Last night, I updated to Firefox 6.0.2 and after it was finished installing, lo and behold the middle mouse button no longer opened links in new tabs. Using a middle click (Command+click on the Mac) on a link normally opens the destination in a background tab, but it just stopped working. However, I could still use the context menu (right-click on PC, Control+click on Mac) and select “Open Link in New Tab”.
Check your extensions. Are you using Greasemonkey 0.9.10? Are you also using Tab Mix Plus 0.3.8.6? As of this writing, they’re both the latest versions at the Firefox add-ons site. Nevertheless, there’s an incompatibility that causes the middle-click to fail.
To remedy the problem, download and install the latest version of Greasemonkey 0.9.11 directly at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/greasemonkey/versions/0.9.11 or if you’d rather wait for Mozilla to approve the version, it should eventually show up as an update in Firefox.
In my Firefox 3.6.6 browser, I currently have 24 add-ons. Yeah, that’s kind of a lot, but it’s fewer than I had in older versions of Firefox. Nevertheless, if I had to pick my top-10 must-have add-ons, they would be as follows, in alphabetical order:
- Adblock Plus – Pages load faster and are easier to read without all the ads. Adblock Plus not only filters the ads out, but it also automatically updates its filters from one of several rulesets that you can select from when you install the add-on.
- Add N Edit Cookies+ or Firecookie – There are many add-ons for managing cookies, but very few that enable you to edit the content of any cookie. Add N Edit Cookies was one of, if not the, first one, though it is no longer maintained. The ‘+’ version has been updated to install on the latest versions of Firefox. Alternatively, if you use Firebug, below, then Firecookie is a plugin for Firebug that adds cookie editing capability to the debugger. Even if you’re not a developer, being able to edit cookie values is very handy for various things such as making a short-lived session cookie stick around for as long as you want.
- Live HTTP Headers – If you need to see the actual conversation between your browser and the web server, this is the add-on for you. It’ll record and show you the header information for every file request and response as it happens. You can even modify the header information for a request and resend it.
- Session Manager – Although Firefox has a built-in session manager to restore your tabs when the browser crashes, this add-on goes much further. With Session Manager, you can save multiple sessions with their own sets of tabs and windows with their corresponding back button histories. Tame your myriad tabs by creating a session for work, one for social networks, another for your hobby, etc. In addition, you can set them to be auto-save sessions so you don’t have to remember to save the current one when you switch to another.
- Tab Mix Plus – Each version of Firefox makes tab functionality better, but Tab Mix Plus gives you more control over them, including the ability to duplicate tabs, control tab focus and lock tabs. Although it has its own session manager, it is aware of the Session Manager add-on and won’t interfere.
- Vacuum Places Improved – Do you find that Firefox’s address bar and form auto-complete start to get really slow after a while? It’s because the sqlite database containing all that information needs compacting and this is the add-on to do it easily. It makes a big difference.
- Web Developer – Too many useful features in this add-on to list here. Some of the ones I use most include resizing the browser to specific dimensions (e.g. 1024×768), outlining specific types of HTML elements on the page and extracting the actual HTML source from the current page (including dynamically-added content that Firefox’s View Source leaves out).
Bonus add-on #11: Adblock Plus: Element Hiding Helper – Although Adblock Plus does a good job of removing ads, sometimes there are other page elements that you want to get rid of. The Element Hiding Helper works with Adblock Plus to enable you to point at a block of content on a web page with your mouse and make it go away for that specific page or anywhere on a site.
Since I use Firefox for development as well as surfing, many of these add-ons are developer-oriented. Your most-useful add-ons will depend on your usage and may be quite different than mine. That’s the beauty of Firefox’s add-on community–so many enhancements to fit your needs.
What are your favorite Firefox add-ons?
So you’ve recently installed or upgraded Kubuntu to 9.10 Karmic Koala and installed Firefox. To your horror, you find that all the menus and labels in the browser’s interface are either HUGE or tiny relative to the included KDE applications. Here’s the quick fix.
- Click on the K menu
- Select System Settings
- In the Look & Feel section, click the Appearance icon
- In the left panel, click the Fonts icon
- At the bottom of the Fonts settings, the Force fonts DPI drop down list control is set to Disabled by default
- If you want to make Firefox’s fonts smaller, select 96 DPI; to make them larger, select 120 DPI
- Click the Apply button
- Restart Firefox
If you’re using Ubuntu with the Gnome desktop and run into this problem, there should be a similar DPI setting for either fonts or the display. Let me know how you resolved it on Gnome.
There are many articles about completely clearing Firefox’s form auto-complete history. However, I’ve often mistyped something into a form and then either had to live with those typos always showing up or lose my complete form history by clearing it. There is a better way!
Although you can’t easily edit or modify the characters that are stored, you can remove individual items in the form history with just a few keystrokes.
- Go to the form that has the field with the auto-complete history entry that you want to delete
- Type the first few characters of the value you want to remove. You’ll see the value appear in the drop down list below the form field as usual. In this example, I want to remove the misspelled entry, “knwoledge”.
- Use the down-arrow key to highlight the history item to be deleted. Don’t click it with the mouse.
- Press the Delete (Del) key, instead of Enter, and the item will be gone
Yea! No more garbage in your form auto-complete history.
This method is also useful for security and privacy purposes to selectively remove data, such as credit card, Social Security, bank account and other identification numbers, that you don’t want lying around in Firefox’s form history.
Update: From the comments, use Shift+Delete on Mac OS X.
As I mentioned in the previous post, I’ve been using Firefox 3 Beta 5 quite a bit lately. When I used the Downloads dialog to Open Containing Folder for a document I had downloaded, Firefox asked me what program to use to open file links. Naturally, I selected the application for opening documents, oowriter. Bzzzt! Wrong answer.
Now, it wants to use oowriter to open every file and folder. Firefox wasn’t really asking for which application it should use to open a file, but a file link. So, I should’ve picked a file manager such as Konqueror, Dolphin, Thunar, etc. To fix this, go to Preferences (in the Edit menu on Linux), then Applications and scroll down to file in the Content Type column. In the Action column, select Use other… from the drop down list and choose your favorite file manager. Since I’m using Kubuntu, I chose Dolphin since it’s lighter and loads more quickly.
Is your Applications list empty? You can fix that problem by reading my previous post, “Firefox 3 Beta Applications Preference Empty on Kubuntu / Xubuntu“.