Firefox Navigation for Advanced Users • The Registry

There are tons of choices in web browsers, and we’re not going to try to persuade you which one is the best. However, Chrome’s ever-growing market share suggests that a lot of people don’t know how to get the most out of their browser, because there are still quite a few things you can’t easily achieve in Chrome that are simple in Firefox and its relatives.

Some of the problems with Chrome and its derivatives, such as Microsoft Edge, are of course that you hand over your data and credentials to big, for-profit companies. Browsers based on Google’s code also limit what ad blockers can do.

Brave’s marketing suggests it’s the privacy-conscious choice, but we’re skeptical. Brave dabbles in cryptocurrencies and indeed owns its own. The Reg FOSS Desk views all cryptocurrencies as a Ponzi scheme, and that alone would damn us… But there is more. Brave has a habit of silently rewriting affiliate links and pocketing the profits. And of course, its boss, Brandon Eich, left Mozilla because of his controversial support for anti-same-sex marriage legislation.

But for us to The Reg FOSS Desktop, the flagship feature that Firefox does better than most Chrome-based browsers is vertical tabs. Even if you’re not used to it, if you surf a lot, you should try to get used to a vertical tab bar. They have a whole list of advantages:

  • They make more efficient use of horizontal screen space, abundant on modern widescreen displays
  • You can have dozens of them open at once and still read their titles, when horizontal tabs shrink to uninformative icons
  • If you want, you can organize them hierarchically, grouping related tabs and hiding, revealing, or bookmarking groups into one.
  • Larger minimum tab size allows the tab to display status information for each page
  • Finally, some add-ons allow you to search or sort your tabs

Vivaldi can do some of that, although our tests revealed that its vertical tabs don’t interact well with its new email client. Microsoft’s Edge has a very good version. We’ve also read that Brave is experimenting with its own version feature, but we haven’t tried it.

There are Chrome add-ons that simulate it, but not on all pages, and even worse, they can’t hide the horizontal tabs embedded at the top. So instead of saving screen space, you’re just wasting more of it.

It’s worth it. Try it for a week and we believe you will become a convert and thank us for it. But other tools are also available. For clarity, this also applies to current Firefox forks Waterfox and LibreWolf. With a little experimentation, you can achieve similar results in pale moon, Basil Where sea ​​monkey too.

There are several vertical tab add-ons for Firefox so you can choose based on the features you want

There are several vertical tab add-ons for Firefox so you can choose based on the features you want

If a single objective proof can convince you, it is the number of different extensions available that implement this function. We tried five. Reloaded vertical tabs has a simple, flat implementation, but with one big catch: you can’t remove a tab from a window and make it a full-fledged window, or move a tab from one window to another.

sideberry brings some nice new features, such as the integration of bookmarks in the sidebar, but we found it a bit unstable. The center of tabs is reborn works and its tabs expand to show two lines of description when you have few enough open to make room. Tree Style tab is one of the oldest of this type of extension, and it is so customizable that it even has its own extensions. If you like a hierarchical tab bar, this is the one we recommend. If you’re new to vertical tabs, we suggest keeping it simple with Vertical tabswhich does the basics and nothing more.

Once you’ve chosen one and installed it, you’ll notice a new problem: you now have two tab bars. An unfortunate change in recent “Quantum” versions of Firefox is that extensions can’t easily hide or close the built-in tab bar, which is one of the reasons we sometimes feel like Mozilla has hijacked the eyes of the overdue customization lens. Fear not, however, you can still do it. All you need is a small configuration file.

Waterfox users are all set on first install, but if you’re using Firefox upstream, you’ll need to enable these customizations first. Walk in about:config in the address bar and accept the warning that appears. Enter “legacy” in the search field and you should see a setting called toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets. It is normally set to false; double-click this word to toggle it to true.

Now you need to find where to put the file. Modern versions of Firefox hide the menu bar, in another of Mozilla’s efforts to mimic Chrome. We love traditional menus, so we’re bringing them back: press Alt to open menus, go to Seethen until Toolbar and tick Toolbar. Now go to the Help menu and choose More troubleshooting information. In this screen, there is a line called Directory of profiles and this contains a Open directory button. Click on it and it will open your Firefox profile folder. In it, create a new folder, called chrome (all lowercase). Go to the new folder and create a new file called userChrome.css. This is where the settings go to hide the tab bar.

Open the new file in a text editor, then copy and paste this into it:

/* to hide the native tabs */
#TabsToolbar { visibility: collapse !important; }
/* to hide the sidebar header */
#sidebar-header {
    visibility: collapse;
}

Save the file and restart the browser.

If anyone from Mozilla is reading this, could you please make this process a little easier? That would be great. Thanks.

If you regularly use several computers, Firefox sync maintains bookmarks, passwords, etc. synchronized with each other, and it also works between Firefox, Waterfox and LibreWolf (although in the latter you have to enable it in the Preferences first).

by Mozilla Extensions the page has dozens more. Here is our essential collection. UBlock origin cuts out a lot of distraction from the web (but we’d appreciate it if you whitelist The Reg). Multi-threaded download manager recently moved Down with them all as our favorite download manager. Tab hunter will quickly find lost tabs among multiple windows. Disable autoplay stops a lot of annoying auto-starting videos. Sometimes Firefox Sync can result in multiple copies of certain bookmarks, in which case bookmark dupes will fix this.

Once you have a dozen add-ons, your browser toolbar can get a bit cluttered, but there's a solution for that too.

Once you have a dozen add-ons, your browser toolbar can get a bit cluttered, but there’s a solution for that too.

Once you install all of this, your toolbar might be a little cluttered, but that’s easy to fix. Right-click anywhere on the toolbar, choose “Customize Toolbar” and you can log less used add-on icons to the overflow menu. You can also remove unnecessary spacers or controls by simply dragging them off the toolbar, optionally hiding the title bar, etc.

Customize your toolbar and simply drag less used buttons to the overflow menu.

Customize your toolbar and simply drag less used buttons to the overflow menu

There are too many others adjustments and adjustments to the list. Among the practices, we like “zoom text only” (on the View|Zoom menu), which leaves the images and layout unscaled while you zoom in and out. There are strikes to zoom the whole page, or just the text, as well as control media playback and most other features. There is a Task Manager to monitor memory or CPU hogging tabs.

Waterfox has the edge in a few cases, like integrating with Unity’s global menu bar, but Firefox runs on more different operating systems. For this vulture, 20 years after its appearance, Firefox (or Waterfox) remains our browser of choice and by default, on all the desktop and portable operating systems we use. It works on Windows, macOS, Linux, all BSDs, as well as mobile operating systems. It keeps all of our settings in sync, blocks many distractions, and uses fewer resources. OK, we admit that we generally keep Chrome or Edge, mainly for webmail and some other communication tools, but Firefox remains our weapon of choice. ®

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