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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!

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.

Make Menus Stay Open!

It can become a nuisance when you want to click on multiple items in a menu inside of Firefox and right before you get to click that second or third link, the menu disappears and you have to go hunt it down again. If you want to make your menus stay open then you need to pick up the Stay-Open Menu add-on for Firefox.

stay-open-menus

With this addon you can lock your menus in place so you can go in and select multiple items before you are ready to close. Here are a few additional notes from the developer:

  • Middle-clicking each Bookmarked item in the Bookmarks Menu will open it in a tab, while leaving the menu open for further selections. (Left-click the desired menu to open it, find the items you wish to open, then middle-click each desired item to open it in a tab.) When you are done making selections, click somewhere outside the menu (or press ESC) to close the menu.
  • Also works in the same way with the Bookmarks Toolbar. This applies to the new ‘Smart Bookmarks’ as well, since by default it is a folder residing in the Bookmarks Toolbar.
  • Same functionality in History Menu (added in version 0.5).
  • The Bookmarks Sidebar stays open by default even without this extension, but I prefer the Bookmarks Menu because I like the way the folders automatically open when hovered.

You can pickup Stay-Open menu on the developer’s web site or if you have a login to Mozilla’s Add-on site you can pick it up there too.

Mini Map for the Firefox Sidebar

A Mini Map in Your Sidebar!Who doesn’t want to have a map in their Firefox sidebar?

Ok, sure maybe I had never thought about doing that either, but for the mobile person I could see where this might be handy. While checking up on the latest CyberNet News I found this neat extension – Mini Map Sidebar.

Here is a little more about the extension from the developers.

This extension comes with two mapping components, the main and most powerful one being a minimap sidebar. In this sidebar you can drag and drop addresses or locations you find on web pages and they will be automatically located, and added to your saved address list. The sidebar is launched from the toolbar icon (customize toolbar and drag in), a statusbar icon and the view sidebar menu.

It is a map, it lives in the sidebar… what else is there to say?

Get a Menu Option for Tabs

Tabs MenuWant to navigate your tabs via a menu selection in the top menu bar in Firefox?

Usually folks are trying to figure out ways to make their menu bar shorter and not longer. I guess in this circumstance though adding the option to your toolbar might be increasing Firefox’s usability to some. The extention to help you get this job done is called Tabs Menu.

Adds a Tabs menu to the main menu that lets you easily change between tabs. Adds a Tabs menu to the main menu bar that lists all tabs in the current window. You can see the full titles for each tab and you can see more tabs in this vertical menu than in the standard horizontal tab bar.

Tabs Menu might not an extension on everybody’s top ten list – but I think it is well worth checking out.

More Tools Menu

Feel like your tools menu is running out of space after that 30th extension you installed the other day? There is no doubt that your Tools menu in Firefox can get a little crazy if your not careful. The More Tools Menu hopes to solve that little issue though.

It’s rather common for Firefox extensions to want to let the user trigger an action. The way to do that is the menu bar. With the default menus in the menu bar, the tools menu is usually the only choice that makes any sense, so most all the extensions seem to stuff their commands inside the tools menu. Pretty quick, with the default and all the additional items, that menu is way too big to deal with.

This simple extension just takes all “new” tools menu items, and moves them into a new “More Tools” menu.

If your tools menu is getting a little hard to use, try picking up this extension – it really works!

More Tools Menu

+ Download and Install the More Tools Menu Extension for Firefox!

Change Tabs With Number Keys

Now we all knew that you can open a new tab by hitting the Ctrl key plus “T”, but did you know you can change the tab you are looking at by hitting the Ctrl key plus one of the number keys?

For an example, lets say you have four tabs open. If you click Ctrl and “1” you will go to the first tab. If you hit Ctrl and “2” you will go to the second tab. As you can guess – this goes on and on till you go all the way to 9.

Now switching tabs back and forth is what I do a lot during the day in my day job (working sales support). Hopefully this newly found tip will be helpful for you as well.

Back to Top

I know some people hate it, I try not to worry myself personally over it – but it is something we all have to deal with on a day to day basis. Scrolling up and down can be a workload that our index finger just does not need. Think if your index finger could talk, what would it say?

It would probably tell you to download the Back to Top extension for Firefox!

Back to Top helps navigate long pages. Go to the top or bottom of a page with a single click. Using right clicks and control clicks you can scroll a page or line at a time. Version 4.0 allows you to map the clicks any way you like. With drag and drop, the statusbar icons can be ergonomically arranged.

+ Download and Install the Back to Top Extension for Firefox!

Yuku Firefox Tool

The Yuku service is pitching itself has being message boards for the Web 2.0 world. Do they live up to that hype? Not really sure. They seem popular, but that is not the business I am in. They do have a mighty nice Firefox extension though.

The Yuku Firefox Extension is an add-on that alerts Firefox users with the latest updates on their Yuku profiles! Get notified when you receive a New Message, a New Comment and when you recieve a New Friend Request!

This extension also claims to make it easy to switch between profiles and navigate the Yuku Web site with quick navigation links. Sounds good to me, what do you think?

+ Download and Install the Yuku Extension for Firefox!

Tab Effect

I always like trying things out that promise to change the way I browse, but for some reason or another I could not get Tab Effect to get up and running via my Firefox installation. It looks like the folks over at CyberNet did though.

If you are just the slightest bit familiar with Linux then I am sure that you have heard of XGL. It is what adds all of the realistic 3D effects to the windows that you drag around and the virtual desktops that you switch between. Of course, one of the most popular features is probably the 3D cube for switching between your virtual desktops.

Looks like some kinks may still need to be worked out, but this would be a neat feature to see in a future version of Firefox. Not sure if it helps with productivity, but a little eye candy never hurt anybody.

+ Download and Install the Tab Effect Extension for Firefox!