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Firefox Hacks by Nigel McFarlane

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Hack #77. Customize Firefox's Interface

Tweak and modify the browser's interface to suit your needs.

Firefox is generally hailed as having an excellent user interface (UI). The art of user-interface design is one of making compromises, where each feature must be carefully weighed and evaluated before inclusion. While this strategy of catering to the lowest common denominator leads to the greatest amount of satisfaction for the largest number of users, it generally fails to maximize utility for individual users. There will inevitably be parts of the browser that some will find useless, unpleasant, or downright intrusive. Locked-down kiosks or other specialized uses of the browser also require a more customized interface. This hack explores how to make Firefox's UI more closely match your own needs and desires. As an example, we'll remove the links to the default email client from the Tools menu. These are only available in the Windows port, so by removing them, we actually make Firefox more portable.

Since we'll be in the neighborhood, we'll also disable the key binding (Ctrl-M or Command-M) responsible for opening a new email composition; it's all too easy to hit M instead of N when trying to open a new window, and the second or two delay while the mail window opens can be disruptive. We could also do a little nip/tuck work on the context menu, but that is left as an exercise for the reader.

You can apply this hack's logic to any menu item that you care to examine. It's the process ...

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