Firefox Tabs 1.x Style

While on the topic of writing techie stuff, I might as well mention this little thing about Firefox that I discovered recently. As I’ve said in a previous post, I’ve been given a new PC at work because my old one got stuffed. One of the first things I installed on the new PC was Firefox.

I downloaded Firefox straight from the Mozilla website and installed that. It was then I realised that this Firefox was a bit different from the one I’m used to. Apparently, I’ve been using an older version of Firefox (version for a while now and didn’t even know it.

I’ve been using the “Check for Updates…” menu item under Firefox’s Help menu to check if I have the latest version. Well, it now seemed to have just checked if there are any newer version 1.x updates but didn’t inform me that there was actually a version 2 of Firefox.

Anyway, the thing is, I like Firefox 1.x style tabs. Version 2’s tabs were more like Internet Explorer 7’s and I hate it. I want the close button for the tab in one place so that I can close tabs in quick succession if they are placed adjacent to each other. I also dislike the tab scrolling thing that comes on when there more than a handful tabs are open all at once. I prefer to see all the tabs even if I couldn’t read the tab names. I could still rely on the icon and the tab placement to help me distinguish among tabs I’m looking at.

Fortunately, there is a way to fix this but not through the Options dialog box on Firefox 2. Thanks to some quick web researching, I found that the Firefox settings (even those that aren’t documented) could easily be changed by typing about:config in the address bar then hitting enter.

To disable tab scrolling, all I have to do is set browser.tabs.tabMinWidth to 0 from the default of 100. Basically, this key allows you to set the minimum width of a tab. If enough tabs are open and adding a new tab would force the minimum tab width to drop below the default, the tab scrolling feature turns on. So, to have more tabs in there before tab scrolling turns on, you’ll have to set the value lower than 100. As for me, I set it to 0 to disable it completely.

To keep the close tab button in the right-most corner like it was in Firefox 1.x, I should set browser.tabs.closeButtons to 3. Setting it to 0 tells Firefox to only put the close button on the active tab. Setting it to 1 (the default) would show close buttons on every tab. Setting it to 2 would hide the close button altogether. Frankly, I don’t know why anybody would want to set this key to 2.

Well, that should be enough techie stuff for a while.

Published in: on February 13, 2007 at 1:40 am  Leave a Comment  

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