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User:Dmcritchie

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David McRitchie, my main Firefox web page begins with

notes on extensions that I use -- http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/firefox/firefox.htm#ext_table


Another way of viewing my website is through

A few of my additional pages include: Toolbars & Context menus, Bookmarklets, Bookmarks, Keyboard shortcuts, Keyword shortcuts, and Tabbed browsing (includes target/link/cursor tests).

There are two companion pages to Tabbed browsing


My System: eMachines E627 (laptop). Running (pre installed) Windows-7 Home Premium (64bit), single core(AMD Athlon 64 TF-20), 1.6GHz, 512KB L2 cache, 15.6" HD LCD, ATI Radeon HD3200 Graphics up to 896 MB HyperMemory, 2GB Memory, 160GB HDD. Seen as Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.2   More information on my Windows 7 installation. (also see my Infolister listings for more about my machine).

You can see what Firefox extensions, I am actually using. All listings are current from last start of Firefox and delayed as to when web pages actually get updated.

Contents

MozillaZine articles of particular interest to me

Additional Firefox pages on my website:

Some Styles that I have rewritten from my userChrome code for use in Stylish

Stylish extension has overcome its usability issues once back to a standalone dialog apart from add-ons list. Use of Stylish-Custom no longer needed to overcome the ergonomically inferior user interface introduced with Stylish version 1.0. Will need Stylish - Manage Window beautified (Style 17571) though.

Advantage of styles over userChrome.css is you can instantly modify and see results, disadvantage won't work if extensions are disabled.

Most of the styles that I wrote have to do with overcoming bad user interface with Firefox that wastes valuable screen space. They may overlap a bit on toolbars but they work well enough for me so I don't have to put up with purposely wasteful toolbars as distributed.

Some Substitute Pastel Colors for gray dialogs (#F0F0F0) and toolbar backgrounds
#FEF5A8 #FFFF80 #F3E078
#DCFFDC #FFD8A0 #F3E0FF
#C5F19A #FFFFCC #F79494
#F5DDB7 #FBF4D4 #FFEEC2
#D3D7CF #EFA521 #CCCCFF
More colors: [1] [2]
See a full screen example showing multiple Firefox versions with coloring to help identify profiles.
Even though some parts of screens are hidden in pictures, basically Menu bar, status bar and dialog boxes show added color, but directions are include to color what you want of menu/search bar, Navigation/Location bar, Bookmarks bar, and Tabs bar.
Imperative changes to counteract AERO glass effects of Firefox 4 on Windows 7 are in the notes, not perfect but at least makes things readable.

These are some additional styles by others that I may use

Firefox 4 - Compact Addons Manager (style 42112) not using

Not working since Firefox 4.0 Betas are styles involving toolbar heights, icon heights. There small icons are not 16x16 so the toolbars are really large, about double height.

For more information install the "Stylish extension and see

Pet Peeve for Styles: No way to reduce height of title bar, which is controlled by Operating System though some extensions can change the wording of the Title Bar.

Multiple Profiles

Extensions

See a list of extensions on my home page where I have briefly documented summaries for extensions that I use (or have used), I currently use about 86 extensions that are shown on my InfoLister listing, which has dropped somewhat due to problems with new versions of Firefox, and perhaps a couple that may have been incorporated into Firefox.

Additional Description/Documentation

More information on Extensions than could be included in brief summaries on my home page

Facilities that should be built-in to Firefox as seen in these Extensions

Extensions that should be built-in to Firefox (with all of an extensions features included), see my home page for brief descriptions and links.

For a better list of extensions than shown below for most users see my Firefox 3 Introduction (Presentation Outline)

  • Add Bookmark Here ², customization of the Add Bookmark (Ctrl+D) and Star dialog, Including keyword and Description, bookmarking/opening groups of bookmarks.
  • Addon Compatibility Reporter, but only for those testing beta versions, such as Minefield, and prerelease versions. My 3.6 Infolister listing can be used for links to Compatibility Reporter information (Infolister does not work yet in 4.0), or possibly use a bookmarklet with about:support.
  • Auto Hide, Hide/See the toolbars of your choice in Full Screen (F11/context) [Options] [Context]
  • (not using) CheckPlaces (experimental), basic checking of your bookmark URIs, with optional checks that the pages still exist (such use is not recommended, could take hours and is abusive to servers), checks for duplicate bookmarks, and for empty folders. Provides bookmark counts. Any check of a bookmark being valid wants an immediate answer keep/delete, you should always keep so it is usually a pointless test -- Use a keyword shortcut such as "archive:" or "a:" to research failed bookmarks when encountered in normal use.
  • Close Tab by Double-click, double-click on tab to close (now works with Multiple Tab Handler), unfortunately no longer closes the last tab, use Ctrl+W to close last tab, also see Firefox Customizations (Notes) - #closetab
  • Copy all URLs (disabled), too unwieldly for Edit menu, see and use Multiple Tab Handler instead
  • Custom Toolbar Buttons Maker for buttons "Page Colours", "Page Fonts", "Toggle Styles"
  • Duplicate Tab, Duplicate a tab to a new tab (Ctrl+Shift+U) or to a new window (Ctrl+Shift+N), and it allows you to merge different windows (Ctrl+Shift+M) in one window. [Tab Context] -- See and use "Multiple Tab Handler" instead.
  • Element Properties, restores the Properties dialog. The context-menu' item removed in bug #513147. (properties of a link (size/date), or an image
  • Go Parent Folder, takes you to parent folder of bookmark. Adds "Go Parent Folder" menu to context menu in The Library list view and Search result in Bookmarks Sidebar.
  • Headings Map (instead of Document Map), Displays the current page's H1-Hn heading structure (indented by heading level) in the sidebar (Alt+O)
  • How Many Times Can I Back? :: Add-ons for Firefox (13.3KB), Count of items available using BACK/FORWARD buttons image:BackForwardCounts.png and/or page number within total pages shown for each tab image:WithinTabCount.png.
  • Image Zoom, zoom individual image, compatible with Mouse Zoom (or when zooming only text to prevent miswrapping of lines)
  • Keyconfig (keyboard shortcuts) ++, view/change any existing keyboard shortcut to another shortcut, or remove a shortcut Fx3 Problems solved ++
  • KeywordManager (disabled), keyword shortcuts list and manager from button on "Organize Bookmarks"
  • Location Bar Limit, increase number of hits in AwesomeBar results (display 30, results available 80)
  • Menu Editor, Hide/unhide/rearrange menu items and separators
  • Mouse Zoom, Zooming of page with mouse controls (some of this has been built-in to Fx3)
  • Multiple Tab Handler (MTH), Close/Move/Duplicate/bookmark selected tabs, or add URIs/titles of selected/active/all tabs to the clipboard [tab context menu]. For options see my text notes. (replaces much of Copy All Urls)
  • oldbar, fixes AwesomeBar list to one line per entry, also install Location Bar Limit
  • OpenBook extension, use Add Bookmark Here ² instead.
  • Open Profile Folder, Opens current profile folder in Windows File Manager
  • (NOT for Fx4) PermaTabs Mod, PermaTabs can't be closed accidentally no matter what you click [Experimental]
  • Read Easily, Adds a toolbar button (toggles) to make hard to read sites readable by removing gaudy CSS usage
  • Restartless Restart, closes Firefox and restarts seamlessly (replaces Quick Restart used in Fx3)
  • Show Parent Folder, show containing bookmark directory folder (makes parent folder column available in view menu of Library List).
  • SortPlaces (withdrawn by author) Sorts your bookmarks in a variety of ways, options: recursive, resort, bookmark toolbar. Option to leave the Personal Toolbar or any folders untouched. As with the built-in sort, you may use bookmark separators to maintain sorted groups within a folder. See Sorting and rearranging bookmarks - Firefox - MozillaZine Knowledge Base
  • Sort Tabs, if you use Multiple Tab Handler for documentation sorting tabs can be very useful for HTML lists or emailing current tabs.
  • Split Browser (disabled), Splits the content area of the browser window Top|Bottom |Left|Right by dragging a link to the edge of any frame or via context menu.
  • Work Offline, Adds an icon to indicate and switch online/offline mode on the status bar.

In addition would highly recommend these extensions for almost General Usage

  • Add to Search Bar, Extension provides the ability to effortlessly add your own search engines from any search form you find. Make any pages' search functionality available in the Search Bar (or “search box”). Just make a right click in a search field and choose "Add to Search Bar...". (Fx3 has "Add Keyword for this Search..." built-in)
  • Copy URL plus ++, Copy to clipboard a single link via context menu as a formatted link the document’s URL along with the title or the selection. Highly customizable. (single url from page or link). To obtain a working copy of extension refer to Firefox Customizations (Notes) - #copyurlplus, unfortunately missing in action extension writers cannot be bothered with updating version number, major weak point in Firefox extensions, changes work through at least Firefox 26. Multiple Tab Handler can be similar but CopyURL Plus only works for a single tab but can include selection areas in a pattern. (Firefox combines multiple selection areas of text into one selection in clipboard).
  • Grab & Drag, when can't scroll otherwise due to scrolling problems
  • InfoLister, customizable list of installed extensions, themes and plug-ins, installs a more readable than builtin addons/extensions, and about:support ("Troubleshooting Information...") // Infolister is Not working in Firefox 4.0b2pre //
  • Launchy, Enable opening links and mailto's with external applications.
  • Linky, Open all or selected links or text links into multiple tabs (|windows); or all images or image links as images into one|multiple tabs(|windows).
  • Optimize Google, Enhance Google search results and remove ads and spam, has a nice streaming option as well so you can continuously scroll down (replaces Customize Google), but have had to disable for now.
  • Page Diff, a simple page differences application, compares of two HTML files initiated by "Start Diff" and compared with "Show Diff" from context menu of their web pages.
  • Resurrect Pages, find previous content of page. Extension is easier than using several bookmarklets, Google cache, or archive.org used most
  • Stylish, Customize the look of websites and the user interface. Mostly snips that could be used in userChrome.css, but can be toggled on/off instantly.
  • Tab Counter, counts the number of open tabs, a must have when working with tabs.
  • Table Tools, Sort, filter or copy any table (Ctrl+Alt+click sorts, Ctrl+Shift+click shows filter, Ctrl+z+click allows copying in various formats. The 4.0 Beta about:support list is unordered and be helped here as well.
  • Web Developer, Adds a menu (and a toolbar) with various web development tools. Mostly an arrangement of bookmarklets type material, it is a big extension and since I have hundreds of keyword shortcuts, I don't need it and it does interfere with other extensions having keyboard shortcuts available.

++ See my main page for links to extensions, working versions are not always available at add-ons, and I have customization and usage notes there for the extensions that I use and is why the above are not links look for them there.

Decrapify Firefox 4.0 beta versions

Looks like the status bar did get almost restored, only difference is it is a toolbar ("Addons Bar") and there is a blank/open/reserved space for graph of download completion progress that in version 3 was there but space was shared with status messages. Message space is not within the new addons bar but placed half off..

  • Bring back Menu Bar and Title bar, Alt+V → Toolbars → checkmark both "Menu Bar" and "Add-ons Bar", move the search bar up to the menu bar with customize.
  • Bring back function of the Status bar, install Status-4-evar (my link/directions) which is still needed despite a last minute attempt to fix appearance by Mozilla but maintain the confusion. The only good thing out of that is a keyboard shortcut ("Ctrl+/") to toggle addons bar on/off (does not work in Full Screen (F11) mode, and is the only toolbar to get such a toggle. The only other toolbar I really need all the time is the Tabs Bar handled by a Style, but it doesn't toggle.
  • Restyle toolbars to save space, the main problem is the two styles for tabs bar are not working properly in 4.0 so will be twice as tall as it was in 3.6.13 and without color underscoring but still better for me than 4.0 native though. Install styles seen above, particularly for toolbars.
  • Trying to use Windows 7 Aero effects in Firefox, many Firefox users use Firefox to get away from such nonsense, and leads to ....
  • making things work differently in Windows 7
  • For more information on fixing the things that are bent out of shape 4.0 and were better in previous versions see Fx4: Firefox 4.0 Problems/Solutions and Orientation (#fx4)

Surprises for those who were far behind in Version 3 updates

Some people had old computers and are coming across version 3 features for first time.

Problems and Pet Peeves

  • Solutions to problems created by Firefox 3.6 that affected me can be found in Firefox Customizations (Notes) under topic #fx3p6 and for 4.0 under topic #fx4
     
  • Favicons & Toolbar buttons are 16x16 but developers are changing to 18x18 and 24x24, a slight change from 16x16 can double the space consumed by toolbars combine with bad spacing.
  • Addons_2007 New Format major problems (Bug: 372841), some improvement in that it more conspicuous than the originally dumped search, but I personally prefer and rely on well understood Google (site:) search.
  • Profile location problems finally simplified. In Firefox 3.6 you can now open your profile folder from a link in your Firefox HELP → Troubleshooting Information... → "Open Containing Folder", or from "about:support".
  • Selecting profile to be used, doesn't tell you which Firefox version and in which folder is asking you to choose a profile, also want to know what application asked to start Firefox.  Selecting a wrong profile with an unknown Firefox version can cause serious damage to a profile. For Windows users, using multiple profiles suggest having a decent launchy.xml and a properly set up quick launch
  • Bloated extensions or extensions where a simple user configuration change would have sufficed Options (Tools menu), about:config, userContent.css, userContent.css, user.js) Most of my userChrome.css changes have been converted into styles (see earlier topic).
  • Big Toolbar or Status bar icons, McAfee SiteAdvisor uses about 10% of status bar instead of 16x16 pixels, Launchy toolbar icon has a useless drop down arrow making icon too high for toolbar. (For Launchy can remove the useless dropdown arrow with Launchy button remove space wasting drop-down, and can squeeze buttons such as the McAfee SiteAdvisor button down to unreadable compact button with a user style StatusBar Minimal Height (style 13211). (Warning: SiteAdvisor is not currently working properly with Firefox)
  • Changing color of BACK and FORWARD buttons from Green to Blue, with difficult visual effects. Have minimized problem by severely downsizing the combined back/forward button with either Navigation/Location Bar Minimal Height (style 9349) or Navigation/Location Bar Presentation Height (style 10881), styles.
  • Inability to lock a Tab (Bug: 392313) without an extension such as "PermaTabs Mod" or with the very questionable "TMP" (bloated, poor - reversed naming usage). Strange to have an outright rejection as Opera has some of what is wanted. Very difficult to work with validating a lot of links when invoking a link can hide the page you are working on then get it refreshed, so you have to start all over again.  You can use a bookmarklet so that any link on page will open in a New Tab ("NT:) or in the Same Tab ("ST:"). "Perma Tabs Mod" working in 3.6.& but not yet in 4.0.
  • Again Firefox is trying to change the order of tabs on the tabs bar, rather than letting them get created in order at the far right. [4]. Tab order was changed in 3.6.4 see link at left to fix.
  • I do not like the Firefox 4.0 (formerly referred to 3.7) mock-ups for Toolbars that will apply only to Windows Vista and Windows 7 at first, I very much dislike Window Aero effects and do everything I can to eliminate them, yet Firefox foists them on me anyway along with massive toolbars with less information on them. See my pages for Windows 7 including turn off transparency I also have pages on Vista.
  • Camouflaged ugly Aero effects on Alert, Confirm, and Prompt boxes that no longer stand alone but have salon door hanger effects are hard to work with, and show less text in inappropriately sized boxes with huge symbols -- it is the wording that is important not a quadruple size yellow triangle.
  • Had to redo WIP almost completed 15 hours ago due to about:addons being in tab instead of separate dialog -- double toil -- double trouble, much harder to work with.