Move the Firefox user interface to the bottom of the browser

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 17, 2014

Mozilla Firefox has still a huge advantage over other popular browser choices such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Internet Explorer.

The majority of browsers restrict the user interface. Firefox by default ships with options to display a sidebar for example, something that Chrome does not support at all.

In addition to native options to display or hide toolbars or buttons, there are add-ons available for the web browser that modify the UI further.

The popular Classic Theme Restorer extension adds an add-on bar and options to display tabs on bottom instead the top for example.

Bottom UI is a brand new extension for the browser that changes things around more drastically than this. It moves all user interfaces elements from the top to the bottom.

firefox bottom ui

What this means is that you end up with the address bar and the tab bar of the browser at the bottom of the browser window. The only element that is left at the top is the titlebar that displays the page title and the window controls.

It is interesting to note that the add-on bar, if you use an add-on that adds it to the browser, is displayed on top of the address bar and tab bar.

The browser extension comes with two preferences that you can change in the add-on's options menu. The first defines how the menu bar is treated in Firefox after add-on installation. It is hidden by default but can be displayed with the Alt-key like usual at the top. The two other values for the preference are to set it on always or to turn it off completely.

The second preference can be used to add custom window control buttons to Firefox's navigational or tab toolbar. This adds minimize, maximize and close window controls to the selected toolbar.

It needs to be noted that this is quite the change and will take some getting used to time. You may find yourself moving the mouse to the top to select a different website in another tab only to realize that the tab bar is not at the top anymore.

This should get better with time though. One thing that is missing right now is to change the order of toolbars. It would be great for example if you could swap the address bar and tab bar, or move the add-on bar to the very bottom of the window instead as it feels strange to see it on top of the address bar and tab bar.

With that said, Bottom UI provides an interesting option to users of Firefox that no other browser can replicate at the time (apart from browsers that are based on Firefox code).

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Author Rating
2 based on 4 votes
Software Name
Bottom UI
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  1. chesscanoe said on November 19, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    I normally have <7 tabs open, and prefer F11 to give me a full screen. I normally know what's in each tab, e.g. I use Ctrl-3 to go to Tab 3. If I can't recall what's in each tab, I'll just press F11 to see. Other shortcuts are available as required to enjoy full screen browsing, a real plus for me, even though Fx is more efficient than some other browsers re screen space used.

  2. Jo said on November 18, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Or just stick with Opera 12, where any toolbar or address or search or tab bar can be placed anywhere: top, bottom, or either side …

  3. Tom Hawack said on November 17, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    I guess opting for this disposal corresponds to a true particular sens of aesthetics (or comfort) because with this scenario the title bar space will always be lost when it can otherwise include the tabs. Funny to realize the impact wide screens have had on Web pages’ design. First elegance is comfort do they say, so I hope comfort is the reason!
    Think horizontal, so to say :)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 18, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      I like those add-ons, not necessarily because I will run them but because they highlight why Firefox is such a customizable browser.

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