One of the reasons I still use Firefox as my primary browser is because of the reconfigurability of it. Intrigued by articles about Firefox on widescreen displays I read years ago, one from lifehacker.com and another here I implemented their recommendations. Today you’ll find some of their tips out of date but the concept remains sound. Here’s what I’ve done since then.
Wide screen usage with Firefox is superb. With it I can reduce the horizontal and vertical space taken up by tabs and menu bars. Thus I maximize the space for what I want – the content. I also make extensive use of keyboard shortcuts, so extra menus and bars aren’t needed. I also don’t want extra windows popping up or blank pages when downloading attachments.
Here’s the recipe so you can make use of it this way, too. Many of these tips work on Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX. Windows has the full widescreen experience. I’ve used variations on this for the last two or three years. I’m running Firefox 15 at the time of writing.
Widescreen Firefox Recipe
First, install the latest Firefox. I make it my primary browser everywhere except on my work laptop where “the job” requires IE.
Next, install the following add-ons:
Turn on “Mini Mode” to replace the Downloads pop-up window. I move the icon into Nav Bar toolbar at the top of the Firefox window.
This Windows-only add-on (at the time of writing) moves the main Nav Bar to the window’s title bar. There are a few settings one can configure but I keep it to the default.
Stylish allows for script installs, scripts that alter web pages’ appearance as well as configuration elements to change the overall appearance of the Firefox interface. The one I use for maximizing Firefox is “Hide Forward/Back Buttons When not Needed“.
One other one I like is “Google Reader Readable” as I’m a heavy Reader user. It’s not required.
Head to UserStyles.org to see a huge collection of scripts you may find useful.
This extension possesses configuration options about tabs, sessions, and a multitude of tweaks. Spelling them out or even attaching screen shots of every possible tab would push this post even longer than it already is.
Instead, my config is here: TMPpref. You can import it into your TMP. Adjust for your own tastes.
UPDATE: Windows has the orange Firefox button. Ubuntu Unity embeds the menu in the top menu bar. Mac OS X does something similar. In all other cases or if you disable those you want Tiny Menu. With it and some toolbar customization you can minimize the vertical space you’d otherwise waste, putting the navigation and tool bars onto one while keeping the horizontal usage in check.
This moves the tab bar from along the top horizontally to along the side vertically. You can drag the tab bar to the left which is where I prefer it. You can also resize the width, which I do. I make it wide enough to see the tab icon.
Move icons around so the few add-ons you need and some informational icons are on the one title/nav bar. Some might be on the status bar at screen bottom.
Close the status bar when you’re done.
Here’s the final look. Note I have other add-ons installed.
If you’re able to make use of this and it works for you, please leave a comment below. I’d also love to hear about other tips and tricks to maximize browser space.