Secret features of Firefox 3

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Firefox 3 has some interesting features that most people are not aware of. This week we will talk about a few of these “secret” functions, and hopefully you will find them useful.

1. You can drag a Firefox tab to a separate Firefox window.
If you have two Firefox browser windows open, and you want to move a tabbed window from one to the other, just drag it. It not only comes with the tab itself, it also brings the history of that tab; so you can click the “Back” button just as if that tab had always been in that window.

2. You can resize your search bar.
As you know, Firefox comes with the Google search bar installed in the top-right corner of the browser window. However, it is a pretty short space, so if you have long search phrases you might not be able to see the whole search phrase at once.

To fix this, just resize the search bar. Put your cursor in between the Google search bar and the Firefox address bar, and the cursor changes to a horizontal line with an arrow at each end. Then just drag it until you have the size you like.

Now, this:
becomes this:

3. You can get Firefox add-ons right from the browser.
As you probably know, Firefox has lots of options for add-on features that customize it and make it do all kinds of great things. It used to be that you had to go searching on the web for these wonderful toys. Not any more – you can browse for them without having to Google.

Click Tools – Add-ons and look for the option called “Get Add-ons”. There will be a few there that are recommended, and there will also be a link that says “Browse all Add-ons”. That will take you to a seemingly endless supply of bells and whistles that will make your Firefox the coolest one in the neighborhood!

As an aside, one of the Add-ons that is a must-have is Ad-Block Plus. Sometimes I will be working on a computer and access a website or two with Internet Explorer, and suddenly I see all these ads popping up and jumping around and blinking. I’m kind of surprised for a minute, then I think, “Oh yeah – this is Internet Explorer.” You don’t have the option of blocking out those stupid ads with Explorer, but you sure can with Firefox. For me, that add-on alone makes Firefox the hands-down choice.

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August 6th, 2008

You can also move the search box down to the second toolbar by clicking on the menu somewhere then selecting Customize. Grab the search box (the hand will show) and drag it to its new location. Close the customize window.
I have only essential icons in the second toolbar and my bookmark toolbar (also on the second level) has only folders so there is more room there than in the top toolbar. I can have a relatively large search box AND a large address box. Your mileage may vary of course if you have your toolbars filled with icons.