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A cleaner User Interface for Firefox

Friday, July 22, 2011 | 0 comments

In the evening I cleaned up the user interface of Firefox my removing everything from the Navigation Toolbar so it could be hidden. All items, except one, went in front of the menu in the topmost toolbar. The item that didn't make it was what I have always considered an utterly useless one: the search bar. Especially since I prefer to use what Mozilla used to call keymarks; keywords assigned to URLs with a place holder that's replaced with what I type after the keyword.

So instead of using the search bar to search with Google for blue widgets I just type g blue widgets in the location bar. And since Ctrl+L puts the cursor in the location bar and selects everything it's much eeasier to use, especially since I use several such keymarks and new ones are easy to add.

So in order to get the cleaner UI back I was used to in Firefox running on Ubuntu 9.10 in my current set up, Ubuntu Lucid Lynx, I took the following steps:

  1. To the right of the "Help" menu entry I opened the context menu by pressing the right mouse button and selected the "Customize..." entry to open the "Customize Toolbar" dialog window.
  2. I ticked the box in front of "Use Small Icons".
  3. I dragged the Search bar off the Navigation Toolbar and dropped it into the "Customize Toolbar" window.
  4. I dragged the Location bar off the Navigation Toolbar and dropped it in front of the File menu entry on the top most toolbar; this places the Location bar in front of the main menu.
  5. I dragged and dropped the Home, Stop, Refresh, and Previous and Next buttons in one by one in front of the Location bar, resulting in the same order as they were on the Navigation Toolbar; which was empty when done.
  6. From the "Customize Toolbar" window I dragged the "Activity Indicator" and dropped it between the Location bar and the main menu.
  7. I closed the "Customize Toolbar" window by clicking the "Done" button.
  8. I opened the context menu on the now empty Navigation Toolbar by clicking the right mouse button and removed the tick in front of the "Navigation Toolbar" entry in order to hide the empty toolbar.
Firefox with a much cleaner user interface.
Firefox with a much cleaner user interface.

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