Have you ever had the feeling that someone was looking over your shoulder to see what sites you were visiting at the moment ? The currently active site might be a harmless one but the text of the tabs that are open as well might reveal something that you would love to keep secret.
Firefox is still on the rise in Europe where it reached an impressive overall 27.8% market share in June 2007. Finland, Slovakia and Slovenia lead the pack with 45.4%, 40.4% and 47.9% market share while Great Britain, Spain and Italy still linger at the bottom with a market share below 20%.
You can download and install many Firefox extensions that display a preview image or text of a link on the Internet. There are also several scripts for webmasters to enable the feature by default on their websites. Archer, who is a regular reader of my blog, send me a link to a new Firefox extension called Interclue which provides a better way of previewing links in Firefox.
The Firefox Environment Backup Extension -short FEBE - offers a great and easy way to backup all Firefox settings, themes and extensions. I was looking for a way to synchronize all of my settings from my desktop computer to Firefox that was also installed on my notebook.
The new version of Opera introduced a so called Speed Dial feature which displays nine thumbnails of websites for fast access that have been selected by the user. The nine websites are displayed when the user opens a new blank tab or a new blank window and can be accessed by either clicking on the thumbnails or pressing the corresponding numbers (1-9).
The exact same feature is now available as a Firefox extension Speed Dial. Websites can be assigned to the nine spots by using the "Set as Speed Dial" entry in the Bookmarks menu. This is slightly more uncomfortable than in Opera where it is possible to click one of the nine spots and select an entry from the bookmarks.
Firefox is not optimized for widescreen or dualscreen monitors leaving lots of empty space when surfing the Internet. Jonathon Weare came up with a solid way to change the layout of Firefox to suit the needs of widescreen monitors by moving several elements of Firefox to different positions.
His first idea was to move the bar with all the tabs from the top location into the sidebar which adds two benefits. The first benefit is that the space on the sides is used to store elements that are needed for browsing while the second is that the tab bar is removed from the top location adding more space for the actual website.
There is no obvious way in Firefox to reduce the size of the menu toolbar. I always thought that it was a big waste of space to have this bar enabled all the time. I'm personally using the Tiny Menu Firefox extension which displays just a Menu item next to the usual buttons such as forward, back and reload. I added a screenshot of how my setup looks like at the end of the article.
I did find another interesting Firefox extension called Personal Menu which reduces the menu bar to three buttons that can be placed in the other toolbars. Two buttons are for the bookmarks and the history function while the third is fully customizable. You can add any kind of menu from the menu bar for instance to this personal menu.
I really hate the behavior of Firefox in Windows when you open the options. The complete browser is not accessible anymore until you close the options again. This is extremely frustrating if you want to test a few settings. There is however a really nice way to change the behavior and make it that the options are independent from the Firefox browser.
To do this you only need change one setting in Firefox and restart the browser afterwards. Type about:config in the address bar and search for the string browser.preferences.instantApply and change the setting from false to true. This ensures that the options can be accessed and changed while it is still possible to surf the Internet.
Did you know that it is possible to override the way a website is displayed by default in Firefox. This can be useful for instance if a webmaster decided to use CSS code to remove the underline of links, change the color for links that open in new windows or display additional information for certain file type downloads.
The first thing that you need to do is locate or create the file usercontent.css in your Mozilla Firefox profile directory. It can usually be located in %appdata%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\
I was looking for a way to automatically scan specific file types immediately after finishing the download instead of scanning them when unpacking or executing them. This way I could sort out malicious files immediately without having to worry about some files that contain viruses or other sorts of malware sitting on my hard drives for a longer period of time.
I prefer to watch videos in my favorite video player VLC instead of watching them embedded on the web. If you click on a video file on a website you open it either in your default video viewer or view it right in your browser using a plugin. You may also open websites in different browsers which is great for developers who were using several add-ons to view a website in different browsers.
Just right-click the link and select the application that you want to use to view it from the menu. Launchy, that is the name of the Firefox add-on, supports more than 60 applications right out of the box with the ability to add more applications using an XML file.
Firefox is already really comfortable when it comes to searching the web. One search box is displayed by default which is great if you want to do a fast search for something. Did you know that there is another way, even faster and better than this one ? Firefox supports so called keyword searches which means that you define a keyword for a certain search engine and can use that keyword to search it without visiting the website of that search engine.
Let me give you an example to clear things up. You may right-click any form field in Firefox and select the menu entry Add a Keyword for this search. Selecting this opens a new Add Bookmark menu which asks for a name and a keyword. I went to ebay.com and did a right-click on their site search. I entered the keyword "e" and the name eBay.
I found this interesting article at the Lifehacker website. The articles lists 15 tweaks and tips for Firefox of which several have not been known by me. Did you for instance know that you could move a page down by pressing the spacebar, that you could move around tabs by pressing CTRL + TAB or that you could use so called smart keywords for searching IMDB in the Address Bar (try typing in imdb Johnny Depp) ?
It is not happening that often that you have to accented characters or umlauts but it sometimes happens. Maybe you want to write a name like Søren or a unique German street name such as Bachstraße. If you never had to type those characters before you might wonder how it would be possible to write them down using your keyboard. They are obviously not printed on the keys of it.
If you want to make sure that you never miss a change on your favorite website again and stay ahead of the crowd by always knowing when the website has been updated you do need the Update Scanner Firefox extension. It basically monitors any website that you have added to it and informs you whenever a change has been made on the website. You may alter the change threshold so that you are not informed about minor changes on the website.
I'm always looking for ways to reduce the toolbars and menus to have more space for the websites. I have already written about extensions such as Hide Menubar or the Firefox UI Tweaker that change the appearance of Firefox. The Tiny Menu Extension is another great add-on to this list. What it does is that it compresses all entries from the menu toolbar (File, Edit, View, History and so on) into one entry that lists the compressed items beneath each other. Take a look at the screenshot to get an impression of how this looks like.
Some users prefer to have as much space in Firefox for websites as possible. One way to get rid of some of the toolbars and menus temporarily would be to press F11 which removes the title, the bookmarks toolbar and the menubar. Another way would be to just remove the menubar which is not needed most of the time anyway. To do that you simply need the Firefox extension called Hide Menubar which removes the menubar once installed.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.