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Organize and Clean Firefox’s Messiest Features

A clean browser is a happy browser, right?  I like to keep everything neat, trim and in it’s place when browsing the Web, so it should come to no surprise I have covered cleaning the clutter here plenty of times.  Here are six different ways you can clean up some of the feature in Firefox that tend to get a little messy over the years:

Get More Toolbar Space in Firefox

I think I have a pretty optimized Firefox setup. Personally I don’t think anybody needs more than two toolbars in Firefox at all times. How can you cut down on the clutter and keep everything accessible with just a few clicks here and there?

Clean Up Your Right-Click Menu

From the creator of Colorful Tabs, we have yet another handy and helpful Firefox extension.  FfChrome, for Firefox, is an add-on that trims and slims your context menus.  After installing too many add-ons, your right click menu might get a little cluttered.  FfChrome is here to clean things up.

Clear the Clutter from Your Status Bar

Messy status bars make for bad browsing. Ok, maybe that is not true. They do make for a temperamental and somewhat anal Firefox guru though. Mike wants to know if there is a better way to organize the status bar in Firefox.

Hide Your Menu Bar

Now when it comes to using a browser, some people like a lot of open space and others like to have a plethora of tool bars. Personally I find myself in the first camp – most of the time. That is why I was happy to see this new Hide Menubar extension roll my way.

Compact Your Menu Bar Even More in Firefox

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.

(Bonus) More Ways to Shrink Down Your Menu Bar

Is your menu bar taking up too much wasted space? Well you could hide it, shrink it, or just not use it. How can you get that done? Thankfully others have run into this same issue before and there are a slew of Firefox extensions to help you minimize your Firefox menus.

Have another method that works better for you?  Feel free to share in the comments!

Hide Firefox’s Find Bar After the Job is Done

1227892988 Firefox’s find bars (yes, there are two of them) are often classified as the good one that is hard to remember, and the not so good one that is easy to remember. 

The good one nobody remembers, is hitting the “/” key while browsing a page.  If you hit Ctrl+F you get the not so good one that is easy to remember.  This is the one that we all use most often.  The Hide Find Bar add-on for Firefox merges the greatness of these two searches into one.

How does it do that?  It is very simple.  It allows you to hide the find bar after a certain interval of inactivity has elapsed.  So, when activity in the find bar has been idle for a certain interval it will automatically disappear. 

You can try it out for yourself, all you need to do is download the Hide Find Bar extension from the Firefox Add-ons site.

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

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Hide the Bookmarks Toolbar, Forever!

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Hide only the Folder Icons on the Bookmarks Toolbar

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Hide ALL Icons on the Bookmarks Toolbar

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Auto-Hide the Bookmarks Toolbar

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

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Save on Space! Compress Bookmarks Toolbar Items

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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.

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.

Tell JavaScript What it Can and Can Not Do

Controle de Scripts is an add-on for Firefox that allows you to control what JavaScript on a web site can (or can not) do to your browser.  Here is a little more about the extension from the developer:

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Besides the well-known basic permissions, like hiding toolbars or raise or lower windows, with Controle de Scripts you can set what functions or properties each site can access or modify, thanks to its Security Policies implementation.

Think of it as the regular permissions for JavaScript (setup by going to Tools > Options > Content and then the “Advanced” button next to “Enable JavaScript”) on steroids.  Some say these are the tools Firefox should provide by default – and now you can at least add them on for good measure.

Pickup Controle de Scripts via Mozilla Add-ons Site or the official site for this awesome JavaScript controlling addition to the browser.

Hide Surfing Trails with Distrust

Distrust for FirefoxFeeling a little paranoid these days?

If people are peeking over your shoulder or watching what you are doing you might need a little help to feel like you are staying secure. I have a Firefox extension in my vanilla colored top secret folder that I am ready to pass under the proverbial desk right to you.

So what is the Distrust extension for Firefox all about?

Distrust is a Firefox extension that came to fill the need to privacy on your computer. Distrust aims to create a silent browsing experience which means that the browser should leave the computer as it was when browsing began.

If keeping things secret is the name of the game, this extension will help you keep things private. Other features include:

  • Disable the cache. (Both regular and SSL)
  • Set the cookies to live until the end of the session.
  • Clean up the history from item that were added after it was activated.
  • Clean up the downloaded items, from the download manager, that were added after it was activated.

Unhide Your Menu Bar

Some Web sites out there have the bad habit of hiding your menubar when you click on a link. It might be because it is an image popping up or maybe they are trying to disable your ability to copy what is there. Well, to get around this little problem all you need is one extension. The Unhide Menubar extension adds a right-click menu entry for un-hiding the menu and toolbars in windows where they have been hidden by javascript.

+ Download and Install the Unhide Menubar Extension!

Hide Bar

If you are one of those people who has the bad habit of installing every extension I mention, you might run into a few screen real estate problems. The basic rule you have to remember is you should at least be able to see the Web page you are at. Toolbars and addons via the toolbars shouldn’t get in your way, they should help you. To clean up the mess – download the Hide Bar extension.

+ Learn More About Hide Bar!