Archive | May, 2007

What Are Firefox Themes?

Themes in Firefox are little files you can download and install that change the look and feel of the browser. You can think of it as changing the external skin that you see when you use Firefox from day to day. This is just one more useful way to personalize Firefox and make it your own.

The easiest way to download new themes is to open up Firefox, then go to Tools then click on Add-ons. When that Window pops up, click on the “Themes” tab and then click on the “Get Themes” link on the bottom. This will load up Mozilla’s official Firefox themes Web site. If you don’t want to go through all of that to visit it – just bookmark this link:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/browse/type:2

Now you are ready to give Firefox a new look. Search around and find a theme that you like and click on the install link you find on the Web page. After that, you should get pop up Window come up and ask you if you’d really like to install this new theme. Go ahead and continue from there – then once it is finished it will ask you to restart Firefox. Click away there too – it is ok to do.

Now to use your new theme, you’ll need to go to Tools then Add-ons then click on the Themes tab. If everything was done correctly you will find the theme you just picked as a selectable option now. Click on it, and then push the button that says “Use Theme”. Now the next time you restart Firefox the default theme will be gone and your new one should have taken it’s place. You can always go back by going through and to the same options again as well.

How can you download themes from other Web sites? This is a little more tricky – but try these steps.

  1. Download the theme file to your desktop
  2. Open up the Add-ons menu, and then click on the tab for themes
  3. Drag and drop the theme file into the theme selection box

If done correctly then you should see the new theme start to install. From here you can just follow along with the “continue” and “ok” buttons and should be good to go.

What Are Firefox Extensions?

Extensions in Firefox are exactly what you probably think they are. They extend the browser and add extra functionality that is not built in by default. There are thousands are extensions to choose from, but you don’t need to install every single one. Just pick up the ones you really need.

The easiest way to download new extensions is to open up Firefox, then go to Tools then click on Add-ons. When that Window pops up, click on the “Get Extensions” link on the bottom. This will load up Mozilla’s official Firefox extensions Web site. If you don’t want to go through all of that to visit it – just bookmark this link:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/browse/type:1

From there you can navigate yourself around and find some extensions that might interest you. For an example, lets say you want to use the Download Statusbar extension. All you need to do is click the “Install Now” button on that Web page for it.

After you do that, a new window should pop up asking you if you really wanted to install this. Wait for the countdown on the button to run out, and then click “Install Now”. After that you should see it downloading and when it is finished Firefox will ask you to restart the browser. Go ahead and do that, then when it returns your extension should be installed.

One more thing you might watch out for is that the extension works with the version of Firefox that you are using. Via the Mozilla Addon-ons Web site – they give you a version number of Firefox that the extension should be compatible with. If you have a problem getting it loaded, that might be the reason why.

You can download Firefox extensions from other Web sites as well. When you do, and you click on their install links you’ll get a warning message come up under your tab bar saying something to the effect of “this Web site is not authorized to do that”. If you are sure you want to install it, just hit OK and you should be good to go. Another nice thing about Firefox, it’s secure – but it keeps it simple.

What about plugins?

Plugins help your browser perform specific functions like viewing special graphic formats or playing multimedia files. Plugins are slightly different from extensions, which modify or add to existing functionality.

You can download plugins for Java, Windows Media, Quicktime, Flash and more from this Web site.

Why Should I Switch To Firefox?

This is the type of question you might ask yourself before moving over to what I would consider a better browser. Sure Opera, Internet Explorer and others might have their good sides and bad sides. I just feel like Firefox beats every other browser hands down.

Don’t just listen to me though, here are some other good resources and articles on why and how you can switch to Mozilla Firefox.

What is your favorite reason for switching?

tlbox Releases Web Dev Extension

tlboxThe folks over at tlbox, one of my new favorite Web design and development resources released an extension that allows you to get all the goodness from their Web site in a simple extension.

Here is what I had to say about them a few weeks back on the Lunarpages Lunartics Web site:

Don’t you hate it when your looking how to do that one little thing on your Web site, but just can not figure out how to get it done? I’ve got a neat resource that will help you keep track of some of the best resources out there and keep all of your favorites at your fingertips. The Web site tlbox.com has a slew of good programing and design tools to help you out.

Yet another great tool for anybody to have in their web development tool belt.

+ Download and Install the tlbox Extension for Firefox!

Better GReader – Make Google Reader Better

Better GReaderThe folks over at Lifehacker have been up to it again with creating yet another cool extension for Firefox.

Firefox only: Google Reader is one of the best web-based feed readers out there, but it could stand a few adjustments. Greasemonkey scripters have come up with a few Google Reader user scripts that make some welcome GReader tweaks like maximizing the viewing area, skipping Google’s default subscribe mechanism, and adding keyboard shortcuts.

I downloaded it the minute I saw it and haven’t stopped using it yet. Can’t wait to see what they do with it in the future. Good work guys (and gals) at Lifehacker!

+ Download and Install the Better GReader Extension for Firefox!

How Do I Download Firefox?

firefoxlogo.jpgThe actual downloading of Firefox is as easy as downloading any other file or program from the Web. There is no secret method or open source handshake you must know. Just follow these steps and you should be alright.

First thing you need to go is point your browser towards GetFirefox.com. This will load up the offical Mozilla Web site for the Firefox browser. Once there, you should see a large icon saying “Download Firefox – Free”. Click on that. Once you click on that, the fun begins and Firefox should be on its way.

Once the download is finished, find where you saved the install file to. The file should be called “Firefox Setup” then with a version number following that. Once you have located this file, double click it to install (this is for the Windows folks).

The install process is pretty easy to understand. Read each screen and hit next when you are done. The default installation should be fine for the general user. When your done you will find a new browser and a new world opened up to you that is just waiting for you to explore.

Just as a word of warning, be careful when downloading Firefox from other Web sites. I know there are tons of Web sites that try to say “Buy Firefox for $14.95!” or something to that effect. Firefox is free, you should never have to pay for it.

Learn Firefox – A Visual Guide to the Browser

Learn FirefoxOver at CyberNet News I recently noticed they added a new Firefox section to the mix. Learn Firefox is what it is called and I have to say it has an impressive list of resources, help and videos to get you going with the Mozilla browser.

You can scroll down the list to see what they have covered thus far – and I am sure they’d be open to suggestions if you have any to share. I’ve been a big fan of what Ryan has been able to do with the CyberNet News Web site – so it is no surprise to see him behind this excellent resource. Funny enough I started reading CyberNet News after it got banned from digg many moons ago.

Go check out Learn Firefox and let them know that Firefox Facts sent you there.

Pirillo Talks About the Fox

The GnomeAlthough I might not agree with him on everything that he has posted about, I do have to say that I don’t think that Chris is in anybody’s pocket and he really is looking out for the consumer side of the Web. Usually when people start blasting Firefox for this, that or the other I roll my eyes but Chris puts up a good argument that I think anybody might enjoy reading no mater what browser you use.

Scott Gilbertson kindly interviewed me for his article: More Firefox Bloat- Say It Ain’t So, Mozilla. I offered so much more than a single sentence to his original query, so I thought I’d pass along the discourse (and my own self-correction) here…

Firefox fan or not – check out Pirillo’s post. It’s well worth your time.

Mozilla Growing Pains and Other Helpful Links

Firefox Growing PainsLooks like the big Firefox story of the day is that they are suffering from growing pains?

I really hope that now Firefox has a decent market size that everybody doesn’t start to turn on them for the next “new great hope”. Then again, that’s how much of the media works and part of the reason for Firefox’s rise in the first place. Ah well, enjoy the links.

If you have any more interesting ones be sure to send them my way.

Convert to PDF from Firefox

Convert to PDFI like the PDF format and so do a heck of a lot of other people. It is as close to an “alternative standard” as you can get. It might not be used for everything, but what it is used for – it is used well. How would you like to be able to convert to PDF right from Firefox?

All you need to do is download the LOOP for Firefox extension! Yet another good power tool for Firefox.

Upload, convert and combine your files to PDF from a tidy toolbar, without the conversion getting in the way of your Web browsing. LOOP for Firefox allows you to convert and combine files to PDF with the click of a button.

LOOP for Firefox also provides a revolutionary way to document web pages while browsing the Internet. You can seamlessly document URLs with the click of a button and then download or combine the web pages with other files to a single PDF.

+ Download and Install the LOOP for Firefox Extension!