Tag Archives | interface

Hide and Recover the Firefox Menu Bar

Firefox Menu Bar

This is a handy browsing trick I just learned about recently.  Usually in my Firefox browser, I have the menu bar hidden, to save on screen real estate.  However, there comes a time (every so often) when I need to get it back.  Rather than un-hiding it, getting what I need, then hiding it again – I have found a much quicker way to bring the menu bar back for just a minute.

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Put the Progress Bar in your Tabs, Today!

Tab Progress Bar

One of the most celebrated new features of Firefox 3.7 is the feature that will bring the progress bar out of the status bar and onto your current tab.  Did you know though that there is an add-on for Firefox that will let you add this functionality now? 

The Tab Progress Bar add-on for Firefox is the add-on you need.  Having the process bar on top of the tab really makes more sense, as far as functionality goes because you’ll have your eyes closer to the top of the browser (most of the time) than the bottom.  Now I won’t go into detail about how this will save your eyeballs stress, due to the fact that they don’t have to bounce up and down from the top of the page to the status bar bellow, but you get the general idea.

Also worth mentioning is that this add-on will not work with the Tab Mix Plus add-on.  So for the time being, you’ll need to pick to use one or the other.  You can pick up the Tab Progress bar add-on for Firefox at the Firefox Add-ons web site

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.

Show the Status Bar in Full Screen Mode

See the Status Bar in Full Screen Firefox

Ever needed to see your Firefox status bar when browsing in full screen mode (you can get into full screen mode by hitting the F11 key on your keyboard).  If you answered, “Yes, tell me more!” do I ever have that add-on of your dreams.

Simply called Full Screen Status Bar, this add-on for Firefox shows the status bar in full screen mode.  It is a very simple tweak that should make many full screen web browser users very happy.

Pick it up for yourself, and give it a shot at the Mozilla add-ons web site.

Add a Recently Closed Tab Button to Firefox

Recently Closed Tab ButtonSure, keyboard shortcuts are handy to have – but sometimes a button is even better.  The Closed Tabs Button add-on for Firefox will give you an easy one button access to all of your recently closed tabs.  If you are tired of going to History > Recently Closed Tabs just to undo a closed tab, then this extension is for you!

Not only does this add-on give you a fancy new button, it also gives you a new keyboard shortcut to access the most recently closed tab (CTRL+SHIFT+Z). 

After installing the extension, to add it to your own browser interface you must add the button by going to View > Toolbars > Customize, then drag and drop the button anywhere on the toolbar.

The Closed Tab Button add-on for Firefox might be a little on the simple side, however when there is just a little problem to be fixed – nice to see an extension that gets the job done right without too much bloat.

Force Firefox Menus to Stay Open

Stay-Open Menu is an add-on for Firefox that will keep menu items open, even if you click elsewhere.  It is a pet peeve for some, to have to do all this re-clicking if you need to access more than one thing from the menu.  This extension enables multiple selections from bookmarks menu, history Menu, or address bar dropdown list, without reopening menu or using sidebar.

Stay-Open Menu Add-on for Firefox

When you middle-click a bookmarked item in the bookmarks (or in the history) you will open that web page up in a new tab, and the menu stays open, so you can do more clicking inside of it.  You can then click all the links you need to click and open up.  Once you are finished, hit the Esc button to close the menus (or you can click somewhere outside the menu, as well).  Here is one more handy tip from the developers:

Toggle the about:config value of extensions.stayopenmenu.useCtrlMeta from false to true to enable usage with Ctrl-click. See the homepage for more detailed instructions on how to turn on the Ctrl-click option, and further information about using with the Smart Location Bar.

For more help and support for the Stay-Open Menu extension, be sure to check out this thread:

You can pick up the add-on via Firefox’s Add-on site or learn more about it via the official web site.  It might not be an add-on for all, but if this is a pet peeve of yours, you now have a solution.

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.

Combine Stop and Reload in Firefox

10_after Tired of having the stop button taking up too much room in Firefox?  Well, you could remove it from the interface all together or hide it, until you need it.  The Smart Stop/Reload extension for Firefox will combine your stop and reload buttons into one.

This is to save you toolbar space, plain and simple.  To avoid unintended reloads, the button is disabled for a split second when a page has finished loading.

For those of you who might have the Stylish extension installed, you have a few more options when it comes to combining the stop and reload buttons.  Pick up the Stylish add-on then try these user styles out:

I like anything that helps me remove the browser clutter, so take your pick out of these suggestions – and if you have anymore, feel free to leave a comment and suggest!