Firefox productivity tips

If you are like me, you spend a lot of time using firefox. Chances are that you don’t use it as effectively as I do. :)

Let’s start with the look. First, use a minimalistic theme. I use full flat, but whiteheart is also kind of cool. Such themes simply don’t get in your way, which is exactly what you need.

You probably use several toolbars which take way too much of your screen space. Right-click on a toolbar and select “customize”. Then you can drag everything around and hide the unused toolbars. I currently have three rows of toolbars:

  • First toolbar has File, Edit, View menu and others, back, forward, reload, cancel, home icons, location bar, and finally a search bar.
  • Second toolbar contains quick bookmarks – just the pictures without any text, so that I can fit in as many as possible.
  • Third toolbar is shared google toolbar (used mostly just for PageRank), webdeveloper toolbar, user agent switcher and adblock settings.

I often see people wasting their screen space by using the default configuration with menus in the first toolbar and action icons and location bar in the second one.

Speed up firefox by installing fasterfox or simply google around a bit to find out (enable pipelining, disable ipv6, etc.).

Learn to use keyboard shortcuts:

  • ctrl+T — open new tab
  • ctrl+L — go to location bar
  • ctrl+K — go to search box
  • ctrl+up/down — switch search engines when in search box (don’t forget to order them in a way that suits you)
  • alt+enter — open the search from search box in a new tab
  • ctrl+shift+T — open an accidentally closed tab (you can even repeat this shortcut — superb!)
  • ctrl+b — bookmarks
  • ctrl+h — history

If you use a mouse, install and learn to use mouse gestures. At least the few ones for back/forward and open/close tab. I personally prefer FireGestures, as that is the only gesture extension that actually knows what I mean when I perform the gestures. 8-)

Out of the helpful extensions that I use, I must mention at least Download Statusbar, Customize Google and Adblock Plus.

And I almost thought I wouldn’t make another post in March. ^^

6 thoughts on “Firefox productivity tips

  1. Littlefox is also a good, economic theme. I’ve been using it for ages.

    You didn’t list ctrl-w for closing a tab :)

    No need for any toolbars at all in my opinion. At least when you’re like me, and visit only 2-3 sites regularly.

    Download statusbar is not needed anymore. Sine a few versions ago, you can set the option that the download windows doesn’t appear (instead you get a progress meter in the statusbar… exactly like.. the download statusbar plugin).

    Something which I cannot live without are keywords for sites. Just type a shory keyword in the location bar, and the site opens. Keywords for seach engines are pure win as well — the fastest way to search in specific engines.

    Anyway, if opera would have a decent adblocker it would eat firefox for breakfast :-P Just try browsing an internet forum with images which are wider than your screen, and then do it in opera.

  2. Opera’s “Block Content” feature works well enough for me. Then again, I don’t visit the web’s darker slums too often.

    Firefox(tm) is just too bloated…


    Firefox is a registered trademark of Mozilla Corporation.

  3. What’s missing in the Opera adblocker is the possibility of turning it on for some sites, and off for others. Sometimes you want to support some sites by having their ads downloaded on your hd.

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