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How To Customize The Firefox Layout

We have shown you recently how to make better use of Firefox [1]’s fullscreen mode with the minimode extension which allowed you to select the toolbars that should stay on the screen during fullscreen mode. Minimode [2] still had to be activated with a keyboard shortcut which can become a nuisance if you have to switch between fullscreen and normal mode regularly during browsing sessions.

This article therefore details how to customize Firefox in normal mode to save some screen estate for the web contents which is especially useful for users with small computer screens.

We start with a quick Firefox interface tour. The Firefox web browser by default displays six bars plus the actual website. Those are from top to bottom the title bar, menu bar, address bar, bookmarks bar, tabs and the status bar.


The Firefox web browser offers some customizations out of the box. It is for instance possible to hide some of the toolbars automatically. This can be configured in the View menu of the web browser. You can hide the menu bar, navigation bar and bookmarks bar here. Those toolbars are most of the time needed. A better solution would be to combine them into one or two bars to have all the functionality in reach.

A right-click on free space in one of the toolbars and the selection of Customize provides us with that option. This opens a new window called customize toolbar which contains some elements that can be placed in the toolbars. Even better however is the fact that some toolbars can be moved into other toolbars. It is for instance possible to move the Bookmarks toolbar into the address bar to combine those two. The bookmarks toolbar can then be hidden from the standard view in the View menu as it is no longer needed.

It is theoretically possible to join the menu bar, navigation bar and bookmarks bar into one bar so that two bars can be hidden in the browser which frees valuable screen estate.

To do that a small add-on called Tiny Menu [3] is required to compress the menu into one link in the menu bar. This is necessary to have enough room for the navigational elements and bookmarks.

Install Tiny Menu and restart Firefox. You will notice that the menu bar will display on a Menu link and nothing else. The rest of the screen estate can now be filled with elements from the navigational and bookmarks bar.

Most users will probably move the address bar, bookmarks and some navigational elements like stop or reload in that new bar. The new Firefox interface can then look like this:

As you can see the menu bar, address bar and bookmarks bar are all displayed on the same toolbar.

Further Firefox optimizations:

Some users might not need the Firefox status bar or title bar. We like the status bar because it displays the destination of links when hovering the mouse over them. Many Firefox do add icons to the status bar as well which are obviously only useful if the bar is displayed. Users can hide the status bar from the View menu in the Firefox browser as well.

Advanced users can also edit the userChrome.css [7] file to change the fonts and other display settings of the toolbars in Firefox to gain even more screen estate in the web browser. How do you like your Firefox? Do you keep the toolbars separated? Do you hide any? Let us know in the comments.

Continua a leggere – Original Link: How To Customize The Firefox Layout [8]

Technorati Tags: browsing [9], firefox [10], firefox custom menu [11], Google Chrome [12], hide titlebar [13], Linux [14], menu [15], Microsoft [16], operating systems [17]