Posts Tagged ‘firefox’

Thinning down FireFox 4's Tab Bar

Posted in Blog on January 19th, 2011 by Matt – 2 Comments

FireFox4 Beta 9 is out and they've made great improvements toward efficient vertical space use. Now when you maximize the main window the tabs move into the title bar! Here's how to set the tabs to always be in the Title Bar of the window even when not maximized.


Setting FF4's Tabs to Always be in the Title Bar


We need to add a couple of lines to your userChrome.css file. The userChrome.css file is located in the following locations:

XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profile>\chrome\
Vista\7: C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profile>\chrome\

Open that file in Notepad or another text editor and add the following lines to it:

@namespace url("");

#main-window[sizemode=normal][tabsontop="true"] #toolbar-menubar[autohide="true"] {
#main-window[sizemode=normal] #navigator-toolbox[tabsontop="true"] > #toolbar-menubar[autohide="true"] ~ #TabsToolbar {
padding-left: 8px !important;
padding-right: 8px !important;
height: 22px !important;

You'll also need to set FireFox to always display the tab bar (Options > Tabs > Always show the tab bar) so as not to cause issues when only a single tab is open.

Most credit for this version goes to sdrocking with this post as

Re-enable URL AutoFill on FireFox 4

Posted in Blog, Tech on September 23rd, 2010 by Matt – Be the first to comment

The default behavior in Safari has always been that, while typing a URL, enter selects the most likely recommendation. Its super efficient. Why it's not the default of all browsers, I'll never know. FireFox before version 4 had the ability to auto-complete address bar suggestions. In about:config the option was called browser.urlbar.autoFill. With Version 4, that option no longer functions. As usual an extension has come to the rescue!

The "Enter Selects" FireFox Add-On

The enter selects add-on doesn't truly auto-fill the remainder of the the URL bar. Instead it simply selects the first suggested awesomebar result for whatever you've typed. The end result is the same. A quick "g, enter" gets me to Google, "l, enter" gets me to lifehacker, "j, enter" gets me to Jalopnik. I know I could have set up some tags on my bookmark entries, but this is a much more effective method that changes over time as the sites I visit change.

Another entry goes on my FireFox must have extension list.

Thinning Down FireFox 4's Tab Bar - Update!

Posted in Blog, Tech, Tutorial on September 16th, 2010 by Matt – 11 Comments

This post is now outdated, please see the update available here:

My previous post about modifying FireFox 4's tab bar layout has been one of the more popular posts on my blog. After updating to FF4 Beta 6 the modification broke, but I've found a solution:

#navigator-toolbox[tabsontop="true"] #TabsToolbar{
padding-left: 80px !important;
padding-right: 102px !important;
padding-top: 2px !important;
margin-top: -25px !important;

padding: 3px 5px 3px 5px !important;
height: 20px !important;

As you can see, the only change is we tell the tab bar to move up 25 pixels from where it was. We also ditch the tab position as fixed as it's not really necessary.

FireFox 4 with a better tab layout

This gets us back to our old style. I haven't had time to test all the edge cases to see if it messes anything up, but it should get your normal browsing bar back to an acceptable size.

Thinning Down FireFox 4's Tab Bar

Posted in Blog, Tech, Tutorial on July 7th, 2010 by Matt – 64 Comments

This post is now outdated, please see the update here:

If you've read my rant on window layout in a widescreen world you'd know that I dislike wasted vertical space in my window layouts.

FireFox 4 beta has just been released and they haven't solved my pet issue... that silly title bar. Just look at the wasted screen real estate:

FireFox 4's Tab Layout

However, thanks to FireFox's flexibility, the addition of a few lines to one file can solve the problem! Simply adding the following below the @namespace line:

position: fixed !important;

#navigator-toolbox[tabsontop="true"] #TabsToolbar{
padding-left: 80px !important;
padding-right: 102px !important;
padding-top: 2px !important;

padding: 3px 5px 3px 5px !important;
height: 20px !important;

To your userChrome.css file, and you now get this wonderful layout:

FireFox 4 with a better tab layout


The userChrome.css file is located in the following locations:

XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profile>\chrome\
Vista\7: C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profile>\chrome\

A note: This "fix" will look bad if you have FireFox set to not display that tab bar when you only have a single tab open. Just set FF to always show that tab bar to resolve the issue (FireFox Button > Options > Tabs > Always display tab bar).

EDIT: I changed a line in the navigation toolbox from margin-right to padding right. Using padding right gives a better look.

Chrome Extensions, Enough to Replace FireFox?

Posted in Blog, Tech on May 10th, 2010 by Matt – 7 Comments

When FireFox was released most users adopted it for the speed and standards support. But with Opera and Chrome now running circles around it in speed and standards, why is FireFox's user base still growing?

Extensions, extensions, extensions. While FireFox still holds the lead in sheer volume and variety of extensions, Chrome has caught up enough for me to make it my primary browser.

Lets take a look at the some of the most popular FireFox Extensions, a few extensions I can't live without, their Chrome alternatives and the pros and cons of each.

AdBlock: Unquestionably the most "must have" add-on for any browser. Surfing the web just isn't the same without it.

Chrome Alternative: AdBlock
While the Chrome version of Adblock renders up ad-less pages, it's still downloading those ads in the background. If you're running ad-block to reduce your bandwidth usage, the Chrome version of Ad-Block may not cut it for you.

NoScript: Extra security and speed while browsing by blocking JavaScript, Java and other executable content. Stops most of the webs worst browser attacks cold in their tracks.

Chrome Alternative: None
While there are built-in options to only allow javascript only on sites you specifically allow, at this time the necessary functions to enable this sort of blocking aren't available in Chrome. But don't despair, according to the NoScript developers these functions will show up eventually.

FireBug: Web development tools integrated right into FireFox. Shows download times, HTML, CSS, scripts and live edit any of them.

Chrome Alternative: None Needed (for small values of none)
Chrome includes a dev console that mimics 90% of the functionality of FireBug. To access the developer console at any time in Chrome press Control (Command on Mac) + Shift + J.

GreaseMonkey: Modify any website to look better or perform better. Add functions that were not previously available.

Chrome Alternative: None needed! Most GreaseMonkey scripts will install themselves directly as extensions in Chrome. Not 100% compatible, you'll just have to test to see which extensions work.

FireGestures: Mouse gestures for FF. Switch to a new tab, open a tab, close a tab or create your own commands. Opera has this functionality built-in.

Chrome Alternative: Smooth Gestures
Exactly the same functionality, exactly the same performance.

Unlinker: Take a list of unlinked or linked image URLs and in one click have those images load on the page.

Chrome Alternative: SB Unlinker
Same functionality. Only down-side is instead of the unlinking function residing in the right-click menu like FF, it resides in a button in the navigation bar. Functionally its perfect.

Download Statusbar: Skip FireFox's native download window and use this much more streamlined and still functional add-on.

Chrome Alternative: None needed!
It's almost as if Chrome stole the idea from Download Statusbar. As they say; Imitation is sincerest form of flattery.

Smooth Scrolling: FireFox has this built-in, but for some reason the Chrome developers didn't feel the need for it. I'm such a stickler for smooth scrolling that this one lack of feature prevented me from using Chrome at all for quite a while.

Chrome Alternative: SmoothScroll
It does exactly what it says, and because of its customization is better than FireFox's scrolling.

A few of the extensions available for both FireFox and Chrome:

Xmarks: Bookmarks and Password Syncing. Password syncing not supported on Chrome currently.

Cooliris: Transforms your browser into a full-screen 3D Wall for searching, viewing and sharing the Web.

Stylish: Lets you easily install themes and skins for Google, Facebook, YouTube, Orkut, and other sites.

Web Developer: Adds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools.

With these extensions Chrome has all of the flexibility plus an extra dose of speed versus FireFox. I've taken the plunge and am now using Chrome as my primary browser. The next version of FireFox is aiming to take back the speed crown by incorporating a lot of the features that makes Chrome so great, running tabs and plugins as independent processes being one of those.