Archive | August, 2009

Subscribe and Follow Firefox Facts

Now I know many people don’t like pandering to the audience for things, however I do want to let you all know it is really easy to follow Firefox Facts in a number of different ways. 

Subscribe via RSS

All you have to do to subscribe to the RSS feed is click that orange icon in the Firefox address bar.

Subscribe to Firefox Facts

You will then be given many different options in which you can subscribe to the feed.  You can set it up as a Live Bookmark or you could use services like Google Reader, Bloglines and more to get instant access to all the Firefoxy goodness you will find here.

Subscribe via E-mail

To subscribe by e-mail, and get daily e-mail updates when a new post has been made – type your e-mail address into the empty text box at the top, and hit the “Subscribe!” button.

Subscribe by E-mail to Firefox Facts

Once you do, a window will pop up asking you to type in a series of letters to verify you really want to subscribe.  once you do, click the “Complete Subscription Request” button and your all set.

It is all totally free, as I don’t charge you a dime (nor would I want to).  The only revenue I make from the site is from the Google ads your hopefully not blocking, to pay for the upkeep of the site.

Big thanks to the 7,000+ that are subscribing already and the many more who come in to check out the web site daily.  You ROCK!

You can also follow me and my projects on Twitter @mitchkeeler!

So there is your how to subscribe to Firefox Facts public service announcement.  I now return you to your regularly scheduled Firefox tips, tutorials and more – already in progress.

Create a Downloads Folder for Firefox

Sometimes the simple usability tips are the ones that people overlook the most.  Creating a downloads folder not only keeps things organized when you download things from the Web in Firefox, it also will save you time too.

More About the Downloads Settings and Options

In the menu bar, go to Tools and then select Options.  In the Main tab in the options menu, you should see an area where you can configure how Firefox handles your downloads.

image

I would recommend selecting the Save files to option and setting up a downloads folder where you can save all your downloaded files.  Why?  It makes it much easier to find them after you are done, and also it keeps your desktop clean – which often is the default place to dump things for many people out there.  I have mine setup right inside of my documents in Windows XP and my profile folder inside of Vista.  It doesn’t matter where you put it, as long as it is somewhere you can easily reach.

Show the Downloads window when downloading a file is pretty obvious, checked it will show the download manager box as your downloads progress and unchecked, it’ll keep the download information and alerts in your Firefox status bar.  You can also select the option to close it when all downloads are finished.  I don’t do this, cause I usually want to check out what I just downloaded after I downloaded it. 

Always ask me where to save the files might be a good option for those of you out there that need to have everything in it’s specific spot, but often becomes a great time waster. 

Just dump your downloads into a folder called, “Downloads” – it makes things much easier.

Use Firefox’s Spellchecker Anywhere!

Did you know that Firefox comes in handy when it comes to proof reading pages?  Using a simple bookmarklet, you can easily enable Firefox’s built in spell checker on any web site.

The first step to take would be to bookmark this link (or drag and drop it onto your bookmarks toolbar).

+ spell check

When the bookmarklet is clicked, Firefox will turn on the built in spellchecker and highlight any misspelled words that are on the page you are currently browsing.  You can check for suggested changes too, of course they will not be saved to the page though.  This quick bookmarklet does come in might handy though for anybody who spends their time proof reading any online content.

(Kudos to Download Squad and UrbanoAlvarez.es!)

6 Ways to Capture Better Web Site Screenshots

Take Better Screenshots

Taking a screenshot of the various web sites out there on the Web is usually done for a slew of reasons.  Sometimes it is done to help you debug a web application, other times it might be done to show off a future design.  No matter what your reason, I have six great Firefox add-ons that will make capturing an image of a web site a very easy thing to do.

Screenshot Pimp – Need a screen shot? Screenshot Pimp lets you easily save images of web pages with multiple options for selection, output destination, and image type.

Abduction! – Adds a right click option to take screenshots of an entire web page or just part of a web page to save as an image.

FireShot – This is a Firefox extension that creates screenshots of web pages (entirely or just visible part). Unlike other extensions, this plugin provides a set of editing and annotation tools.

Talon: Screen Capture & Aviary.com Quick Launch – Take screen shots and edit images directly from your browser with Aviary.com applications.

Snapper – This add-on allows users to designate an area of a web page for a focused snapshot, cutting out the additional work needed for cropping unnecessary information.

Screengrab – It will capture what you can see in the window, the entire page, just a selection, or a particular frame.  You can then save the screen capture as a file or to the clipboard.

Have another favorite, or which of these tools have suited your needs the best?  Be sure to let us know in the comments which one you like best.

TechCrunch Crashes Firefox 3.5, I Ask Who Cares?

TechCrunch is Embarrassing

As somebody who usually writes in order to help the masses in one way or another, no matter if it is to inform or entertain, it really bugs me when I see people complain about something, but then do nothing to fix the thing they are complaining about.  Recently on TechCrunch I saw a feature about Firefox 3.5 crashing for one of the writers.  I though, hey – maybe they’ll have some interesting information on how to get around or troubleshoot the issue; maybe I should check it out. 

Let us check out this post together shall we?

Ever since the new Firefox 3.5 came out about a month ago, I’ve been using it as my main browser. Generally I am very happy with it.

Hey, that is cool.  I have been too!  I can “relate” with that.

But there is one persistent bug that might push me to another browser: it keeps crashing on me.

Oh, really? Hate to hear that, wonder what is causing the crashing?

This usually happens when I have too many tabs open (like 15 or 20, which is not unusual for me towards the end of the day). The whole thing will just freeze and I’ll have to force the browser to quit.

Well, that is odd.  I usually run the same thing or more during my day and have yet to have that problem.  Then again, I am only running a handful of extensions too.  So maybe that is where the problem is?

Without basic stability, none of the other great features or add-ons really matter much.

Yeah, that is true – but, did you try to fix your problem?

I realize that Firefox 3.5 is a just came out of beta, and to be fair, it has become slightly more stable over the past month (it was crashing every day in the beginning, now it is just every few days).

So, you didn’t do anything to fix it?

I’ve been patiently waiting for the crashing to stop as Mozilla releases patches and updates.

Did you try to fix it?

I’m on a developer build, so maybe I’m just asking for crashes.

You are just waiting for somebody to do it for you magically?  Well, maybe your not the only one – go ahead and give me a few quotes from somebody else. Go ahead, the floor is all yours.

But plenty of other people are complaining as well.

Wait a minute, did you just quote Twitter? Ok, so there are 2 and a half pages of people saying Firefox 3.5 crashes.  Also worth noting that there are 15 pages people who say they love pirates.  Oh and you can’t forget the page and a half of people who think toast is god.

Now, before you paint me as some Firefox loving wing nut, I can admit Firefox might have some flaws, and some people might be having problems with it.  However, when you have a megaphone the size of TechCrunch try to at least help people who might be in your same shoes rather than trying to paint a perfectly fine browser as an unstable mess. 

Ambient Fox Theme Series for Firefox

Ambient Fox Xyan theme for Firefox

Sometimes you want a Firefox theme that looks just a little ‘bit different than the rest of the themes out there, and that is what the Ambient Fox series delivers to you.  Coming in three different flavors – Emerald, Maroon and Xyan, this is a unique theme that doesn’t stray too far away from the easy of use of the original Firefox skin.

Want more?  Here is where you can download each one:

A bright and refreshing theme series, be sure to give them all a shot, and let me know which flavor you like the best.

Ditch Your Unused Search Engines

imageI usually don’t have a lot of clutter in my browser, but my search engine collection had gotten a little crazy, till I cleaned it out yesterday.  Right now, I have it down to five – because I really didn’t need the 15 I had, because I hadn’t used ten or eleven of them in months or years.

How can you remove your unused search engines?  Click on the Firefox search box, and then go down and select the Manage Search Engines… option. Now, on the Manage Search Engine List you can move up, move down or remove search engines you don’t use anymore.  

Just because you CAN add 200 or more search engines doesn’t mean you should.  This is just one more quick way you can lighten the load on your favorite browser.

Match Your Tabs to the Sites Your Browsing

1247164885

There are a number of different add-ons that will change the way your Firefox tabs look.  How would you like to have one that made your tabs match your web site you are browsing.  FabTabs does that.

How does it work?  I’m happy you asked…

FabTabs is kind of an experimental extension for now that will color your Firefox Tabs in a way you have never seen before. By taking a small screenshot of the website you are currently viewing, and calculating the most commonly used color from that screenshot, it tries to take the 1 essential color from the website and applies it to the tab.

Sounds like a good idea.  If your looking to make your tabs appear more like the pages your surfing, pick up the FabTabs add-on for Firefox.

Firefox Reaches One Billion Downloads

Firefox = One Billion Happy Browsers

On Friday, Mozilla Firefox was downloaded for the one billionth time since the release of 1.0 in 2004. To help celebrate the news, Mozilla has released a new web site called One Billion + You

From there, you can easily post to Twitter how much one billion really is, such as:

  • A bowl big enough to fit one billion goldfish would be as big as a stadium.
  • One billion stacked coins would reach nearly 1,000 miles high.
  • One billion centimeters is approximately the distance from Chicago to Tokyo.
  • One billion seconds is roughly 31.7 years.
  • One billion kilograms is equal to the weight of 250,000 elephants.
  • One billion credit cards weigh as much as fifty-two blue whales.

If that wasn’t enough, you can also make up your own to share on Twitter or Facebook.  Also don’t forget to decorate your Twitter icon with a Twibbon too