The Fox, Only Better adds style to Firefox Australis

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 27, 2014
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

If you like the new Firefox Australis theme that Mozilla will roll out next Tuesday to all users of the stable version of the browser, or do not like it but have installed an extension such as Classic Theme Restorer to return to the old layout and design of Firefox, then you may like what The Fox, Only Better extension has to offer.

It changes some interface elements of the browser but stays true to the general look and feel of Australis, unlike other extensions that try to restore the old Firefox interface as best as they can.

That does not mean that it won't work if you have modified the interface, for instance with Classic Theme Restorer or another extension working similar to it.

As you can see on the screenshot below, it works just fine with squared tabs and other interface modifications, and is only compatible with Firefox 29 or newer.

the fox only better

The extensions main feature is the new compact address toolbar that is hidden by default. Once you have installed the extension in Firefox, only the tab bar is displayed by default while all other toolbars -- remember there are only two by default in Australis -- are not visible.

When you hover the mouse cursor over the original toolbar location, it is displayed to you. It features some curved styles that match the curved tabs style of Australis well, and will display all icons and elements of Firefox's address bar.

And if you have enabled the bookmarks bar as well, it too is displayed here attached to the address bar so that you do not miss out on any of the elements and links that you have placed in either toolbar.

The bar is displayed automatically however when you enter usernames or passwords on websites. This is done to provide you with information about the site you are currently on for security purposes.

It is interesting to note that the add-on works well with lightweight themes that you may have installed in the browser.

Closing Words

The add-on hides the majority of interface elements from Firefox to free up screen space for the website you are viewing in Firefox. It is not the first extension to make available that functionality, but it appears to be the first optimized for the new Australis interface.

Since it does work well with other extensions that modify the interface as well as themes, it will certainly be an interesting option for some Firefox users.

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Author Rating
5 based on 1 votes
Software Name
The Fox, Only Better
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  1. Manny said on April 28, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Any reason why switching to the Pale Moon browser wouldn’t be a good alternative than trying to reverse the Australis changes?

    1. a.grey said on April 29, 2014 at 3:49 am

      there is no pale moon for us mac users. classic theme restorer is working quite well, been using it on aurora for the past month. if anything, this new version, aside from the awful interface, seems faster. if only they’d work on that, versus attempting to ride the chrome bandwagon, they’d really be on to something.

  2. fokka said on April 28, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    hm, nice idea, but i personally use classic theme restorer with small icons, which makes for a sim UI, even with a persistent URL-bar. i don’t really like it when UI elements pop up and disappear again. that’s ok if we’re talking about the status bar, but for the main toolbar i prefer it static.

  3. ZzzZombi said on April 27, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    I’ve never used Nightly before so I’m waiting for the new update. This is definitely something to consider. I’m already using a Stylish script to hide my bookmark bar but this looks better. Thanks for the heads-up.

    1. FirefoxExpert said on April 28, 2014 at 5:51 pm

      Hey ZzzZombi, did you know you can hide your Bookmarks bar from the View…Toolbars menu? No script needed!

      1. ZzzZombi said on May 2, 2014 at 12:40 am

        Yes, I know that. I meant “auto-hide”. It only opens when I hover over the tabs or address bar :)

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