When Firefox's bookmarks are a scattered mess of links, you can restore order instantaneously by alphabetising them. Simply reordering the column in the Bookmarks Manager won't do it though—you've got to invoke the context menu. Macworld explains: Select a folder full of bookmarks in the left pane of the Bookmarks Manager window. The right pane will fill with that folder's contents. If you want to sort all the items in the right pane by name, just Control-click (Ed: Windows users, right-click) on an item in the right pane and choose Sort By Name from the contextual menu. Firefox will first organise folders alphabetically, and then follow those folders with alphabetised items that carry URLs. If you're a heavy bookmarks user, your newly alphabetised list will be a lot easier to navigate. Alphabetizing Firefox bookmarks
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You can get around Firefox fast without taking your fingers off the keys, but mouse fans will be happy to know there are a whole lot of ways you can get things done in the 'fox by dragging and dropping text and images as well. For example, you can drag and drop: a URL (hyperlinked or not) onto an empty area on the tab bar to immediately have that URL opened in a new background tab. an image onto the address bar to immediately have that image open in the current tab. CyberNet News runs down more more drag and drop goodness in Firefox; hit the link to see the rest. Helpful Tip: Drag & Drop Text/URL's in Firefox
Mac users eager to try out Firefox 3 Beta 4 without messing with their time-honed Firefox 2 setups can do so with a pretty simple trick. Download the beta, but at the end of the installation process, drag the Firefox icon/application onto your Desktop or another free space instead of the Applications folder. Then rename the file (perhaps something like "firefox 3 test"), and finally place wherever you'd like. Windows users should look to the portable edition for similar risk-free beta-driving. OS X: Install Firefox 2 and Firefox 3 on the Same Computer
If you use Firefox's autocomplete function, blogger Simon Rumble offers up a quick way to fix entries you've mistyped. All you need to do is select the autocomplete entry with the up/down arrows on your keyboard, then hit the Delete key. Bingo, the mistyped autocomplete entry is gone. Nice and simple!Firefox tip: Delete an autocomplete entry
Speaking of Firefox keyboard shortcuts, reader John writes in: Noticed a peculiar thing on my girlfriend's MacBook the other day—I hit "g" then Enter from Firefox's location bar, and voila, Gmail launched. I have a keyword bookmark on MY computer configured to make Firefox act this way, but not on hers... maybe this is a built-in Firefox "Easter egg"? Not sure if the g shortcut would be considered an Easter egg, but I confirmed that it works on a pristine Firefox 2.5 profile on Windows, too. Strangely, the dict keyword, which used to take you to dictionary.com, is no longer built in. We're big fans of configuring our own keyword bookmarks. If you haven't already, here's how. Thanks, John!
Dan Warne writes he's found a solution to the annoying tendency some websites (especially bank sites) have of forcing open 'naked' windows stripped of your preferences. For example bank websites often pop up small and unresizable windows without your toolbars on them.He points to a solution at MozillaZine, which explains how to prevent websites from disabling new window features.
1. Open a new tab in Firefox and type about:config into the address bar.
2. Copy and paste this text into the filter box: dom.disable_window_open_feature.
3. Double click each of the items that appears in the list to change the default behaviour. There is a list of the different features and what they do in the MozillaZine article.
Nice tip, thanks Dan!
Long-time Firefox users will remember moments when, usually after a browser crash, they've been unable to restart Firefox, receiving an error message akin to "Firefox cannot use the profile "X" because it is in use." The CyberNet tech blog notes that you can delete a file or two named "parent.lock," ".parentlock," or, in the case of Linux, both "Lock" and ".parentlock," in your Firefox profile folder to solve the problem without having to restart the system. The CyberNet article has the goods on where to find your profile and which files to delete on which systems, and saves many of us a frustrating restart (or five). Helpful Tip: Firefox Profile in Use
You already know you can open a link in a background tab by clicking it with your mousewheel, but the TechMalaya.com site points out five other mousewheel Firefox tricks that you may not have known. Like this gem, which requires a change to about:config: Change the value of middlemouse.paste to true. This will let you paste a clipboard content to any text field with the middle mouse button. Using this tweak coupled with the beloved AutoCopy extension, you could select text on-page and paste it into a textarea (like in a comments response) with a simple click, drag, and mousewheel hit. See more of our favorite Firefox 2 about:config tweaks. 6 Tips to Supercharge Mozilla Firefox with Middle Mouse Button
Firefox tip: If Firefox is too unresponsive for your tastes when it's loading a new web page, the How-To Geek weblog suggests a simple tweak to improve responsiveness. First, enter about:config into your address bar and then add the content.switch.threshold setting (which isn't there by default). Right-click the page and select New -> Integer, name it content.switch.threshold, and give it a value of 1000000. The catch is that Firefox will take slightly longer to load pages, but while it's loading you'll be able to scroll the already-loaded content more easily. If you like that, you may also want to tweak Firefox's rendering speed or check out some of the best Firefox config tweaks.
Tweak Firefox's "Responsiveness" Config Setting
You may not want everything to be the same everywhere you've installed Firefox, but if you've settled on the perfect set of about:config tweaks, chances are you don't want to go through the hassle of setting up the same set of preference tweaks every time you install Firefox. The MakeUseOf weblog delves into how to find and back up your Firefox preferences so that you'll never have to duplicate the effort of building the perfect Firefox setup. Just find your Firefox profile folder and grab the prefs.js file. Anytime you re-install Firefox, just drag that file back into your new profile folder and voilà—your perfect setup is restored.
Quick Tip: Backup Firefox Preferences
Boost your productivity in Firefox, IE
Accidentally happened upon this Firefox gem today: If you click a bookmarks toolbar folder with your mousewheel, the 'fox will open all the sites up for you in tabs. (If it's a long list of bookmarks, Firefox will politely ask if you really want to do that.) Of course, you can also open links in a background tab with the mousewheel, and close background tabs by mousewheel-clicking on them. These shortcuts are worth upgrading to a new mouse alone. Here are more tips on working with groups of tabs in Firefox.
See less chrome and more web page in Firefox by combining your toolbars onto the same line. The How-To Geek tech site describes how, using an extension or just by repositioning the fox's toolbars by right-clicking and choosing "Customize." Want to utilise every single pixel in Firefox? Check out how we consolidate Firefox's chrome with several configuration and style tweaks.Conserve Space in Firefox by Combining Toolbars
Linux.com has put together a good overview of Firefox extensions that keep your browsing, searching, and emailing secure and private. A few of these, including Privoxy and SafeHistory, have been cited here before, but this list includes a few new ideas, like using the PetName extension to leave "reminder" notes on trusted websites to defeat phishing attempts. For more secure browsing tweaks, check out our Technophilia feature on protecting your web searches.
Firefox only: Yesterday you learned how to auto-hide your Firefox bookmarks toolbar, and today we've got the tweak to make that toolbar wrap onto multiple lines instead of scrolling off the right side. Like the auto-hide tweak, this requires a change to your Firefox profile's userChrome.css file. Here's the CSS you need.
As you type a web site address into Firefox's location bar, by default a dropdown with suggestions based on your history expands, and you can use the down arrow key to select one. For more aggressive URL auto-completion, head on into Firefox's about:config area and set the browser.urlbar.autoFill value to true. The result takes away the arrow key step for the first hit. Check out the How-To Geek's full explanation if you're new to about:config, and see also our top Firefox 2 config tweaks. Enable Inline Completion in the Firefox Address Bar
Thanks to everyone who entered our Ratatouille competition, we now have loads of kitchen tips (and one lone optical mouse tip too!) to share with readers.
The winning tip was from DaveMcD, who shared his tip for caramelised grilled bananas:
Want to impress everyone with a great dessert next time you have a BBQ or guests for dinner but are afraid you don't have the skills, then this is the dish for you: Caramelised Grilled Bananas.
Take 1 banana per person and halve it lengthways leaving the skin on. Place all the bananas skin side down on a tray and sprinkle brown sugar liberally over the top. Be as messy as you like it makes you look like Jamie Oliver and is half the fun. Drizzle light streaks of honey over all the bananas. Whack under the grill or on the BBQ hotplate for 5 mins or until the brown sugar is bubbling and caramelised but not burnt. Take out and leave the skins on, serve on plate or shallow bowl with ice cream or mascarpone. You can also add some strawberries or small berries to make it look awesome. Stand back and bask in the praise.
Follow the link for a load more tips!