their size. (Note that on at least one page I tested the file size was not available.)

Mozilla Firefox Page Info dialog box
See a list of the files on a Web page via the View Dependencies add-on Florian Queze

I used View Dependencies to check about a dozen popular home pages, and the two with the most individual files were Amazon.com with 150, and ESPN.com, which was comprised of 119 separate files when I last visited. The page with the fewest files listed was the classic Google home page, which does its magic with a total of two files. Compare that to the 27 files downloaded at my customized iGoogle page, 29 at Gmail, 18 at Wikipedia, and 39 at the View Dependencies download page.

You can right-click an entry and choose Open in New Tab or Open in New Window to view just that one file. Other context-menu options let you copy the entry, copy just the URL, or just the host name.

Do I really need to know the source of Javascript ads that run on ESPN.com, or the server that hosts the images on the page? Perhaps not, but knowing a little bit more about the content of a Web page can help me decide how much I should trust it.

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