The default Firefox history manager is not very comfortable to work with. The information that it displays are mediocre at best even if the the browsing history is displayed in the sidebar.
Firefox displays the domain name and the page of each domain that has been visited. It does not however display information about the time the websites were visited or their relation.
Update: Firefox sorts the history by time period now so that you can access sites visited in a certain time period such as the current day, the last week or a specific month of the year. It is however still not listing the actual time of the day a website was visited. The extension reviewed below is unfortunately no longer available and there is no comparable add-on available that offers the same feature set.
That's where the new Firefox add-on History Tree comes into play. History Tree generates a tree structure from the Firefox history in real-time. It can either visualize the history of one tab at a time or all tabs at once.
The name and time of each website are displayed in rectangles on the screen. Connections visualize that websites have been opened after each other. A color code is being used to provide additional information:
- Orange: Active Firefox Tab
- Yellow: Open Tabs
- Blue: Closed Tabs
- White: Pages that can be accessed with the back and forward buttons in Firefox
- Gray: Pages that cannot be accessed with the back and forward buttons
A click on the question mark displays a preview screenshot of the selected website on the same screen while a click on the triangle hides sub-pages from the display and replaces them with a number representing their count instead. Websites can be opened by left-clicking on their boxes in the history tree window.
Filters are available on top to display specific tabs only. Those can be open tabs, open pages, selected tabs or closed tabs. A search aids you in finding information in the history faster.
It is furthermore possible to change the tree view to a thumbnail view of visited websites instead. This will display all websites as thumbnail images in the same window.
History Tree distinguishes between different Firefox windows, something that the default Firefox history manager does not as it only displays a combination of all visited pages regardless of the window they have been opened in.
One thing that would be nice would be a default action associated to a left-click on a thumbnail or box in the History Tree window so that users could open sites with just one click instead of having to use with the selection box all the time.