Archive | November, 2008

Tweak up the Bookmarks Bar in Firefox

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Tired of the way your Firefox bookmarks toolbar looks?  Here are some easy tweaks you can make, as long as you have the Stylish add-on installed.

Gradient Background for the Bookmarks Bar

gradient-background

Hide the Bookmarks Toolbar, Forever!

no-bookmarks

Hide only the Folder Icons on the Bookmarks Toolbar

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Hide ALL Icons on the Bookmarks Toolbar

hide-icons

Auto-Hide the Bookmarks Toolbar

auto-hide

Icons Only (text on hover) via the Bookmarks Toolbar)

show-on-hover

Save on Space! Compress Bookmarks Toolbar Items

save-space

To make use of any of these changes, go download and check out the Stylish extension for Firefox.  It makes customization a pretty easy task, if you can find some jewels like the links above or you know a little CSS.

Scroll the Google News Headlines in Your Firefox Sidebar

You can load up Google News in your Firefox sidebar.  This quick tip and tweak will give you the ability to check out the iPhone optimized Google News in your Firefox sidebar.  This makes scrolling through the day’s news an even quicker and easier experience.

  Google News Sidebar

How do you make it happen?  Drag this link to your bookmarks bar:

Now, right-click the bookmark, and select Properties.  Click the check mark box for loading this bookmark in the sidebar, and then click on the Save Changes button.  Now when you click the bookmark, it should open up the iPhone version of the Google News. 

To use it, click on Front Page to get all the big news stories of the day, and then click on Sections to find specific news about a certain topic, such as World News, Sci/Tech, and more.  The search is also usable, to find news about anything you might be thinking about at the time. 

Bonus Tip – drag this link (mini news) to your bookmarks bar to make it a popup version instead.  If you like that, you can read more about the Top 5 Google Popup Bookmarklets on Mitchelaneous.

What Firefox Features Could You Do Without?

firefox features Everybody and their grandmother has done a list of Firefox features you would like to see come to the browser, but what features could you do without?  There is no doubt that fans of Firefox like a light browsing experience, so could Firefox do with a little house cleaning of features not used or loved by many? 

Security Zone Policy Errors – This seems to be more of a problem than most people realize.  From this one blog post, I see people coming in every day having issues with it.  So, should Firefox be relying on Windows security settings for downloading applications and other potentially unsafe files from the Internet?

Descriptions for Bookmarks – Have you ever right-clicked a bookmark, Went down to properties and typed in a description about a page you had saved?  No, I haven’t either – so this might be another Firefox feature ready for the junk yard.  Name, Location, and Keyword is good enough for me.

Now it is your turn, what Firefox feature could you live without?

intensedebate-logo Firefox Facts Bonus!  This morning I installed Intense Debate for FirefoxFacts.com.  I am really excited to see how much better this makes the commenting system here on the web site.  No registration in necessary, but if you do – there are some cool extra features you will get, such as reputation points, comment voting, and tons of other cool things.  (Learn More!)

Compact Your Menu Bar Even More in Firefox

hide-the-menu One add-on I keep adding on is Tiny Menu, due to the fact that I like to have a minimalist browsing experience.  However, I have found one extension that does an even better job than Tiny Menu at compacting the standard menu bar down to one small popup menu, Compact Menu 2.

The major benefits Compact Menu 2 has over Tiny Menu are:

  • An even smaller footprint (one small blue globe to access your regular menu bar items)
  • You can move it anywhere (Tiny Menu was locked to one location)

As far as customization goes, you can select the menus you want to see in the new popup  compact menu.  These are:  File, Edit, View, History, Bookmarks, Tools, Help.  Each has a check mark beside it, so if you don’t want to see it – get rid of the check mark, and then save your settings.

One thing that might catch people off guard, is it doesn’t work right off the bat after you have installed it.  After installation, right-click on menu bar and choose “Customize…”, drag the “Menu” button or the “Compact Menu” icon to the position where you like on toolbar, then click Done.

Compact Menu 2 has earned it’s spot into my day to day use, so I give it two thumbs up.

Easier Bookmark Copying

copy-bookmarks Here is a tip I randomly ran across via Smart Productivity.  Want to quickly copy and paste a text-based list of your bookmarks?  All you need to do is right-click a folder icon in your bookmarks and select Copy.  After doing so, you can right-click and select Paste to paste the list anywhere you need it.  It will be saved to your clipboard, organized by folder names.

Here is one more tip from the Smart Productivity blog:

One other great use of this tip is that if you right-click any of the items at the top of the Bookmarks folder, such as Organize Bookmarks and select Copy, your complete library of bookmark URLs will be placed on the clipboard as well as the folder names.

Very neat discovery, I must say.  Check out more Smart Productivity here:

http://www.smartproductivity.com/firefox-tip-easily-copy-your-bookmarks

Like Staying in a Cheap Las Vegas Casino, Glowy Themes

The “Glowy” series of themes never won me over greatly.  Mainly, this is due to the reason that they remind me of a cheap Las Vegas Casino.  I don’t want to say too many harmful words – I mean I am sure there are people who love this series of themes.  I’d just rather not have my browser look so.. well, tacky.

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1221542218  1221542545

Click the image above to go to that theme’s download web page.  If there is anything nice to be said, it would be that at least they aren’t another Apple-theme clone.  Now those, I could really do without. 

So cheers to the “Glowy” series, and for making the PimpZilla theme almost look boring with it’s over to the top antics. 

Juice is an Intelligent Discovery Engine

Juice search add-on for Firefox Juice, is an on-demand web service built on intelligent discovery for rich and contextually relevant information for web users.  To translate that down to people outside of the PR world – it is a nice search engine, with perks.

The add-on for Firefox will continually run in a sidebar, and can be activated by selecting a chunk of text and dragging it over to the sidebar.  You then get tons of information about that person, place, thing you are searching about.  When dropping text into Juice, we’ll try to understand its meaning and serve you with context-relevant information.

How can you turn the sidebar on and off?  After installing Juice, you get a new toolbar button to do just that (or setup your own hotkey).  You can save things for later too.

All in all, Juice is well worth trying out if you need a new way (or perhaps better way) to search for basic information intelligently.

Borders for Search and Address Bar in Firefox

With the way I have my elements arranged inside of Firefox, using the default Firefox theme is a little hard to do.  Why?  It bugs me that there is no border around the address or search bars.  It just does not look that polished to me.

ugly-address-bar2

See on the top and bottom?  It has never looked right to me.  So I did a little playing around with the Stylish extension for Firefox, and turned it into this:

ugly-address-bar

Now I am far from being a Jedi master of Stylish, and writing user styles.  I am just learning the basics.  Since this was a big annoyance to me though, I thought it might help somebody else out there.

Download Stylish, and then go down to the task bar icon for it, right-click and select “Write Style” and then “Blank Style”.  Type in any description you wish (mine is “Round Address and Search Boxes”) then type this into the text box for your user style:

#urlbar {
-moz-appearance: none !important;
-moz-border-radius: 3px !important;
padding-right: 1px !important; }

#searchbar .searchbar-textbox {
-moz-appearance: none !important;
-moz-border-radius: 3px !important; }

Hit preview to test it out, and if it worked – then hit the save button.  This worked for me using Firefox 3/Vista Ultimate, so hopefully it will work for you.  If anybody has any pointers, be sure to share!

Private Browsing Makes Debut in Latest Nightly Build

Private Browsing in Firefox 

A of noise has been made about the excitement around private browsing.  Personally, this isn’t the feature I have been waiting for years to see, but it is nice to see Firefox keeping up with the competition and adding this feature in.  With this new mode (coming to Firefox 3.1) your browsing, cookies, temporary files, search, forms, and download history will not be saved.

Best thing about it that I have seen is that they will not interrupt the interface with some big bold “Hey you, you are browsing privately now” graphic.  You just get the simple (Private Browsing) in the title bar.

firefox-private-browsing-2

So are you excited to see private surfing added to Firefox or is this one of those “ehh, I guess it is ok” features for you too? Learn more about it at ehsanakhgari.org

10 Most Popular Sports Themes for Firefox

Finding yourself in a fix for a theme based around your favorite sports team?  Recently, a lot more sports related themes have been making their way up the Firefox theme ranks.  No matter if you are a fan of football, baseball, rugby, soccer, or any other theme out there – I am sure these popular sports themes for Firefox will make you want to stand up and cheer!

Manchester United

Manchester United Theme

Penn State Nittany Lions

Penn State Nittany Lions Theme

NY Yankees

New York Yankees Theme

KC Chiefs Theme

Kansas City Chiefs Theme

Broncofox

Denver Broncos Theme

RedSoxfox

Red Socks Theme

Patriotfox

Patriots Theme

Atletico Nacional – Nacho Verde

Atletico Nacional - Nacho Verde Theme

Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts Theme

Florida State University

Florida State University Theme

Give me an F! Give me an I! Give me a R!  Give me an E!  Give me a break…  Ok, so I might not be the world’s biggest sports fan, so that is why I need your help.  Did I miss one of your favorites?  Be sure to sound off and let me know.