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Topic Title: Basic Guide to Configuring Mozilla Firefox
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Created On: 07/18/2004 04:11 PM
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 07/18/2004 04:11 PM
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This simple guide is intended to give new Firefox users a head start. As this browser is so versatile and customizable,
most likely everyone will use different extensions and configurations to suit their needs, but here's some basics.

Click the image below to download Firefox

' ">


Here you will find plugins for Java, Flash, Quicktime, Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, etc.





Firefox uses plugins, more commonly known as Extensions, to add further functionality and flexibility.
There are hundreds available, many you will find you don't want to be without once you've used them.
Bear in mind that sometimes an extension becomes unavailable or the author doesn't update it.
Regardless, here are a few recommended ones:

Image Zoomer
Zoom in or out to change the size of any image within a webpage.
The most recent version of this extension has many more features than the older ones,
such as being able to set custom zoom sizes.

Nuke Anything
Remove any object from a webpage.
Can be useful for when you come across a badly coded site where text overlays graphics.
This extension enables you to remove the part causing problems.

*There's a similar extension called "X" -- see below for info*
Clear history, cache, cookies, passwords, etc with one click.
Once installed, restart the browser and click the toolbar, select "Customize"
and add the newly appeared "Paranoia" button by dragging it to the toolbar.

*It's a shame that this extension isn't updated more often, as it's the one I use most of all.
You can download a version of X which I modified to work in any version of Firefox > HERE <' ">
Right-click and save the file to your desktop (then you can keep it in case you need to reinstall Firefox),
then drop the file onto the firefox window to install.

The Firefox built-in pop-up blocker is very effective, but this extension gives a little
better control. Once the extension is installed, click the "Tools" button of the main menu bar, click
"Adblock", click "Preferences" to set options. You can right-click an ad and select
"Block images from""' ">, for example.

Tabbrowser Preferences
Gives much greater options to tabbed browsing.

Replaces Flash in webpages with a small icon.
Click the icon to play the Flash animation and preserve sanity.

Compact Menu
Replaces "File", "Edit", "View", etc. with a single icon.
Click the icon to see a drop-down list of the items you removed.
This extension removes clutter from the toolbar. It's a nice extension, but recent versions seem to be a
little buggy to me.


Toolbars are customized by right-clicking the main menu bar of the browser and choosing 'Customize'.
From here, you can change the size of the icons, remove parts of the toolbar you don't need, etc.
You can drag the buttons you wish to use to and from the toolbars. If installing the X-Kiosk extension,
you can add the 'Paranoia' button from here.


Nightly builds are versions developed between each 'milestone' release.
You might find that there's a build optimized for your CPU, for example, so if you have, say,
an AMD Athlon chip featuring SSE there could be a Firefox build which will run just a little better on
your system. My choice is generally to stick with the milestone releases, and my reason is because extensions
seem to be a little less buggy. The exception is the MOOX builds. Check out the site for yourself HERE' ">
Remember, this is all based on my experience and opinon. You should find what's best for you if you experiment.

Also check out the "Firefox Builds" section at MozillaZine Forums' "> for more information.



1. Type "about:config" in the address field.
2. Set the value of network.http.pipelining to "true".
3. Set the value of network.http.pipelining.maxrequests to "100" or "200"
4. Set the value of network.http.proxy.pipelining to "true"
5. Set the value of nglayout.initialpaint.delay to "0"

The last line, "nglayout.initialpaint.delay", this entry needs to be created as it doesn't exist by default.
To create a new entry, right-click the other entries in the window, select "New" > "Integer",
and paste in "nglayout.initialpaint.delay". Set the value to zero -- "0".


This tweak forces Firefox to use less memory.

1. Type "about:config" in the address field.
2: Right-click and create a new Integer
3: Name the new integer "browser.cache.memory.capacity"
4: Set the value to 16384 (this is 16MB)
5: Restart Firefox.


MozBackup Website' ">

User profiles can be backed up with a freeware utility called MozBackup.
This software backs up Firefox and Thunderbird profiles.


Firefox stores all bookmarks (called "Favorites" in Internet Explorer) in a single file named bookmarks.html.
This file, plus it's containing folders, are within the Application Data folder which, by default, is hidden in Window XP.
If you haven't already enabled the option to view hidden files and folders:

*Open any Explorer window > Click Tools > Folder Options > View (tab) > check the option to "Show hidden files and folders" > Apply > OK.
*Navigate to the Application Data folder. This is usually C:\Documents and Settings\*USERNAME*\Application Data.
The Mozilla folder inside here contains your profile, bookmarks, etc. It's a good idea to backup the "bookmarks.html" file from time to time.

If you want to uninstall Firefox and your profile completely, remove Firefox via Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs,
then delete the Mozilla folder from within Application Data. Now may be a good time to clean the registry to remove any leftovers from the uninstallation.
RegSeeker' "> and CrapCleaner' "> are both highly recommended and safe cleanup tools.


It's very possible that once a new version of Firefox is released (or a beta version, etc) that many extensions won't be compatible
until the author of that extension updates it. However, I discovered some time ago that it's easy to modify an existing extension
and make it work with any version of Firefox. So far, modifying the extensions I prefer not to be without has been 100% successful!

All Firefox extensions come in .xpi format. To modify them and force them to work with your chosen version of Firefox,
you need to save the extension rather than installing it directly from a web page. If you install your extensions directly
from the official Mozilla site, simply right-click where it says "Install Now" and choose "Save Link As...".
Save it to your desktop, and rename the .xpi file to .zip. This will allow you to open it up and extract the contents.
What we need to do is extract the "install.rdf", then open it with Notepad. Once you've done that, you should see the code line
Change the X and Y numbers in the code line to something like 1.9. These numbers represent the version number of Firefox,
and setting it to something like 1.9 should ensure your extension will be compatible for a while because currently Firefox is only up to v1.6a1.
Once you've edited the code line, close the file and click Yes to save it. Now replace the old "install.rdf" inside the zip with your updated one.
Finally, change the extension from .zip back to .xpi, and voila!

Last updated September 9, 2005.

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