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browser real estateWith so many various addons, bookmarks and open tabs we want to have at our fingertips, it is obvious that we are constantly in search for ways to save on space and make the most of what we have.

We have shared quite a few tips on how to save browser screen space: there’s a cool addon that lets you get rid of open tabs TooManyTabs Turns Your Firefox Into A Task Management Powerhouse TooManyTabs Turns Your Firefox Into A Task Management Powerhouse Read More while still having them in front of your eyes, there’s also an awesome tip on how to have more space by merging your toolbars and here’s a thorough guide on maximizing Firefox viewing area Get Back your Screen Space: Maximize Firefox Viewing Area Get Back your Screen Space: Maximize Firefox Viewing Area Read More .

Today’s post shares another great tool that would work well in combination with previously shared tips.

I always feel skeptical about the addons forcing you to install and use a new toolbar and usually these addons never stick – but sometimes you can’t do without a toolbar. Some toolbars I am constantly using include: Menu toolbar, Toolbar Bookmarks, Stumbleupon Toolbar. Today’s tool allows you to hide any of your favorite toolbars while still being able to easily access it.

Buttonizer is a fun experimental addon that lets you minimize any of your toolbars to a little button.

Let’s see how it works…

Once you have it installed, notice a tiny button next to the Awesome bar in the Address panel:


browser real estate

Right-click on it to select which of your currently running toolbars you want to access using the button:

browser real estate tools

Once you select any toolbar, it will be hidden from your browser screen and will be accessible via the button:

browser real estate tools

Now, you can do anything using the button: search, access your toolbar bookmarks, vote on Stumbleupon, use any of your additional toolbars.

Here’s a Stumbleupon toolbar using the Buttonizer:

browser real estate tools

You can run it for those toolbars you don’t use too often but still need occasionally and don’t want to get rid of. It is also usable enough to hide your most frequent and necessary tabs (like the menus toolbar, for example). Besides, is is very flexible: it easy to switch toolbars to be used through the button, so you can experiment a lot to find the best solution that suits you.

To restore any hidden toolbar, you just need to select another one. If you don’t want the button to use any toolbar and need all toolbars in the normal mode again, right-click on the button and select “Reset”:

buttonizer freeware


Some little issues I have noticed while running the tool (and I am still am, by the way):

  • Sometimes the button won’t open some deeper levels of the menu which forced me to click twice (but that may be a specific issue for my computer);
  • I had bad time controlling my toolbars after I reset the button options.
  • The button doesn’t seem to work in the full-screen mode (it shows nothing when you hover over or click):

browser real estate

What do you think about the addon? Since this is an experimental extension, I am sure the developer is looking for feedback. Can you suggest any improvements (like keyboard shortcuts, for example)?

Do you have any other screen-space-saving tips to share?

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  1. Johnny_Reb
    June 30, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    I made minimalistic Fx interface with only Navigation Bar active. I stuffed in it all buttons (icons) I need...and it has pretty much buttons cause I use 30 addons (there's 17 buttons, address bar, search bar and even an LCD clock).
    All buttons are displayed only with icons, no text. That saves space (also checked "small icons" within "Customize" option).
    Some addon buttons can be accessible only by Status Bar (now it's called Addon-bar), so I'm using "Firefox 4 UI fixer" for moving those in my Navigation Bar.
    Anyway, if I need any other toolbar opened I open it with right click somewhere on my Navigation Bar and check need for one more add-on.

    • Johnny_Reb
      June 30, 2011 at 8:27 pm

      check it out... here's the screenshot:

      • Johnny_Reb
        July 1, 2011 at 11:28 pm

        btw, there's one more way to spare few pixels - check the option "Tabs on Top".
        tho I didn't habituated with it yet.  :)

        • Johnny_Reb
          July 23, 2011 at 11:22 pm

          Ok, this is the newest update of how to make Firefox minimalistic...probly there's not much left to make it even more minimalistic.
          For making this kind of interface I have to use 3 addons:
          - Firefox 4 UI Fixer
          - Nav Bar on Title Bar
          - Tab Mix Plus

          The screenshot follows...

  2. Joshua
    June 16, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Very cool addon, thanks for bring it to my attention.

  3. Zooropean
    June 14, 2011 at 3:08 am

    Next step is the Buttonizer of Buttonizers.