If yesterday I showed you a small fix to a small problem in Firefox 4, today I am just throwing the kitchen sink at you. The Firefox 4 UI Fixer is a pretty self explanatory add-on for Firefox. It allows you to tweak various setting that have been changed between Firefox 3.5 to Firefox 4.
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Mozilla Labs has released a very interesting new browser interface you can try out in Firefox 4. Home Dash for Firefox 4 removes a lot of the Firefox user interface and gives you what they call "Browse-Based Browsing". It really does bring a radically different way to use Firefox right to your fingertips. Is it worth using?
There are a lot of Firefox features that don’t get much press, or are quickly forgotten about. For example, did you know that you could switch to using Gmail or Yahoo! Mail as your default mail client (to handle those mailto links)?
To chance your settings, go to Tools, Options and then click on the Applications tab. From there, type “mail” into the text box to go to the default mail handler settings. From the drop down box, you should get several choices, Yahoo! Mail and Gmail being two of them. Choose the webmail application of your choice, hit the button labeled, “OK” and you are all set.
Now you are ready to use the webmail provider of your choice as your default e-mail application, as far as Firefox knows.
To get to the Applications menu, you’ll want to go to Tools in the menu toolbar, then Options, then click on the Applications tab.
From here you can change just about any way that Firefox relates to any other file, application or task out there. Here are a few things I did to speed up my browser usage.
ARCHIVES: For archives (like .zip, .rar, ect) I set the action to “Save File”, that way I can skip Firefox asking me if I would like to open or save that type of file when I download it.
FEEDS: Since I am a Google Reader user when it comes to subscribing to feeds, I changed the Web Feed option from “Preview in Firefox” to “Use Google”.
MP3S: Another fix I like to do here is to set MP3 Format Found from the hijacking QuickTime (which like to take control of everything you do) to “Always Ask” cause sometimes I might want to stream it right there and other times, I might like to download it.
MAILTO: If you use Gmail a lot, you can also setup the mailto links to Use Gmail anytime you click a link that is formatted in that way.
I hope that handful of Application handling in Firefox is handy. Just one more way Firefox lets you have the ultimate customized web browsing experience, if you you know where to look.
Firefox 3.5’s new tab button has already been established as a feature some people like and some people could do without. However, what if you could tweak it visually to meet your needs? That is what some people have done, and here are the eight most popular new tab button hacks out there today.
Please Note: To use any of these, you will need to have the Firefox add-on Stylish installed.
No Icon Image Until Click – New tab button icon does not appear until you CLICK on it instead of when you hover because there is another style that produces that effect.
Tiny + 3D(Special Effects) – New Tab Button on the tab bar is tiny and when you click on it, it changes.
Left Side New Tab Button – Move the new tab button to the left of the tab bar, instead of the far right of the tab bar.
Foxmarks, one of my favorite Firefox add-on suggestions for bookmark syncing and backup, is changing names today. Foxmarks is becoming Xmarks. (Waits for the “X marks the spot jokes) The new Xmarks service looks to be more geared towards sharing links, ala Stumble Upon and Digg.
Why make the move? Well, one would guess that sharing links might be a more profitable business model, more so than bookmark syncing alone. Via the Xmarks blog, here are some FAQs for those of you who might have questions about the change:
- Xmarks is a superset of Foxmarks – it adds web discovery features to our world-class bookmark sync.
- If you choose to upgrade to Xmarks, it will work seamlessly with your existing Foxmarks account and will sync with your other computers running Foxmarks.
- Foxmarks.com and our existing Foxmarks add-ons won’t change overnight. We expect to have upgrades to all three Foxmarks versions available by the end of March and we’ll provide you with more detailed info once we return from the DEMO conference.
- We’re still hard at work finding better, faster ways to sync more things in your browser.
So what new features will be brought on with the new business model?
Smarter Search – In your Google search results, Xmarks will highlight the top three sites based on bookmarking history. Put your mouse over the special icon to the side of the search results to learn more information such as reviews, and rankings.
Site Info Lookup – Clicking on the Xmarks logo in your location bar will bring up a detailed box letting you know more information about the site you are on, and help you discover other sites just like it.
Then of course, you have the bookmark and password backup and syncing capabilities that Foxmarks already brought to the table. The Xmarks browser add-on is Firefox only right now, but they promise to have Internet Explorer and Safari versions running soon. Firefox fans can grab the Xmarks add-on here to try it out. It is worth pointing out that you can install Xmarks even if you have the Foxmarks add-on installed on your computer. Xmarks will upgrade your current Foxmarks add-on and continue to sync and back up your bookmarks (and optionally passwords).
So what do you think about the change? Excited about the new features, or disappointed that an old Firefox friend is changing its ways?
Today I saw my first Firefox 3 extension that bring back “classic” features of Firefox 2. It was only a matter of time before some of these started to pop up and I have a feeling that many more may be on their way.
The oldbar addon replaces Firefox 3′s new address bar with the one that you are used to now in Firefox 2. Here is the new Firefox 3 address bar (or otherwise known as the location bar):
Then here is the classic one you will get with this Firefox 3 extension:
You can pick up the oldbar extension over at the Mozilla addons web site.
Tired of having Google as the default search engine in Firefox? Maybe it is another search engine’s turn to be on top?! If you feel the urge to dethrone Google as the default search engine for your Firefox search box – this is how you can get it done:
In your address bar, type in: “about:config”
Inside of the filter search box, type in:
Double click that entry (or right click and choose “Modify”) and then type in the name of the search engine you wish to have as the default search engine. It must be one that you already have installed and also make sure you type in the name correctly.
Now if you type in “Yahoo”, restart Firefox and when your browser comes back up you will see the red Yahoo “Y” and Yahoo as your default search engine.
Gina is at it again with one of those “Better” Firefox extensions. This time around she tackles Google Calendar. As a big user of the other extensions she has released (plus I use Google Calendar too) I couldn’t pass up on the chance to try this one out.
The Better GCal extension for Firefox wraps some of the best Greasemonkey scripts into one easy to install extension. Editing the options of the extension allows you to also turn certain features on and off. Here are some of my favorite Greasemonkey scripts that have been included:
- Google Calendar Air Skin
- Collapse the Header and Sidebar
- Colorize Weekends
- Force Secure Connections (via https)
Plus a lot more tweaks and edits you can do.
If you use Google Calendar (or you think you might if a few things were changed around) then I would suggest giving this extension a shot.
- My Initial Firefox 4 Thoughts Jan/18
- RSS Feed Change, Please Read! Nov/05
- Goodbye Status Bar, Hello Add-on Bar Jan/19
- Optimized Firefox for Windows? Oct/20
- RIP Xmarks Sep/28
- Rapportive May/17
- YSlow May/15
- Self-Destructing Cookies May/14
- RequestPolicy May/10
- Tube Enhancer Plus May/09