Firefox Tweaks

One thing I find about Firefox that is great is its customisability. While I don't go crazy with extensions, it is the fact that you can add functionality that suits you that makes it useful. Even some of the extension developers tell you how to use CSS to modify their extensions.

The following are any little changes I've used or created for Firefox.

Hiding the all tabs button in Firefox 3

On the right hand side of the tabs bar is a small button with a down arrow to list all of the tabs. I never have enough tabs open to need it (see below for making tabs smaller) so it just wastes space. While there was a CSS change that removed the button in Firefox 2, the same change doesn't work in the latest beta versions of Firefox 3.

To remove the button in Firefox 3, you need to add the following CSS rule to the "userChrome.css" file in the "chrome" folder of your Firefox profile folder. If this file doesn't exist then you will need to create it as a blank text file.

/* Hide the "list all tabs" button */
.tabs-alltabs-button { display: none !important;}

Making tabs go smaller in Firefox 3

Personally, I feel that tabs don't get small enough before they start to scroll. Most of the time I only have a few tabs open, and not enough to lose the distinction between them. When I do have a lot of tabs open then it is normally a lot of threads from a single forum, so I'm going to be working my way systematically through them anyway.

Firefox provides two settings that can be used in conjunction to increase the number of tabs before you get horizontal scrolling. With a 1024 pixel wide window I can fit seventeen tabs before scrolling.

The important settings in about:config are browser.tabs.tabClipWidth, which controls when close buttons are removed from tabs, and browser.tabs.tabMinWidth.

I currently have both values set to fifty. While this means you don't see any text from the tab when you have lots of tabs open you do still see the favicon and have easy access to the close button. As I'm normally browsing a forum when I have lots of windows open then it is normally the number of tabs that is important rather than what is visible. If you want more of the text to show but still have access to lots of tabs at once then increase the tabClipWidth so that the close button becomes hidden. My preference is to keep the close button so that I don't have to go through a right-click menu.

Disabling annoying tags

For reasons I've never quite understood, during the Browser Wars of Mozilla vs Internet Explorer two of the most awful tags known to man were created. These were the <blink> and <marquee> tags.

What is worse than their creation is that these tags have not died out. Simple Machine Forums now include a marquee button so people can make entire posts scroll (which, for reasons unknown to sanity, they do). To stop this madness then has instructions on disabling the marquee tag and disabling the blink tag. As an alternative to the disabling blink method I have, at some point, picked up the following snippet of CSS in my userContent.css file:

blink { text-decoration: none ! important; }