Firefox touch-ups that might be desired

firefox-tuning

Firefox is a browser that works good for me. It is pretty much ready to go from installation but I find a few touch-ups help me out a bit.

Configuration edits

Below I will list the edits followed by the description. I use the configuration editor to make these which makes it a bit quicker for me. The editor can be reached by typing about:config in the URL bar.

browser.chrome.toolbar_tips             false  # pop-up tips for UI elements off
browser.sessionstore.restore_on_demand  false  # on browser startup tabs load
browser.startup.page                    3      # restore tabs from prev. session
browser.tabs.loadDivertedInBackground   true   # new tabs are background tabs
browser.zoom.full                       false  # zoom web page text only
layout.css.devPixelsPerPx               X.X    # non-96-DPI set (eg 102/96=1.06)
layout.spellcheckDefault                2      # spell check entry fields too
middlemouse.contentLoadURL              false  # middlemouseclick noautoload URL
middlemouse.openNewWindow               false  # middlemouseclick opens new tab
mousewheel.default.delta_multiplier_y   200    # mouse scroll speed
nglayout.enable_drag_images             false  # tabwindowpreviews on drag off
privacy.donottrackheader.enabled        true   # request websites not to track

Font type and size

Many sites define font size depended on CSS values; using these values can be helpful in define font size see Firefox font type and size for more.

Add-ons

Add-ons that are well designed can help the browser experience. Luckily I find Firefox to have most of what I need, but I do use:

  • Wired Marker — highlight text on a webpage and remember it.

Additional information

  • Firefox shortcut keys:
    • Ctrl+L—URL bar focus
    • Ctrl+K—search bar focus
    • Ctrl+F—Find
    • Ctrl+G—find aGain; Ctrl+Shift+G—find previous
  • A middle-mouse-click will close the tab.
  • For spell checking be sure to add the dictionary (e.g. hunspell-en package for English…), enable by right clicking in text-entry field.
  • Reset Firefox if problems begin (keeps bookmarks, passwords…).
  • Firefox Tips and Tweaks

Restore settings of Firefox on trouble

Update: 09-29-11 – Using script to automate process, see end of post.

When people have a issue with Firefox I’ve seen many people will resort to deleting their old profile (or folder) and creating a new one. This works but doing this will get rid of any passwords, history, bookmarks… therein. Having used Firefox quite a bit creating a new profile from time to time is a good idea anyhow as cruft, bad extensions, … can slow down browsing.

Manually

Copying the Firefox configs can be done by:

cd ~/.mozilla/firefox/

Backup the old profile and profile list:

mv xxxxxxxx.default{,.bck}
mv profiles.ini{,.bck}

Create a new profile:

firefox -CreateProfile <profilename>

This command will return the name of the new folder. Copy the basic settings to the new profile:

cd *.default.bck
cp places.sqlite key3.db cookies.sqlite mimeTypes.rdf formhistory.sqlite signons.sqlite permissions.sqlite webappsstore.sqlite persdict.dat content-prefs.sqlite ../*.<profilename>

This will transfer the bookmarks, browsing history, form entries, passwords, personal dictonary changes, and page zooms. There might be a couple other things wanted to add (possibly your firefox preferences), take a look at Transferring data to a new profile for more information.