What I want from a browser
- To show the pages correctly
- To show as much as possible from a page (to remove the need of scrolling)
- To provide me with an easy way of accessing pages.
What I don’t like at Firefox
- The search bar is superfluous. I really like what Chrome is doing (and the latest version of Opera?): use the address bar as search bar.
- There is no ad blocker
- There is a lot of wasted space: bookmarks toolbar, menu bar (just think how often you use the top menu), big icons
After a few tweaks I got a browser looking like the one in the picture below that satisfies almost all my needs.
Tweaks applied and how/why to use them
- Remove the bookmark toolbar. You just don’t need that bar! How often do you click a bookmark? If you need a page opened all the time you just don’t close it. Why do you minimize the working are just to see some buttons that you click them in an infinite small amount of the time you spend in browser? How to apply: right click the menu bar -> Uncheck Bookmarks Toolbar.
- Remove the menu bar. Just like the bookmark toolbar, you don’t use it to often. If you want to see it just press Alt+F. How to apply: Install the Hide Menubar extension.
- Merge address bar and search bar. Is not practical to need to think if you want to search or you want to enter an a priori known address. There should be just on input field and the browser should be able to decide if you want to search or go to some specific place. How to apply: First remove the search bar by right clicking the menubar -> Customize and drag the search bar out of the menu. Second navigate to “about:config” and search for “keywork.url”. Replace its value with “http://google.com/search?q=”. This will make Firefox search on Google when it cannot resolve a name.
- Remove ads. Most of the time you just don’t want to see “Super/Extra/Mega/Ultra discount for X”. Also you don’t want to see links that are on top of the search list just because they paid. How to apply: Install the Adblock Plus extension.
- Move icons and make them smaller. This is just a personal preference. I want the bookmarks button in the left corner. And in order to maximize working area I want small icons. How to apply: Right click a toolbar -> Customize. Drag/drop the icons you want. For small icons check the appropriate box.
- Mouse gestures. I like the back button on the toolbar because of the drop down menu but usually I go back by holding the right mouse button and dragging left. The gesture functionality saves a lot of time and movement. How to apply: Install the FireGesture extension.
- Protect/sync bookmarks. Sometimes one might accidentally delete an important bookmark or, even worse, the entire bookmark collection. Is a good idea to backup bookmarks online. This also gives you the possibility of synchronizing bookmarks across multiple machines. How to apply: Install the Xmarks extension.
- Remove the status bar. Currently this cannot be done because there is no other way of knowing where a link is sending. Any suggestion?
- Remove the tabs bar. The tabs bar should be removed in order to get more space but I have no idea where it could go…