Mozilla launched in-content tabs in Firefox 15 to get away from the settings window that opens up when you click on options in the browser. With Firefox 32, Firefox will load preferences in a tab by default.
When the new feature launched back in 2012 it had a lot of issues. Probably the biggest one was that you the main menu options were not displayed on sub-pages which meant that you had to click back to go to the start page to open another menu from there.
Mozilla worked on the design and the most recent version of it was launched just two months ago. It displayed all menu items on the left in a sidebar, and the settings of the selected item on the right.
With Firefox 32 comes another change, the new in-tab preferences are on by default, which means that whenever you hit the options button in Firefox they are opened.
One thing that you may notice is that the new layout requires more space on the screen as the old. While that should not be a problem on most systems, it may mean that you need to scroll to read and change all preferences on the screen.
Zooming does work here on the other hand so that you can adjust the text size accordingly.
It is interesting to note that you can load about:preferences in all supported versions of Firefox to display the options in a tab. You will however notice that the design and layout may be different. This is for instance the case when you compare the preferences design of Firefox 29 with that of Nightly 32.
The change takes effect when Firefox hits version 32 if things go according to plan. Nightly is already on that version, which means that all Firefox channels will be migrated to the new design over the course of the next three release cycles.
It is currently possible to undo the change and restore the old Firefox options menu. It is not clear however if that option will remain, or if it will be removed by Mozilla eventually. Here is what you can do right now to restore the old options window in Firefox:
- Type about:config into the address bar and hit enter.
- Confirm you will be careful.
- Search for browser.preferences.inContent
- Double-click the entry.
This sets it to false so that preferences are not displayed in a tab anymore but in a window just like before.