Opera’s Speed Dial for Firefox

The latest Opera 9.2, brought a new feature called Speed Dial which is basically a grid of your 9 favorite or more visited sites’ thumbnails presented instead of the blank page you get when you add a new tab.

Speed Dial is a Firefox extension developed by Josep del Rio that brings the same functionality to Firefox with a couple of new tricks and some handicaps.

Speed Dial

In Opera’s Speed Dial you can press Ctrl + 1..9 to access a particular web page and you can easily turn it on and off with a button at the bottom. Also, click on an empty slot and you can add a site from a list of your most frequently visited sites or manually enter a web address. Finally, you can reload the thumbnails manually or have them reloaded automatically every n minutes or seconds. None of this is available in Speed Dial for Firefox. At least not yet.

Speed Dial optionsBut in exchange, you get two other cool features: a toolbar button which provides the fastest access to your speed dial bookmarks and a context menu item to assign the current web page to a speed dial slot. You can choose whether to have this option in the web page or tab context menu, or to show the speed dial thumbnails in new tabs, windows both or none of them, which makes it much more versatile.

Additional options include setting the thumbnail size and you with a hack you can change the number of thumbnails as well. Ffor example, to get only six thumbnails, add this code to userContent.css:

#speeddialGrid row:last-child { display: none !important; }

Get it at Mozila Add-ons. Note that it is still in the sandbox, Mozilla Addons’ review area, so you will need to logon to get access.

To contact the developer and report bugs you can join the ongoing discussion at mozillaZine Forums.

Usefulness: 4/5 -  Usability: 5/5 – Features: 5/5

30 Comments

  1. Gordon Tatler April 28, 2007 5:43 am 

    Your link to Mozilla does not find the page. Neither does a search !

  2. Percy Cabello April 28, 2007 7:45 am 

    Gordon, it’s because the extension is still in the sandbox awaiting for review. To have access now, you will need to create an account and then either search in the sandbox or click again in the provided link.

  3. Dave April 28, 2007 1:28 pm 

    1) Instructions would be good ^_^; it ain’t intuitive.

    2) OK, I’ve got 9 blank thumbnails assigned to various web pages; if I’m not going to get pictures of the pages, why do I have these thumbnails? Maybe later pictures? Maybe I just did it wrong?

    In faith, Dave
    Viva Texas

  4. TechTear :: T_T » Speed Dial para Firefox April 28, 2007 2:01 pm 

    [...] se abren en una nueva pestaña o en la misma por ejemplo. Enlace: Add-on para Firefox Fuente: Mozilla Links                [...]

  5. Gordon Tatler April 29, 2007 4:51 am 

    Dave. Open any web site. Right-click and choose “Set speed dial as” and then any of the 9 places. I have customised my toolbar and dragged the speed dial icon to it, so now when I click this I get all 9 of my thumbnails displayed. Clicking any of them then opens the page – and using the add-on options you can set where the page will open (new windos, new tab etc). Alternatively clicking the down arrow on the spped dial icon allows choosing which web site to open.

    • BlessedMom March 18, 2011 9:54 am 

      Gordon, I used to have the speed dial icon on my toolbar and it’s gone now. I canot drag it from customie (no longer showing) any ideas? I can chrome://speeddial/conten in a bookmark to pull it up but it’s a pain.

      Also, right click doesn’t show it anymore. I’m afraid to reload the add-on as I have 3 tabs full of speedials! Thanks =)

  6. Dave April 29, 2007 9:11 am 

    TechTear, si puedo abrirlos y poner una pagina, pero no hay photo de le pagina en la pestana.

    Gordon, the speed dial works for me and I can assign/click pages for download. But the squares don’t preview the pages like Opera does. I’m assuming you intend to add that feature (even if only to take up the empty space)? Otherwise it might be better to have very small frames with the pagename inside rather than in the titlebar? But it’s a very handy add-on; most of the add-ons available aren’t worth it but speed dial is.

    In faith, Dave
    Viva Texas

  7. Gordon Tatler April 29, 2007 10:54 am 

    Dave. I’m not the author. Just trying to help out.

    Mine certainly shows a representation of each page in the nine squares. HAve you tried the options ?

  8. hamid April 29, 2007 12:29 pm 

    I cant download it.can you upload it in another host?

  9. Dave April 29, 2007 3:41 pm 

    Gordon: OK, sorry I misunderstood. No, I don’t get any previews in any of the speed dial boxes; there are small icons for each, and the name of the assigned site, but no more. I looked at the speed dial preferences and don’t see anything about enabling previews; closest thing is an option to set the size of the boxes. There are also options to load in new windows or tabs, and shortcut options. Nothing else, and nothing I see in the Firefox preferences or the toolbar menus. Where do I look? Previews a la Opera would be helpful but I can live without.

    In faith, Dave
    Viva Texas

  10. Gordon Tatler April 29, 2007 4:29 pm 

    Dave. As I said before, if you customise your menu and drag the speed dial icon from the large box up to your menu and then CLICK THE ICON (NOT the down arrow) then you should get a (sort of) web page with all 9 items and those you have allocated will be filled with a small picture of the site. Clicking any of these pictures will load the site. I assure you it workd, and if you want to see mine you can open the following web site (http://www.gbtamc.co.uk/speed) where I have uploaded a screen capture named speeddial.jpg which you should be able to open by clicking it. This is has been reduced in size for quicker loading.

  11. Gordon Tatler April 29, 2007 4:33 pm 

    Hamid. Not my extension so can’t, but just to help you out, if you look above this post at Percy’s post to me dated April 28 at 7.45am you will find instructions. Log onto the Mozilla web site, create an account for yourself (no charge) and the search the sandbox for Speed Dial. The install link is there. Hope this helps you.

  12. Dave April 29, 2007 5:49 pm 

    Gordon: I did do ‘customize’ and have the speed dial icon on my toolbar (9 tiny purple dots in a square). I click the icon and I get the speed dial page with 9 empty numbered boxes, each one identified with the assigned web page. Mine looks nothing like yours; wish it did ^_^.

    One thing: You might be running Windoze, and I’m running my Firefox in Kubuntu 6.10 Linux; that may make a difference. I’m going to post this on the forum and hopefully the author will see it. Thanks.

    In faith, Dave
    Viva Texas

  13. Dave April 30, 2007 5:21 pm 

    Gordon: The author had to scratch his head a little :^>, but he got it straightened out for me. I like it about as well as Opera’s, and will be using Speed Dial in both browsers now. Thanks also for your efforts to help me.

    In faith, Dave
    Viva Texas

  14. Chino May 1, 2007 1:36 am 

    It is a basic feature in IE7.

  15. Percy Cabello May 1, 2007 8:32 am 

    Chino, it isn’t. You may be confusing it with QuickTabs which presents thumbnails of all currently open tabs. In Firefox you can replicate this feature with Tab Sidebar, Foxpose, Reveal and some other I may be forgetting.

  16. Dave May 1, 2007 1:52 pm 

    Chino, there are LOTS of things which are basic features in IE7… viruses, trojans, spies, etc, etc, etc…

    Even in windoze, Firefox or Opera are much safer browsers than IE.

    In faith, Dave
    Viva Texas

  17. Gordon Tatler May 1, 2007 2:41 pm 

    Dave. “Chino, there are LOTS of things which are basic features in IE7… viruses, trojans, spies, etc, etc, etc…” whew- that’s a bit under the belt !

    Is your “Even in windoze,” a typographical inexactitude or really meant ?

    OK GUYS. Enough is enough – lets just agree to differ, but agree that the author of Speed Dial for Firefox has done a great job. Many thanks to Percy Cabello for this.

  18. Dave May 1, 2007 10:05 pm 

    As we say in Texas… “Percy done good!” :^>

  19. Bite my bytes May 2, 2007 1:18 pm 

    Speed-dial for Firefox

    Speed-dial for Firefox

  20. Paul May 10, 2007 6:10 pm 

    I just came across a link to your site at vidmar.net/weblog/ … and it’s well worth the visit! A lot of cool information about firefox. As a Linux user, I was especially interested to read about firetray. Cool site, mate! :-) Regards.

  21. lambently November 5, 2007 12:40 am 

    Nice review! This is one of my favorite Opera features; I’m glad to see it in Firefox.

    I just downloaded Speed Dial 0.4.1.1, and it looks like it /does/ included ctrl+1..9 shortcuts for each speed dial entry.

    Ah.. here it is:

    Version 0.2.1 — May 5, 2007 — 31 KB
    - CTRL + number can be used to access the Speed Dial entry with the same number.

    Thanks again!

  22. Decide Between Us February 2, 2008 1:45 pm 

    [...] and some uniquely Opera features like ’speed dial’. (Yes, I know there is a Firefox plugin, but Opera had it [...]

  23. Aza’s Thoughts » Firefox Proposal: A Better New Tab Screen August 25, 2008 2:18 am 

    [...] Another example of a contextual sequence is that whenever I select and copy a single word, I always open up Dictionary.com to look it up. We learn from that pattern and make it a one-click action. Alternatively, we can show the most oft visited sites as a sort of zero-configuration version of Opera’s speed dial. [...]

  24. dick October 22, 2008 7:38 pm 

    CAUTION: THIS PROGRAM TOOK UP MOST OF MY DIAL UP BANDWIDTH !!
    I eliminated Fire fox 3.0.3 plugins one at a time untill the problem went away.
    It was Speed Dial for Firefox that tied up my bandwidth.

    I am back to no internet useage, while I am Idle. (as it should be)
    Dick

  25. Firefox Sucks July 4, 2010 1:06 pm 

    Yep, keep on ripping off all those Opera features, you Firefox fanboys. Opera’s still better! ha ha

  26. ahsan September 4, 2010 12:24 pm 

    opera ha ton of features that are missing in firefox
    copy and search , copy and past url , create search, ..

  27. oes94 April 5, 2011 4:19 pm 

    Firefox is awesome, the onlly thing I really missed was this. Thanks and good job!
    Now I really dont know what to use. Opera or FF. FF is now a tiny bit faster on most of the sites I use, but Opera got the mouse gestures and other stuff soo…
    BTW Firefox 4 looks almost IDENTICAL to Opera.
    But I like it:) Best looking browsers.
    Opera and Firefox RULES, Chrome is SHIT, IE9 is OK and Safari I dont even bother looking at.

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