Firefox 3.6 tips and tweak

Here are five quick tips to enhance your Firefox 3.6 experience.

1. Open links in the tab bar far right

In Firefox 3.6, links opened from a web page (middle-clicking on them or from the context menu) open to the right of the current page to keep related content closer by default. To restore the previous behavior, access the advanced preferences by visiting about:config, then look for preference browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent and set it to false.

2. Enable tab previews

If you prefer to see tabs thumbnails when switching tabs with Ctrl + Tab, set browser.ctrlTab.previews to true via about:config.

Firefox 3.6 - tab switching

3. Enable tab previews menu button

Convert the list all tabs button (far right in the tab bar), set browser.allTabs.previews to true via about:config.

Firefox 3.6 - List all tabs

4. Tab previews hotkey

To quickly access the all tabs preview panel (once enabled) and search press Shift + Ctrl + Tab.

5. Hide the menu bar

On Windows, you can now hide the menu bar to gain a few thousand pixels for the actual content. Right-click on the menu bar and uncheck Menu Bar. To show it temporarily, press the Alt key.

Firefox 3.6 - Hide menu bar

28 Comments

  1. Mohan January 24, 2010 1:55 pm 

    Cool tips, I like #5 as it really molds into Vista/7 UI. Looks like all of them except #5 work on my Ubuntu systems. Thanks. :D

    • Dwight Stegall January 26, 2010 12:34 pm 

      Read it again. I does say that.

  2. Steeve January 24, 2010 2:57 pm 

    Thanks a lot ! Was looking forward to set back the behaviour #1 !

  3. Olh January 24, 2010 3:03 pm 

    Percy, I think you should mention that these preferences are accessible via about:config, otherwise newbies won’t know what to do.

    • Percy Cabello January 24, 2010 3:31 pm 

      Definitely! Thanks very much for the heads up. Updated.

  4. John January 25, 2010 2:55 am 

    Thanks for #1. That was kind of annoying.

  5. Kamahl January 25, 2010 7:34 pm 

    Personally, I’ve been using the ‘new’ method since 2.0 (Tab mix plus, and then above preference).

    I find the scrolling to the end of my tab bar and back for one tab (On average that’s past about 90 tabs each way) is way too much effort, even with Chrome’s tab shrinking.

  6. jimmy January 25, 2010 11:17 pm 

    Nice tips! But after I restart the Firefox,the setting is fine,but the function doesn’t work,so I need to go to the “about:config” page to switch again,and the function will back.
    Are there any method to keep these settings even I close the Firefox?

  7. ffextensionguru January 29, 2010 2:49 am 

    Percy, thanks for the great tips. Adding them to my blog and Wiki.

  8. vinitneo January 31, 2010 8:07 am 

    Nice tips. Thank you very much. The features like Tab preview are working very well then why haven’t Mozilla enabled it by default?

    • Kamahl February 3, 2010 2:31 am 

      It was in betas, but got disabled for some reason…

  9. OliWan January 31, 2010 12:53 pm 

    Thanks for all tips !

  10. RichH February 4, 2010 11:34 am 

    Thanks for the tip on the tabs behaviour — this was driving me nuts! I do a lot of research and find the IE mode of the tabs opening adjacent to be extremely frustrating for keeping track of flow of how I got from point A to B as they get all out of order. This should be a checkbox option in the Tools-Options-Tabs area instead of needing to use the “about” method.

    Thanks.

  11. Mike February 8, 2010 6:03 am 

    Thanks I do like to have the tabs open at the end. Awesome

  12. Zat February 17, 2010 11:08 pm 

    Thank you so much for tip #1. This helped a ton.

  13. Alfa February 20, 2010 4:49 am 

    Thanks, thnks for the tip #1. I desided to install Google Gambie browser, because of this RARE behavoiur of Firefox, wich you can not disable in Options.

  14. Marcel February 23, 2010 8:14 am 

    Just wondering, do you also know a way to get automatically back to the previous selected tab when closing another tab (or just to the tab to the left)? For instance, when insertRelatedAfterCurrent is set, middle-clicking on a link opens a new tab directly to the right of the current tab. After viewing this tab, I close it, but then I am dropped at the tab to the right of the previously open tab, not at its ‘parent’ one to the left.

  15. Dean March 1, 2010 9:34 am 

    Thanks for the tip on #1. I recently upgraded to 3.6 and was getting really hacked off with the new behaviour of tabs opening to the right of their ‘mother’.
    Cheers!

  16. Dan March 12, 2010 11:57 am 

    +1 to tip #1… opening new tabs directly to the right of the ‘parent’ tab was a horrible idea. pro tip: just because Microsoft does something doesn’t mean it is a Good Thing.

  17. Robert March 17, 2010 4:37 pm 

    Thank you so much for #1. I was actually considering downgrading to 3.5 and disable updates for the sole purpose of not having tabs open right next to current tab.
    Kudos!

  18. Null March 19, 2010 6:23 pm 

    Thanks for #1

    I hate looking for where my new tab opened… ugh its such an anti-pattern

  19. Robert March 21, 2010 1:30 pm 

    NEVER ever EVER change default options under the user’s feet.

    *ESPECIALLY* if you have automatic updates turned on by default.

    Nothing makes me more MAD than some egghead developer who thinks doing things “the right way” is more important than not stabbing the user in the back with changes to the default behavior. We don’t care that your design team’s aesthetic sensibility is offended because the parent-child relationship of browser taps isn’t reflected in their order.

    99.99% of users dont’ care and should not need to.

    Is the genius behind this the same idiot that decided to ninja embed the “close tab” button in every tab when it was perfectly fine at the end of the tab bar? (the only other time this bs happened)

    If it is, AXE him and put someone else instead who understands usability.

    • Wasd March 24, 2010 6:54 pm 

      So true. It’s wouldn’t be so bad if reverting to the pre-update behaviors was easily done, but instead we have to take time out to search google for a way to fix it. Developers should add options instead of assuming that every one will want their changes. Overall i still like firefox over the other browsers and I’ll stick with them.

  20. Andrew March 22, 2010 4:16 am 

    Thanks for tip #1! No doubt it’s a small thing where the tab opens, but I became more and more annoyed with it.

  21. VoltisArt July 24, 2010 10:59 pm 

    Took me three links to get really annoyed at the new tab behavior. (Yes, it’s been a while since I upgraded, for this kind of reason. I’m stubborn.) Thank you. Passing the info to friends.

Comments are closed.