In a previous tip, I showed you how you can use Firefox to browse your hard drive for files and folders. This tip works great when you want to keep the number of applications open to a minimum or you are using Firefox on a portable USB Drive.
Another cool feature is the capability to view files and folders or play music and video files in Firefox simply using drag and drop.
Say you have an MP3 file on your desktop, instead of double clicking on it, and using the default player to play the MP3 file, just drag it inside an open Firefox window, and it will start to play.
Or if you have a PDF file, just drag and drop in Firefox and the PDF file will open in Firefox. You can open text files, even drag and drop a folder to view the contents.
Now, for this to work with different file types in Firefox, plugins must be installed and the file type associated with the plugin (see Configure FireFox To Open Different Types Of Files).
For example, to view PDF files, you will need to have the Adobe PDF plug-in installed and to play audio or view video, you can use the QuickTime plugin (by default the file type extension will be associated in Firefox after a plugin is installed).
If you try to drag and drop a file that does not have a plugin installed or it's file type associated (in Firefox), Firefox will prompt you for how to open the file or if you want to save it to your Computer (this is the typical dialog box you will see when saving files).
You might wonder why or what uses drag and dropping files or folders into Firefox can be used for.
For one, if you run applications off a USB thumb drive (such as PortableApps.com), you can use this feature without needing to install the application, or keep a portable version, if one exist.
But the best reason is if your work restricts using any kind of media player. As long as you have the right plug-ins installed, you can listen to music or watch videos without breaking the rules!