I discovered Firefox as an alternative browser sometime last year, and I have loved it from day one (you may be able to tell that from the number of Firefox-related posts on Gearfire).
What I like most about it is the user’s ability to customize their experience. From day one I liked how I could move my address bar into the menu bar, and merge my google toolbar with the navigation buttons. The result is much more screen space, and an easier to use interface. Here are a couple extensions that we found to further customize and reduce clutter on Firefox’s interface.
Menu Editor – this is a great extension to help you get rid of those junky functions in your menus. If you take close look, you will find various buttons that you do not use at all, such as “Web search” or “Save Frame as…”. Menu Editor also lets you change what displays on the right click menu, and the tab menu. Oh, and if you REALLY want to trim it down, you can move buttons/functions from menu to menu (you might be able to condense everything you need into 2 menus, instead of 7). Now thats what I call trimming off the fat! Get menu editor here.
Organize Status Bar – The status bar is the bar at the bottom of your firefox window that shows the page loading bar, and various small icons for security. What starts as an innocent small bar at the bottom of your page can soon spiral out of control when you start installing extensions such as Greasemonkey or Adblock which put their own buttons into the status bar. Organize Status Bar allows you to remove buttons you don’t want, and re-arrange the ones you do. Very useful extension. Get it here.
Faviconize Tab - it is easy to get carried away with opening tabs in Firefox, and before you know it you have too many to effectively sort through. If you are like me, you have 3-4 websites that you have open constantly, but take up too much room. Faviconize Tabs lets you shrink the tab to roughly 1/6 of the original size. Now I don’t worry about keeping my essential apps open, but I can still distinguish them by their favicons! Get Faviconize Tab here.
Smart bookmarks bar – secondary websites such as Adsense and Gearfire statistics find their place in my bookmarks tool bar. I never used the tool bar up until a couple weeks ago, when I set it up in an effort to reduce the number of constantly open tabs. If you want to fit more than 8 links on your bar at once, you can use this nifty extension to shrink the whole bookmark down to the size of its favicon, similar to Faviconize Tab. Get it here.
Hide tab bar – allows you to set a shortcut key that hides your tab toolbar. Useful for when you want to temporarily get your tab clutter out of sight, when you don’t want other people to see your inactive tabs, or when you have a large flash animation or picture that requires the extra half inch of screen space. Get Hide Tab Bar here.
UI Tweaker – possibly the holy grail of anti-clutter firefox extensions, UI Tweaker allows you to perform over 50 different tweaks to your browser to help save space. Most notably however, is the tweak that combines your refresh and stop buttons into a single button that changes. (You don’t need to stop pages that are already loaded, and you rarely have to refresh yet to be loaded pages..) Get UI Tweaker here.
Any specific extensions you use that have improved your overall FF experience? Drop us a comment and let us know.