Category Archives: Web

Firefox Touch-ups

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A browser that can get the job done for me is all I need. Firefox has been good enough for me. It is ready to go from the installation. I find a few touch-ups can help me out a bit.

Configuration Edits

The edits I make are listed below followed by their description. The configuration editor I use which makes editing them a bit quicker for me. The editor can be opened by typing about:config in the URL bar.

app.update.auto                         true   # Firefox update automatically (Windows)
browser.chrome.toolbar_tips             false  # UI-element-popup-tips turn off
browser.startup.page                    3      # previous-session-tabs are restored on launch
browser.sessionstore.restore_on_demand  false  # previous-session-tabs are restored when clicked on
browser.tabs.loadDivertedInBackground   true   # new-tabs open in the background
browser.zoom.full                       false  # web-page-text will only zoom
layout.spellcheckDefault                2      # spell-check extend to single-line-entry fields
middlemouse.contentLoadURL              false  # middle-mouse-click load clipboard-URL turn off
middlemouse.openNewWindow               false  # middle-mouse-click new-tab-open
general.autoScroll                      false  # middle-mouse-click scrolling turn off
mousewheel.default.delta_multiplier_y   200    # mouse scroll speed
nglayout.enable_drag_images             false  # tab-window-previews-on-drag turn off
privacy.donottrackheader.enabled        true   # web-sites request they not track me

Appearance

Firefox has a couple themes in its options. I like that compact light one.

For typefaces I like to use various Microsoft fonts. These are the fonts I use and their sizes:

     Serif  Georgia         16
Sans-serif  Ebrima
 Monospace  Lucida Console  14
   Minimum                  10

I created a webpage to look into what typefaces to use and their sizes; it can be downloaded here.

Add-ons

For my needs Firefox has most of the abilities built-in. There are a few that are well designed that I have learned to trust:

Additional Information

  • Firefox Keyboard Shortcuts:
    • 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 on a tab will close the tab.
  • For spell checking it is likely a dictionary will need to be added: with a word in a text-entry field right-click Languages > Add Dictionary; for Linux use the hunspell-en package for English.
  • Reset Firefox for situations where a remedy is tough to find (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.

#!/bin/bash
# Create new profile and transfer settings (fixes certain
# problems when there are errors in Firefox settings).
ffsettingsdir=~/.mozilla/firefox/
# Setting files to restore (files to copy):
# (http://kb.mozillazine.org/Transferring_data_to_a_new_profile_-_Firefox)
files="content-prefs.sqlite
cookies.sqlite
formhistory.sqlite
key3.db
mimeTypes.rdf
permissions.sqlite
places.sqlite
searchplugins
signons.sqlite
webappsstore.sqlite"
# Change to Firefox settings directory
if [ -d $ffsettingsdir ]
then
cd "$ffsettingsdir"
else
echo " Firefox settings directory "$ffsettingsdir" does not exist"
exit
fi
# Select current profile directory
printf "Select current Firefox profile settings directory:\n"
select dir_current in */
do
test -n "$dir_current" && break
echo " Select 1, 2, ..."
done
# Check that all listed setting files exist
for f in $files
do
if [ ! -e "$dir_current""$f" ]
then
echo "File "$f" does not exist, exiting."
exit
fi
done
# Rename current profile directory
mv "${dir_current%/}"{,.bck}
dir_old="${dir_current%/}".bck
echo "Renamed old profile directory to: "$dir_old""
# Rename profile list file
if [ -f profiles.ini ]
then
mv -f profiles.ini{,.bck}
fi
# Create new profile
read -p "Name of new profile: " nw_prfl_nm
firefox -CreateProfile "$nw_prfl_nm"
# Select new profile directory
printf "Select NEW Firefox profile settings directory:\n"
select dir_new in */
do
test -n "$dir_new" && break
echo " select 1 , 2 ..."
done
# Copy settings (files) from old profile to new profile
cd "$dir_old"
for f in $files
do
cp -a "$f" "$ffsettingsdir"/"$dir_new"/
done
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