Browser Firefox

Firefox Tips and Tricks

Download Mozilla Firefox Download Mozilla Thunderbird

For basic help with Firefox installation preferences, consult the Firefox Help page by mozilla.org. The following list will show tips and tricks for Firefox in order of level of expertise required, from the easiest to the hardest.

Firefox Keyboard shortcuts

Level of expertise required: Beginner

CTRL-L Highlights the address bar so you can start typing an URL quickly. CTRL--
CTRL-+
Decrease or increase font size of a page
CTRL-T Open a new tab SHIFT-Click While clicking a a link, to launch a new window automatically
BACKSPACE Go back in browser history F11 Full screen mode
CTRL-K Highlights the search bar so you can start typing an search query quickly. F5 Reload the web page
CTRL-D Bookmark the current page ALT-F4 Close a window
CTRL-F Find in this page CTRL-U View page source

Firefox Privacy

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Firefox Privacy

Menu: Tools / Options / Privacy / Settings
Level of expertise required: Beginner

Firefox has a high level of privacy and any traces of your browsing activities such as history and cache can be erased easily, if you're on a public terminal, at work or if you just browsed not recommendable web sites. To do so, simply select the menu Tools, then Options, then Privacy, and you'll see a Settings button at the bottom, where you can set what will be erased when using the Clear Private Data menu. You can even set this function to operate automatically when you close your browser. Once you have configured it properly, you can activate it with the menu Tools / Clear Private Data.

Firefox Multiple Bookmarks

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Firefox Multiple Bookmarks

Menu: Bookmarks / Bookmarks All Tabs
Level of expertise required: Medium

You have done a lot of research on a particular topic and have up to 10 web pages opened in different tabs at once. You have to call it a day, yet you would find it laborious to bookmark all those pages one by one and create a specific folder for it, especially when you know these pages won't serve you much longer after your work is done. Well, Firefox has a neat way to bookmark many pages at once and give it a simple name. Simply go to the menu Bookmarks and choose Bookmarks All Tabs. When you go back in your bookmarks, you will notice a new folder, open it and choose "Open in tabs" and all your pages will open just as you left them.

Firefox Personal Toolbar

Menu: Bookmarks / Manage Bookmarks
Level of expertise required: Medium

Firefox Personal Toolbar

When you add a bookmark in your personal toolbar folder, that site title and icon will appear in the personal toolbar under the address bar. A few other things to consider: shorten the title name so you have more space (right click on it and select properties and change the field called "Name"), better yet, erase the title completely and you'll have just the icon, as shown in the image above. Another practical tip is to move a whole bookmark folder in your personal toolbar folder and you'll have a quick access to all its content.

Firefox Live Bookmarks

Level of expertise required: Medium

Firefox Live Bookmark

Live Bookmarks are a great way to subscribe to RSS feeds to easily keep track of new blog entries, daily news or any other web sites that is updated regularly and offers this service. When you bookmark such a site using the little orange icon, a folder with the title of the site will be created in your bookmarks, all news titles are updated automatically and will be displayed as a bookmark link. Just click on it and you directly access that particular news. You didn't even have to visit the site to see what was new! So now you have an easy way to monitor multiple blogs or news sites with just a quick look. It is very easy to set up. If your site of interest has the little orange icon next to the address bar, it means it provides a RSS feed that you can subscribe with Live Bookmark. Click on it and add the new site in your bookmarks (my preference is to create a folder called "Live Bookmarks" in my personal toolbar for easy access and add all my Live Bookmarks there).

Backing up your Firefox data

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Backing up Firefox data

Level of expertise required: Medium

A lot of work can be invested in building up your bookmarks, configuring Firefox just the way you like it, and inserting all those logins and passwords that Firefox remembers for you, so you would probably feel better if you could make a back up of this data in case something happens, like a possible corruption when losing power suddenly. Note: the following instructions is equally applicable to your Thunderbird files. First, make sure that you can view invisible files in Windows. To do so, in a folder menu, select Tools and Folder Options. Click on View and select "Show hidden files and folders". Now, make sure that Firefox is closed or it will not permit the copy of your data. Once this is done, go to this address, where "YOURNAME" is your Windows Profile folder:

C:\Documents and Settings\YOURNAME\Application Data\Mozilla

Copy the Firefox folder to a place on your computer where you store your data, preferably in a different disk partition or a second hard disk altogether. Another little suggestion on that topic: bookmark the pages of all your favorite extensions in Firefox Add-ons, it will be easier to install them all back if something were to happen.

Firefox about:config command

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Firefox about:config command

Menu: address bar / about:config
Level of expertise required: Expert

The about:config command is a very powerful tool for the advanced Firefox user, and should not be used by beginners. It will display a long list of fields that can be used to change the default behavior of Firefox for many events, or change preferences that are not accessible through the normal preferences menu. For an extended list of what each field means, consult this about:config entries page from mozillazine.org, or this Firefox Tweak Guide page from tweakguides.com. Personally, I've used it to change its default behavior toward links popping up new windows, which I changed for the link popping up a new tab instead (see: browser. link. open_newwindow). There are direct about: commands, such as inserting about:mozilla, which generates some pseudo-religious babbling (it's kind of an easter egg), or about:cache?device=disk to see the content of your cache. If you think you made an error and want to revert back to the default value, right click on that particular field and select reset. Values that are changed from the original installation will appear in bold. For a small tutorial on changing those values, check this about:config tutorial from mozillazine.org.

For more advanced Tips and Tricks, visit this Firefox support page from mozilla.org.