Make Firefox look however you like. Whether you want something modern that frees up space, a dash of colour to keep things interesting, or to bring back the Firefox look of old, there’s a theme or extension out there for you.
Firefox is about freedom, and one of the best things Firefox lets you do that Chrome doesn’t is customize the interface. Sure, sometimes the Mozilla team changes things users don’t like, but they also don’t lock things down. You can change things quite a bit out-of-the-box: just click the settings button at top-right, then click the “Customize” button at the bottom of the box.
Already you can move around any interface element. You can combine the Bookmarks Bar and Address Bar, if you want, or move icons so that you only see them when you open the menu.
But this is only the beginning. Here are some of best add-ons that let you do even more.
The Fox, Only Better: Auto-hide Everything. [No Longer Available]
Add-on buttons. Your address bar. Bookmarks. They’re all useful, but do you really need to see them all the time? Do they really need to take away space from the site you’re looking at?
I don’t think so, and if you agree I highly recommend The Fox, Only Better. This add-on lets you auto-hide your bookmarks and address bar until you actually need them. So when you’re just browsing, you don’t see them:
Move your mouse to the top of the window, or even use a keyboard shortcut to activate the address bar, and you’ll see everything:
I installed this a month ago and now can’t imagine using Firefox without it. It makes laptop screens seem a lot less cramped, but is worth installing even on huge screens for the way it decreases clutter.
This isn’t some cheap hack: a lot of thought has gone into it. One feature lets you see an indicator, so you know whether a site is encrypted or not. Another shows you the address bar whenever you’re filling in a form, useful if you suspect phishing.
All this, combined with some choices for both look and transition animations, make a nice total package for anyone looking to free up some space. Check it out.
Classic Theme Restorer: Get That Familiar Look Back!
If you’re among the many who hate the new Firefox look, and think it’s too Chromesque, good news: you can get your old Firefox back, thanks to Classic Theme Restorer. My colleague Yaara showed you how to restore the classic Firefox look using it, and it works pretty well.
This looks great out-of-the-box, but explore the settings a little if you’d like to keep some elements of the new look while reverting others.
Yaara points out there are a few bugs, but that hasn’t stopped this tool from being consistently among the highest rated Add-Ons for Firefox.
Having trouble reading this? Font & Size Changer makes it easy to bump up the font size in every site you visit, and even Firefox’s interface elements. Just pick a percentage increase, and you’re done.
This little add-on also lets you use whatever font you want for Firefox’s UI. Change it to Comic Sans and I might cry, but part of what freedom means is giving people the ability to make irresponsible choices.
If you don’t like the bland look of Firefox’s UI, it’s worth checking out the huge collection of Firefox themes. The extension Personas Plus helps you keep track of which themes you’ve installed, and also lets you quickly explore themes currently featured by Mozilla. If you love themes, check this extension out.
How Do You Customize Firefox?
I could go on. For example: did you know you can create custom buttons for your favourite bookmarklets? But I want to learn what you know. If you have any Firefox customization tips, please: point them out! Comments are below!