Tag Archives | features

Crooked Browser Support for Firefox 3.6

Always a perfect picture with Fierfox 3.6

In what is being seen by some as a silly feature to add, Firefox 3.6 is apparently getting better support for orientation of where it is at.  What does this mean, exactly?  Firefox will know, if your computer has an accelerometer in it, if it is tilting to the left, right, front, or back and will respond with the way the web page your looking at is displayed.

Here’s a few more details about the new feature coming to Firefox:

Originally built as something that we would include for our upcoming mobile browser release, we’ve made it available on desktop systems as well. Many modern Macbooks and Thinkpads contain devices and drivers that expose this information. We’ve added support for Linux, Macs and some Thinkpads where drivers and devices are available.

Overall, this is a pretty awesome new feature for the computers that will support it.  This picture really does not do it justice, go check out the video demonstration over at hacks.mozilla.org.

Get More Geeky Tutorials, Help, Tips and More at Mitchelaneous!

New Mitchelaneous Layout!

Now I do not plug my other projects very often, however I think this is an important enough update to share with the rest of my fans (even my wonderful Firefox Facts subscribers)!  I just finished up with a brand new redesign of my layout over at Mitchelaneous.com – and I would love your feedback on it.

What is Mitchelaneous?  It is my personal blog, with tutorials helping with tech tips, web development and geeky entertainment.  Pretty much everything else I want to post about is posted here, that does not fit under the web hosting category of WebHostingShow.com and the Mozilla category or FirefoxFacts.com.  

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Firefox 3.7 – Interface Redesign (take two!)

Mozilla has released a few new screenshots of their latest Firefox 3.7 theme and interface revisions.  I’m happy to see the bookmark toolbar is back, and the loading bar on top of the tabs is a very interesting idea. 

Here is the old Revision 01 version of Firefox 3.7’s interface:

Mockup Firefox 3.7 - 1st Version 

Here is the brand new Revision 02 of the Firefox 3.7 interface:

Mockup Firefox 3.7 - 2nd Version

In comparison, I do have to say I like the direction they are going with this.  Here are some of the features included and mentioned when discussing the Vista/Windows 7 version of the interface:

  • Embracing Glass: Toolbar and Tabs using Glass. Buttons translucent and slightly glossy to meld with the toolbar. Raised 3D look to achieve tactile "feel".
  • Page and Tools Buttons: Page and Tools on the Navigation Bar.
  • Bookmark Bar: Bookmarks bar on by default. New Bookmarks "widget" containing the bookmarks menu contents.
  • Home Tab: Home tab containing your homepage to start. Expanded functionality planned for 4.0.

To get more information and amazing screenshots, be sure to check out the Windows 3.7 theme mockups page on the Mozilla.org wiki.

Give Back to Firefox Add-on Developers

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Haven’t you always wanted to give back to those Firefox add-on developers that have made your life easier?  Well, even if the thought hadn’t crossed your mind – you do have the ability to do so thanks to the new contributions feature on the Firefox Add-ons site.

How it works is a small widget gets shown on the specific add-on’s page and says something like, “The developer of this add-on asks that you help support its continued development by making a small contribution” then you can donate the suggested price or a different amount. 

Nothing wrong with giving back a little to those out there who have made your browsing experience even better. 

Firefox 3.5 Preview – What’s New?

We are about to roll upon that point in the release time frame for Firefox 3.5 where everybody and their grandmother is going to be telling you about all the cool new features that will be in store for you once this newest version of the Firefox browser is released.  To get ahead of the curve, Mozilla’s Mike Beltzner gives a quick preview of what’s new and exciting in Firefox 3.5 in this video tour:

Getting in on the fun, the Lifehacker team has also posted a list of the top 10 Firefox 3.5 features you should check out, if you want to see what is in store for your favorite browser.

Bonus – Also worth mentioning is there is rumors that Firefox 3.5 could be out by June 30th?

Firefox Add-ons Site Gets a Makeover

New Firefox Add-on Love!

Today is the day that Firefox’s new add-on site has gone live.  You can check it all out at addons.mozilla.org.  The new look and feel does look nice, and there is a lot to love here.  For example, on the main page you have  rotating list of suggestions based on categories like web development, family, social, travel and more.  Each category on the left-side menu also has a number count – so you can see exactly how many extensions there are.  My favorite new feature might be the listing of recommended, popular, just added and updated extensions all right on the front page.  No more hunting around link to link to find them all. 

So, what is your general feeling for the new Firefox add-ons site?  Love it or hate it?  I’ll be sure to be diving into more features from this new site later on – but till then I want to hear what you think about it.

Smart Zooming in Firefox

Smart zooming in Firefox

One feature I really love in Firefox, that probably does not get the credit it deserves, is the smart zooming features.  A feature that was new to Firefox 3, this allows you to zoom an entire page to make it larger or smaller.  You may need to make a site larger to make it easier to read, or you might make it smaller to fit within the screen real estate of your smaller monitors (for examples, those people out there who may have netbooks).

There are several ways you can zoom into or out of the page you are on.

Keyboard:

(make the page bigger) Ctrl and the + Key

(make the page smaller) Ctrl and the – Key

Mouse:

(make the page bigger) Hold the Ctrl Key and Scroll Up

(make the page smaller) Hold the Ctrl Key and Scroll Down

Toolbar:

View > Zoom > Zoom In

View > Zoom > Zoom Out

One more zooming trick that Firefox has up its sleeve is the ability to only zoom in on text, leaving graphics their normal sizes.  To do that, go to View > Zoom and select “Zoom Text Only”.  To reset a page’s specific zoom level (large or small), go to View > Zoom > Reset or hit Ctrl and the 0 key.  Firefox will remember which pages you have larger too.  So for example, you could zoom into FirefoxFacts.com, but when you visit WebHostingShow.com, it would still be at its normal size.  Your preferences are remembered for each site you visit.

Turn Xmarks Back into Foxmarks

Xmarks Options While some do not enjoy the most recent enhancements to the classic Foxmarks Firefox add-on, there is a way you can get the new Xmarks to act a ‘bit more like it’s predecessor.

Turn off Smarter Search in Xmarks

The first thing you want to do is go to Tools > Add-ons and then click the options button for Xmarks.  Now, under the “Discovery” Tab you can disable 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.  If you don’t like it, turn it off.

Turn off Site Info in Xmarks

Next, in that same options window, you can also disable the Site Info, which will turn off the feature in Xmarks that gives you more information about a web site in the location bar.  Once your done disabling things, hit the “OK” button at the bottom of the window.

There you have it, now the new features in Xmarks that some people may not like are turned off, and Xmarks starts to act a lot more like Foxmarks did. 

Tab Mix Plus

Tab Mix Plus It has been a long time since I have taken a look at Tab Mix Plus.  I know a lot of people who use it, and it continues to be one of the most popular Firefox add-ons out there.  So the first question to ask is, what makes it so darn special?

Well, the main goal of Tab Mix Plus is to give Firefox’s tabs more capabilities.  You can quickly duplicate tabs, control the tab focus, you get all kinds of tab clicking options, undo tabs and windows, and that is just scratching the surface. 

It also includes a full-featured session manager with crash recovery that can save and restore combinations of opened tabs and windows.

Tab Mix Plus Options

Need help using one Tab Mix Plus’s features?  They have a handy set of user forums here:

All in all, Tab Mix Plus is still a great addition to the Firefox browser if you need to do “more” with your tabs than the default Firefox install or any other add-ons give you. 

Back to Close

The Back to Close add-on for Firefox adds a simple ergonomic feature to Firefox I am sure a lot of people will enjoy.  When you are browsing via the browser or via a tab, if there is no history to go “back” to via the back button – it displays a “close” button instead.

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This simple change adds functionality back to the toolbar.  The extension also works with mouse gestures and and by configuring the back button on your mouse (if you have one) to the Alt + Left Arrow keyboard combination.  Users can also decide whether to show the toolbar icon via the options button in the add-on manager.

You can pick up Back to Close on the Firefox Add-ons site or check out more about the development behind it on it’s official web site