Customizing Firefox

Philipp Sackl

12

Customizing Firefox from Philipp Sackl on Vimeo.

One of the ideas behind the Australis redesign of Firefox was to allow more people to customize their browser. The all-new customization mode gives you control over almost all parts of the user interface.

This video explains how to use customization mode and what it can do for you.

12 responses

  1. Wolf kirchmeir wrote on ::

    How do you get the tabs below the title/menu bars?

    How do you manage toolbars?

    1. Philipp Sackl wrote on :

      In the bottom section of customization mode, there’s a button named »Show / Hide Toolbars« which you can use to manage toolbars.

      And there’s an add-on to put tabs on bottom here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tabs-on-bottom/?src=search

  2. Kevin wrote on :

    But it makes the UI so cluttered!

  3. Colby Russell wrote on :

    What’s the basis for the claim that Australis “allow[s] more people to customize their browser”? By anyone’s measure—even from the UX team—Australis customization is less powerful than is possible today with current Firefox.

    1. Philipp Sackl wrote on :

      Up until now, customization has only been used by a relatively small fraction of Firefox users. It was hard to find/access and used some hard to grasp magic for things like the combined stop/reload button.
      The new customization is front and center in the menu and is also specifically introduced in the upgrade tour. That means that many people who didn’t even know they could customize Firefox will now see it. That, combined with the fact that customization now extends into the menu and uses a coherent model (what you see is what you get in customization mode), is the basis for that claim.

      1. Colby Russell wrote on :

        It was hard to find/access

        You enter it and it behaves the same way as customization mode for any other Mac OS application. To be clear, what you mean is that some Windows users may have found it difficult to access.

        And at the time of this writing, Australis’s customization mode gives no indication of what you’re supposed to do once you get there. Clicking any palette item just makes it unhelpfully “throb” up and then back go to normal.

        and used some hard to grasp magic for things like the combined stop/reload button.

        This is an odd thing to call upon, given that Australis’s customization mode’s approach to the stop and reload buttons seems to be “don’t let the user do anything with them”. (Maybe justified by some standards, but certainly odd in a post whose main suggestion is “Australis is so much more customizable”).

        Look; I realize Mozilla has always tended to have a bad reaction to critical feedback for many areas of the project, and the teams making frontend decisions over the years have always been the worst about it (typically falling into the “cheerleaders or haters” pattern of reacting to anything), but read the above comments knowing this: I write them not because I’m the angry user averse to change and the subject of the xkcd Workflow strip. I write these things because reading stuff like:

        One of the ideas behind the Australis redesign of Firefox was to allow more people to customize their browser. The all-new customization mode gives you control over almost all parts of the user interface.

        … to describe a change leaves a bad taste in my mouth, when it’s less true for the change than it is for the thing that it’s supposed to be replacing. Like the political candidate whose platform you’ve chosen to support but who disappoints you when you see that his or her campaign relies on selective or misleading statements in order to achieve popular support for the thing that both you and the candidate want to see happen.

        When you do that, it devalues anything else you might say or is said by those who others may associate with you because of your shared goals.

        So please don’t do that.

        There’s more to be said about the specific things you mention, but I’ve omitted it for fear of being dismissed as just overly negative. (See “cheerleaders and haters” above.)

  4. Ionuț G. Stan wrote on ::

    The “almost” part in “control over almost all parts” bugs me to no end. Australis allows fewer customizations than ever before. It may be more friendly for ordinary users, but there are things that aren’t possible anymore. Now I can’t:

    – always show the forward button
    – remove the reload/stop button
    – remove the right-hand side buttons that appear when tabs overflow the tab bar
    – remove the new global menu
    – make toolbar icons smaller

    Not sure why Firefox is trying so hard to approach the Chrome UI…

    1. Tim wrote on :

      ” always show the forward button”,
      “remove the reload/stop button”,
      “make toolbar icons smaller”
      You can but with an add-on (classic theme restorer)

      “remove the new global menu”
      You never could without an add-on. It’s still the case now. You need classic theme restorer to do that.

      “remove the right-hand side buttons that appear when tabs overflow the tab bar”
      You still can, the same way as you did before.

      1. Ionuț G. Stan wrote on ::

        I managed to customize almost all the above points (except the first one: show the forward button) with a few CSS rules in userChrome.css. It’s all very simple if you’re a developer and have some free time to tinker with it, otherwise… call a friend, I guess.

        https://gist.github.com/igstan/11403048

        Regarding your last point, the “same way”, i.e., drag & drop, didn’t work for me.

        Thanks for trying to help.

        1. Tim wrote on :

          Glad you figured things out :)
          For the forward button, you can also use some CSS code for that (I’ll write an userstyle soon), or you can also install the Classic Theme Restorer addon.

          Regarding the global menu, you couldn’t remove the orange Firefox button (even using drag and drop) right ?

          1. Ionuț G. Stan wrote on ::

            Ah, I don’t have that menu button because I’m not on Windows. I was referring to the one sitting to the right of the location bar.

            Thanks for the CSS, although it doesn’t seem to work for me. Maybe because I’m on a Mac. Not sure, but at least now I know where to start fiddling with it, so thanks again.

        2. Tim wrote on :

          Just gave you the link to the userstyle on the github gist.