Tag Archives | help

Problem Solver: Opening Plain Text Links

Your problem? Making none clickable links clickable again!

The solution? The Plain Text Links extension for Firefox solves a problem that many of us run into. With any text that can be treated as a URL, while using this extension you can right click on the text and select “Open this URL”.

This one simple tool will make Firefox smart enough to know what to do with that link when you want to click on it. Now if it doesn’t do what you need it to do – I have an alternative.

Another Fix! Plain Text to Link is a totally different extension, no matter how similar you think the name is. This handy helper is able to select plain text in a page and save it in a text file. It can also open links written in plain text.

Here are a few more suggestions that do pretty much the same job:

Hey Mitch, what about a non-extension fix? For that, give Linkrr a whirl.

Fix for Firefox Memory Problems?

firefoxlogo.jpg Firefox uses a lot of RAM. It is the number one complaint about this otherwise awesome web browser. So what can you do to solve this issue? Well there are a few rumored fixed out there in the wild.

Here is the nitty-gritty about:config solution to the problem:

  • Open up about:config by typing it into your Firefox address bar.
  • Right-click, go to new and then integer and name it this: browser.cache.memory.capacity
  • For the integer value, enter in 15000 if you have 512MB to 1GB of RAM. For those with less (between 128MB to 512MB), try a value of 5000.  You’re done!

Then all you should need to restart Firefox for it to take effect.

Continue Reading →

Google Calendar in Your Sidebar (again!)

Update – looks like this is no longer working. As an alternative, I would suggest using this: Google Calendar in Your Sidebar (iPhone Version)

I love my Google Calendar, but loading up the official web site each time I want to check it out is sometimes a burden.

Since I use it much more as a to-do list rather than actually setting up events and times I needed a quicker way to access. So I thought, why not figure out a way to open it in the sidebar in Firefox?

Google Calendar in Firefox Sidebar

Here are the steps to get it done:

  1. Create a new bookmark (right-click and select “Bookmark this link…”) for this address or drag it to your bookmarks toolbar:

    Mini Google Calendar

  2. Right-click on that bookmark and select “Properties”.

    Step 2
  3. Check the box that says, “Load this bookmark in sidebar” and you are good to go! I promise you this is a tip that is easy enough for anybody to use and setup.

Now you can access your Google Calendar and upcoming events on your agenda without pulling up a new web page.

Bonus: Check out my previous Google Calendar/Sidebar hack using the iPhone friendly version of Google Calendar. Also you can open Google Notebook to your sidebar too. Don’t forget about adding Google Talk to your sidebar!

Quick and Easy Location Lookup

Having a hard time finding yourself around? Locator might be the Firefox extension you have been looking for. What makes it so special? Just simply select the address, right click with mouse, “Locate on Google Map” and your place will be located on the map.

Locator Firefox Extention

Highlight, Right Click and Hold On!

It all reminds me of that time I went on a cross country trip with a midget named Sam and $20 in my pocket. From the Golden Gate Bridge all the way to White House – we never knew exactly where we were or how to find the next place we wanted to go.

Now if we had this baby loaded up in Firefox – finding our way would have been a piece of cake.

Ok, well maybe there wasn’t a midget named Sam. Maybe it wasn’t even $20 I had in my pocket. That doesn’t change the fact that Locator makes navigation an easier task for all.

Organizing Your Firefox Bookmarks

It seems like every time I see somebody’s browser, they have their links organized in a new way. Some people don’t even bother removing the default bookmark links that came with the browser. Others don’t use bookmarks at all. How do you roll? I figured I’d go over some of the techniques that are out there.

Basic Old School Organization

This one is probably the most widely use way of doing things. Keep all your bookmarks in folders, and keep those folders in your main bookmarks folder. Organize them by topic and then you can always find what your looking for – even though you have to go down a few levels to find it.

Favicon Pretty Picture Organization

I did this one for a while, and I liked it till I needed more bookmarks than my Bookmarks Toolbar could handle. Here you remove the titles and navigate from web site to web site by only using the favicon to go by. It does make things less cluttered – but hard to work with if you have too many links. An easy way of getting it done without much fuss would be to use the Smart Bookmarks Bar extension.

Everything in my Face Organization

Last but not least, you have the technique I am using right now – having almost all your bookmark folders sitting inside the Bookmarks Toolbar. Here I have drop down menus of each category and it doesn’t usually take more than two clicks to get anywhere. For less important bookmarks I still need to visit once in a blue moon – I’ll still put them in the bookmarks section outside of my toolbar links folder. Might sound busy, but it does work.

So, with those three new ways of organizing your bookmarks – is it time for you to clean house?

Browser Comparisons and Firefox Links

Time to dive in and see what the rest of the world is saying about Firefox. Come on, you’ve listened to me and my minions long enough.

Know of a cool link I missed this past week? Leave a comment and share it with the rest of the class.

Use StumbleUpon Without the Toolbar

Stumble This!I love StumbleUpon as much as the next guy, but the toolbar they provide is quickly becoming cluttered with stuff I don’t really care about viewing. I can understand why they want to get more social and interactive – but the main attraction was to browse through web sites other had marked as interesting.

Since nobody has made a StumbleUpon “light” edition toolbar I was out to seek a way to do much of the functionality I like but maybe via javascript or a bookmarklet. That is when I happened to run across a page that promised to be the toolbarless StumbleUpon.

Here is the bookmarklet you’ll need to give a thumbs up to something and review. Just drag and drop this link onto your Firefox bookmarks bar.

Stumble This!

Apparently I’m not alone. Found this on a few other web sites as well – and makes me wish that StumbleUpon would maybe create a lighter version of the toolbar. Maybe even roll out a secondary extension that just gives me a stumble button to push. Till then though this bookmarklet should do the trick.

Installing Firefox Themes from New Sources

Installing ThemesAfter suggesting a few alternative download links the other day for Firefox themes, I had a few people e-mail me and asking, “How do I install these themes on DeviantArt?”.

Well, with DeviantArt and other places where you download a zip there is an easy (yet a little longer) install process.

For an example, lets say we just downloaded Castripe-iga 2.2 for Firefox. Now you have a zipped up file sitting on your desktop and you don’t know what to do next. First I want you to open up that zipped up folder and search for a .jar file. Drag that out of the zip file and onto your desktop (or export the file from your zip archive, different unzipping programs might do this differently).

Once that is done, open up Firefox – then go to Tools > Addons > Themes

Next drag and drop that .jar file you found earlier and put it inside of the window where you see all of the themes listed. A new familiar box will pop up saying that you have new software to install. If you have installed extensions or themes before – this window should look awful familiar.

Then, the only thing left to do is install it, restart Firefox – pick it as your theme and then restart Firefox again. Once that has been done your new theme should be installed.

Tip: Always check the .zip file you download for a “read me” file with any special instructions. This can save you a lot of time down the road and might give you more tips on how to personalize the theme a little more.

Alternative Firefox Theme Downloads

There really are not that many resources for Firefox themes out there. I figured by now there would be more, but a search here and a search there only show a select few. Here are some of the best resources (excluding Mozilla’s because everybody knows about that one) for finding new Firefox themes I have stumbled upon.

Firefox Themes at Learn Firefox – Run by the CyberNet News crew it is one of the few unique resources out there. Browse by screenshot and find your favorite.

Customize.org – Firefox Themes – Customize.org has a nice navigational system, but not as many themes as I expected to see them have. Hopefully it will grow more over time, because with more selection it might become a regular stop for me. Just need more selection, don’t think that is asking too much.

DeviantArt’s Firefox Themes – One of my old favorite sites on the web didn’t let me down. There are tons of themes on DeviantArt, and I bet some of them you have not even seen before. Browse through them thumbnail by thumbnail. Yet another good resource to bookmark.

Have anymore? Drop in a comment and share with the group.

Turning a Bookmark into a Search Tool

Editing Bookmarks to Add Search FeaturesBookmarks in Firefox have a very powerful feature that most people don’t know about. Let’s take a look at this:

  1. Click on Bookmarks.
  2. Right-click on any bookmark you have there.
  3. Choose properties.

Now, third from the top, there is a text box called “Keyword”. Most likely, this is blank because by default it’s not used at all. Welcome to the wonderful world to keyword bookmarking. Let me show you how to use it.

Say for instance that you wanted to create a keyword bookmark for the search on firefoxfacts.com. Ok, lets go to that page. After using the Firefox Facts search using the words “test”, I come to the page:

http://www.firefoxfacts.com/index.php?s=test

If I bookmark it, it will look like any other bookmark.

Then, if I look at the properties of my newly created bookmark, I can make a few changes to it to transform it into a keyword bookmark:

  1. Notice that the my search term “test” is in the address in the location field.
  2. Replace that with the string “%s” to get http://www.firefoxfacts.com/index.php?s=%s.
  3. Add a keyword to the keyword field. I chose “fxfacts” but anything will work. Use something short and you can remember.
  4. Press OK.

Yay, now we have a keyword bookmark. This is how to use it:

  1. Type the keyword of the bookmark in the address bar. (In my example “fxfacts”)
  2. Type any search terms after that. (My example: “fxfacts bookmarks”)
  3. Press the enter key.

Firefox will now take me to the Firefox Facts search for bookmarks just like that. Let’s see IE7 can do that!

Post by Samuel Brisby – Sam is currently a student majoring in computer science who loves and supports anything open-source especially the Firefox browser. Questions or comments can be sent to spamuel42 (at) gmail.com.