Archive | September, 2008

The Office Theme for Firefox

Wow, a Firefox theme based on Microsoft Office?  Your first thought might be this theme is about as exciting as a “watching paint dry” extension for the browser.  Thankfully though, I can say it does deliver a pretty nice looking browsing interface.

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Extra features: Add one or more of the following pairs of lines to your userChrome.css file to customize your Office theme:

/* change the tab close button to a different and larger close button */ @import url("chrome://global/skin/alt-close-button.css");
/* always use green back/forward buttons */
@import url("chrome://global/skin/alt-nav-buttons.css");

This theme based on Microsoft Office can be picked up on the Firefox Add-ons web site.

Mattahan Delivers a Different Firefox

The Mattahan theme for Firefox is in one word, different.  The very unique icons of Mattahan mixed with the browsing capabilities of (and overall awesomeness) Firefox make for an excellent mix-match of style and substance.

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Recently featured on a list of the top themes you have never used before, Mattahan is one of the few on the list that are definitely new to me.  You can pick it up over at Deviant Art or the Firefox Add-ons web site.

Omnibar Comes to Firefox

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Looking at Google Chrome features that could be ported to Firefox with an add-on, one of the most obvious additions many people wanted to see was Google Chrome’s Omnibar.  It mixes both the search box and address bar into one browser feature. 

The simply named Omnibar extension gets the job done, and adds a few new features where Google let us down in Chrome.  First, the most obvious feature (as pictured above) it gives you all the features of the search box in your address bar.  The problem, and thing they can not duplicate yet – is showing search results in the Omnibar for Firefox.

Omnibar does support  searching multiple search engines for same query in one go.  All you need to do is use this type of setup:

A general search query is:
@engine1,engine2 your search query

or,if you prefer to give engine name at the end:
your search query@engine1,engine2

Might not be perfect yet, but it does show a lot of promise.  If you have suggestions for it, check out this thread about it, and if you want to give Omnibar a shot – download it on the Firefox Add-ons web site.

FfChrome is a Slimmer and Click-less Right Click Menu

From the creator of Colorful Tabs, we have yet another handy and helpful Firefox extension.  FfChrome, for Firefox, is an add-on that trims and slims your context menus.  After installing too many add-ons, your right click menu might get a little cluttered.  FfChrome is here to clean things up.

FfChrome

The second part of this awesome addition to Firefox is that you never have to click on anything to get it going.  All you have to do is pause on the menu item you want, and that action is taken.  From BianaryTurf.com – here are the five things this addon gets right:

  1. It will optimize your context menu and show only the bare essential items.
  2. It will allow you to see the unwanted items on the fly by clicking "Show All". You can again collapse it to bare essentials on the fly.
  3. All disabled items are taken out by default. What will one do with the "paste" item when you haven’t copied anything?
  4. Ease of use – all changes happen on the fly.
  5. It is contextually sensitive. It knows and respects the context in which you use it. For e.g. context menu items relating to links or images etc. will only show when you right click on a link or an image etc.

You can get more information about the add-on for Firefox (and download it for yourself) at BianaryTurf.com.  FfChrome might just change the way (or at least make it a heck of a lot simpler) you get through the context menus.

Did You Know About These Firefox Mouse Shortcuts?

computer-mouse Want to make your mouse work for you in Firefox?  There are several handy keyboard and mouse combinations you might want to start memorizing.  For those of us who spend our day with one hand on the mouse and the other on the keyboard – these shortcuts can sometimes be faster than doing things the manual way or with keyboard shortcuts alone.

Shift + Scroll Down = Go Back a Page

Shift + Scroll Up  = Go Forward a Page

Ctrl + Left Click or Middle Click = Open Link in Background Tab

Ctrl + Shift + Left Click = Open Link in Foreground Tab

Shift + Left Click = Open Link in New Window

Alt + Scroll = Scroll Line by Line

Middle Click on Tab = Close a Tab

Double Click on Tab Bar = Tab New

Ctrl + Scroll Up = Text Size Decrease

Ctrl + Scroll Down = Text Size Increase

Know of anymore good ones?  Be sure to leave a comment, and share with the rest of us.  For more keyboard shortcut fun, remember to check out Mission Ctrl? All the Ctrl Key Shortcuts for FirefoxFirefox’s Navigation Bar Keyboard Combo Cheat Sheet and Ctrl + Shift Your Way Through Firefox.

hmmXP Theme for Firefox 3

Based around the hmmXP visual style for Windows, the hmmXP theme for Firefox gives you something familiar (that sort of Windows 9x look) with just a touch of visual appeal.  The theme is compact, but doesn’t feel as if everything is squeezed in just for the sake of squeezing it in. 

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As said by the author of this awesome theme, a lot of love has been put into it, so that it looks great in any windows theme.  If you want to pick it up, you can grab it on the Firefox Add-ons site or visit the official hmmXP theme site to get the latest version.

Split Up Your Browser

Split Browser, the add-on for Firefox, splits up the content area of the browser in as many windows as you like.  Each window you see, also has its own mini browser inside.

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This is a really helpful extension for those people out there that work on multiple pages at the same time and down want to have two Firefox windows open side by side or don’t want to switch between tabs.  There are several ways you can decide to split your window too.

Ways to become more productive by splitting up your browser…

  • Choose the "Split Browser to" menu in the context menu.
  • Choose the "Load in Split Browser" menu in the context menu on link.
  • Click popup-button on top/bottom/left/right edges of the content area.
  • Drop links, bookmarks, etc. to popup-button on top/bottom/left/right edges of the content area while dragging.

too-many-windows There is no limit to the number of windows you can open inside of your browser.  Of course, adding too many might get a little on the silly side.  Click the picture to your right to see an example of the madness that can happen with a few too many windows open.

Another great use for this, would be to view one page normally, and then load up a mobile or sidebar-friendly page and squeeze it down so everything fits in nicely.  You can pick up the Split Browser add-on for Firefox on the Firefox Add-ons web site or learn more about it on the official Split Browser web site.

Quickly Access All the Other Browsers from Firefox

943948800 What are you to do when you need to switch to another internet browser in a hurry?  Sure we all love Firefox, but some of us use maybe two or three other browsers for the Web too.  How can you quickly leap into Safari, Opera, Chrome or even Internet Explorer from Firefox?  Very easily.

1221148333 Open Links in Chrome – As the new kid on the block, it took some hunting to find a good way to switch to Chrome in a hurry.  The Chrome View add-on for Firefox is what you need.  This extension lets you open the page your currently viewing in Firefox, via Google’s new Chrome browser.

ie_logo Open Links in Internet Explorer – Switching from Firefox to Internet Explorer is something we have been doing for some time now.  There are two great add-ons that allow you to do this.  The first is IE View.  This extension gives you the ability to open any page you have open in Firefox, in Internet Explorer.  An even better alternative though is IE Tab.  IE Tab will embed Internet Explorer inside of your Firefox tab, so you don’t really even have to switch browsers.

opera_logo Open Links in Opera – Ah, yes Opera.  The girl at the dance with all the features that nobody uses.  Just in case you might want to hop over to Opera usage for a while, there is OperaView.  This too will give you a new context menu item that will let you open the target link in Opera.  Great for web developers or people who just like to be “different”.  (don’t worry, we won’t tell anybody)

safari_logo Open Links in Safari – Lastly, the new pretty boy on the block (at least for Windows users) before Chrome took the spot, Safari switching can be done with an add-on too.  Safari View (mac) and Safari View (win) get you from Firefox to Apple’s browsing delight very quickly.

New FirefoxFacts.com Layout and Design

In case you missed it, here is the new FirefoxFacts.com layout and design I have been working on for the past few weeks.  Let me know what you think!

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It is live now, if you haven’t checked it out yet.  I have added a lot of nice features, fixed a lot of design flaws and hopefully, all the big changes have been done.  Will probably be doing a few more small tweaks here and there – but overall I am pretty happy with it.