Tech Tip: Customize Firefox 4 UI With These Simple Tweaks

By on January 7, 2011, 4:26 AM
Firefox 4 is expected to bring one of the most significant stylistic overhauls that the browser has undertaken since the initial transition from the old Mozilla suite. Although the final release is still a few weeks away, we’ve already had a taste of its look and feel thanks to the eight betas pushed out so far. Firefox 4's UI is simplistic and streamlined but it has also drawn criticism for dropping elements like page titles in the title bar or simply for being too “Chrome-like.”

But of course Mozilla hasn't deviated from what's made Firefox the second most used browser in the world: flexibility. Here are some quick customization tricks you can use to help you tailor Mozilla’s browser closer to your needs.

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User Comments: 16

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AmruthS said:

NIce... Thanks for tips, will come in handy.

Guest said:

For the "Disable the new tab button" trick - a more offical way to do it is:

Right click a toolbar (eg between the address bar and search bar is the best place to make sure you get the right context menu) -> Customise

Then drag the new tab button off the tab bar :-)

jjbeard926 said:

That's all nice, but the most important hack of all I still haven't found. I want the menu bar back. I detest, loathe, hate the Chrome browser look. They are bastardizing Firefox to look like Chrome. No me gusta.

I just want the menu bar and traditional layout back, forward, refresh, stop and home buttons would be great too. The rest of it I could care less about.

jjbeard926 said:

I take it back, someone has posted how to get the menu bar back. Now I want the buttons. (maybe I should read newer posts before I comment next time?)

Guest said:

please make a note that the "ugly orange button" is not present in the XP version of Firefox 4 beta 8. I think that button only appears in Windows 7.

Guest said:

Additionally it does not require an add-on for dragging an extension icon / button to another place. It's a FF 4.0 feature to place those buttons anywhere you like...

Guest said:

Wow. Firefox is finally able to do some of the stuff Opera does for years.

Andrek Andrek said:

Eh I'm going to stick to Google Chrome, nice, plain and simple :P

Guest said:

If you're talking abot the AppButton, Mozilla never stole the design for it from Opera. The Firefox 4 mockups showed the idea first, but Opera inplanted it in a stable release before Mozilla.

The AppButton is on Windows XP, just not by default. Right click on a blank element on the browser's chrome (tab strip) and uncheck "Menu Bar". When the menu bar is diabled, the AppButton is shown, and vice versa. There is currently no way to hide or show both at the same time. Doing so either significantly enlargens the chrome or renders you with no way of accessing basic Firefox settings. This also applies to Vista, 7, and Linux. Mac OS X will not have the AppButton due to the presence of the global menu.

Remember, all these changes in Firefox 4 are reversable. Right-click -> Custumize can revert the entire layout back to Firefox 3 style. The Ggo/Stop/Refresh buttons are combined if the are placed after the URL bar, you can simply move then back to restore their previous look.

Guest said:

Firefox 4's UI is simplistic and streamlined

Is simplistic a high-class version of simple?

notice (err notification) perhaps needs to be simplified as well.

WinXPert WinXPert said:

update or no update i'll stick to firefox

Guest said:

Atleast with the Windows 7 build, you can just press alt while the menu button is up to view the toolbar.

it's a good way to find things the old way while saving screen space with the new way.

atomic1fire said:

Guest said:

"Wow. Firefox is finally able to do some of the stuff Opera does for years."


This article is about Firefox's extensive customizability and Opera only recently got extensions that Firefox has had for many years.

And Opera's UI isn't nearly as customizable as Firefox's.

Your post seems to have no concrete base on which to back up your statement.

Thus, you are hereby defined to be a brainless troll/fanboy.

Opera is actually Just as customizable, if not more.

You can change and create Toolbars, use links as buttons (such as Bookmarklets)

as of Opera 11. Use extensions

and not to mention, it has had user java script  (greasemonkey) for a while.

Guest said:

QUOTE : I take it back, someone has posted how to get the menu bar back. Now I want the buttons. (maybe I should read newer posts before I comment next time?)

Do you have a link for this?

Guest said:

I too want to know how to get my little + button at the end of the tabs back.

I've tried searching and the only links I find are how to remove it - I don't want to remove it, I want it back :)

Guest said:

This update is too like the similar stuff pulled by MS when they foisted Office 2007 on us - a great product buggered up by unwanted changes!

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