Firefox

Published Date
01 - Sep - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Sep - 2005
 
Firefox

On Windows XP, Firefox could be slow to load initially. You might be able to speed this up a bit by using XP's inbuilt prefetcher. Simply right-click the shortcut icon you use to start Firefox. Add the text "/Prefetch:1" to the end of the line in the 'target' field. Then, the whole line should look something like this:
"C:Program FilesMozilla Firefoxfirefox.exe" /Prefetch:1

The Config File
You can change many more things about Firefox than what is provided in Tools > Options. Simply type in "about:config" in the address bar, and a whole bunch of configuration settings appear. Right-clicking on a value's name will allow you to modify the value by pressing 'Modify' and entering the new value.

Some entries in the configuration file are intuitive; some are not.

Just look at the entire set and you'll be able to decide for yourself what you feel like changing. For example, scroll down to "browser.download. manager.closeWhenDone", and it'll be pretty obvious to you what that setting does. Similarly, "browser.formfill. enable" is another setting whose purpose you can guess.

Tune Up Firefox
Go to
http://www. totalidea.com/ freestuff4.htm to download FireTune, a free tune-up and tweaking utility for Firefox. From the page: "According to your computer's speed and Internet connection speed, FireTune will optimise several internal settings of Firefox for better performance. FireTune does not modify the Firefox executable... Everything can be undone easily provided you saved your original profile configuration file."

Control Where Links Open
You can control where new links are opened from other applications. For example, say you're browsing a page using Firefox, and you switch to your mail program. There's a new mail with a link to a page your friend told you to check out. When you click it, it will open in either a new window, a new tab or the most recent tab or window. To choose between these three, go to Tools > Options > Advanced > Tabbed Browsing. Under 'Open links from other applications in:', choose between 'a new window', 'a new tab in the most recent window', and 'the most recent tab/window'.

Opening Firefox In Safe Mode
If something goes wrong with a new extension or theme you installed, you can start Firefox in Safe Mode. In Safe Mode, Firefox does not load any extensions, and comes up with the default theme. This way you can uninstall the offending extension or theme and get things back to normal.

To enter safe mode, go to Start > Run, and type in the following: "C:Program FilesMozillaFirefoxfirefox.exe" -safe-mode Of course, if Firefox is installed in a different folder, enter the path to that folder instead.

How To Not Save Form Information
As you browse, Firefox keeps a history of what you enter in fields such as search forms. If you don't want it to do this, go to Tools > Options, and click the 'Privacy' icon on the left. Go to 'Saved Form Information' and deselect the box that says 'Save information I enter in Web page forms and the Search bar'.

Smart Keywords
Smart Keywords are an easy way to search Web sites right from the location bar. Say you visit IMDb (The Internet Movie Database) often to look up things. You go to imdb.com and click in the search box and enter whatever you're searching for, and click 'Search'. There's a simpler way to do this in Firefox.

With an IMDB Smart Keyword, you can type "imdb Star Wars" into Firefox's Location bar and hit [Enter], and be taken right to the result.
Go to whatever site you want to add a Smart Keyword for, then go to the search box. Right-click in the search box and click 'Add a Keyword for this Search...' The 'Add Bookmark' dialog will appear. Give the bookmark a name, e.g. 'IMDB Search', and create a keyword, e.g. 'imdb'. File the bookmark wherever you want. Click 'OK'.

Now, enter "imdb Star Wars" into the location bar and press [Enter] and see what happens!

You can repeat these steps for any searches you use-Amazon, your corporate phonebook, an online thesaurus-any site at all!

Add New Engines
Up in the top right corner of Firefox, there's a handy search box that puts search engines at your fingertips. When you download Firefox, some searches such as Google, Yahoo!, and eBay are included, and you can easily add more. There are hundreds of search engines available. Some of the most popular are A9, AltaVista, AskJeeves, IMDb, Merriam-Webster, and Wikipedia.

To add a search engine, click on the current icon in the box, then click 'Add Engines...'. You'll be taken to Mozilla's page for available engine plug-ins. Simply follow the directions on the page, and your engine will get added instantly for you to use.

Add Google Desktop Search To The Engine Box
Go to
www.amwmedia.
com/?nId=17. If you use Google Desktop Search (GDS), you'll want the plug-in available here. It allows you to add GDS as one of the search engines. Additionally, this little plug-in will help you get around the current 10 results per page that GDS imposes. Simply follow the directions on the page to install GDS into the search box.

Remove Engines From The Engine Box
Go to "C:Program FilesMozilla Firefoxsearchplugins" (or wherever Firefox is installed). Each engine you have installed has two files-a .src file and either a .png or a .gif file. All you have to do is delete the two files for the engine you wish to remove-for example, google.src and google.gif. Close and restart Firefox for the change to take effect.

The Google Toolbar For Firefox
Google recently released their Google Toolbar for Firefox, and if you're a fan of Google and use its services for almost everything, you may want to install it. Not only does the toolbar allow you to search through Google's various search engines, it also comes with auto-fill functions, Froogle searches, dictionary and stock referencing, the page rank feature, and more. The toolbar even integrates with Blogger, and offers some basic translation features.

Get it at
http://toolbar. google.com/firefox/.
Installation is simple, and it works like any other Firefox extension.

Live Bookmarks
Live Bookmarks in Firefox let you view RSS news and blog headlines in the bookmarks toolbar or bookmarks menu. With one glance, you can quickly see the latest headlines from your favourite sites. You can go directly to the articles that interest you, which saves you time.

A site is enabled for Live Bookmarks when you see an orange RSS icon on the bottom-right corner of the browser. Clicking on the icon and selecting an RSS feed will bring up the 'Add Bookmark' dialog. Select 'OK' and you will see Live Bookmarks with the rest of your bookmarks. You may find it especially convenient to save Live Bookmarks in your Bookmarks Toolbar folder.

Add Live Bookmarks Manually
Some sites don't tell Firefox that they support Live Bookmarks, even though they actually do. If you know the URL of a site's RSS feed (the URL will end with .rdf or .xml), you can manually create a Live Bookmark for the site. Go to the Bookmarks menu and select 'Manage Bookmarks'. Under the 'File' Menu, select 'New Livemark'. Create a name for the Livemark and add the URL. New articles from that site will appear as Live Bookmarks in Firefox.

A Firefox Tab-Switching Shortcut
Did you know there's a keyboard shortcut to switch between tabs in Firefox? Simply type in [Ctrl] [#], where [#] is the tab number (so it's 1 for the first tab, 2 for the second, and so on). This only works with up to nine tabs, but that's probably enough.

Opera
Scripting Errors
If you get errors on Web pages, or it they're displayed in a weird way, it could be a scripting error. Opera uses Netscape features by default; it doesn't run JScript but JavaScript instead.

You can force Opera to behave like Internet Explorer while viewing Web sites. Press [F12] to get the Quick Preferences pop-up and select 'Identify as Internet Explorer'.

The Autofill feature
Opera allows you to fill up standard information such as your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, etc. without having to type these in every time. Open Tools > Preferences, click on the 'Wand' tab, and fill out all the details. To enter the information into a text box on a Web page, right-click the text box, go to 'Insert Personal', and choose the text you want to input.



Always Start Browsing With The Same Set Of Pages
If you always start browsing with the same two or three pages, there is a way of always opening Opera so that those pages open automatically. Right-click the Opera desktop shortcut and select 'Properties'. After the text already there, which simply tells the computer where Opera can be found, just add your pages, thus:

"http://www.thinkdigit.com" "http://www.thinkdigit.com/ forum" "www.cnn.com" "www.opera.com"-making sure to leave a space between each page address, and making sure each page is enclosed by double quotes, not single quotes.

Clear The Cache With A Single Click
To insert an item in the right-click menu to delete the contents of the cache, find and open the 'menu.ini' file and search for the following lines in the [Browser File Menu] section:

Submenu, 162000, Quick Preferences Menu = Show popup menu, "Quick Preferences Menu"
Item, 50394 = Show preferences, -1
Here, add the line:
Item, 54493 = Delete private data
Save and close the menu.ini file.

Enable Scrollbar Colours
To enable colours in the scrollbars, add the following lines to opera6.ini in your profile folder:
[User Prefs]
Enable Scrollbar Colors=1
Bring Up The Main Menu By Pressing A Key
To have the main menu (File, Edit, View, and so on) accessible through a single key rather than at the top of the browser: in opera6.ini, under User Prefs, type in:
Show Menu = 0
Then edit input.ini:
[Application]
F10 = Show popup menu, "Browser Menu Bar"
This will bring up the menu with [F10].
 
Make A URL Accessible With Two Clicks
Say you want to add an item to the right-click menu that will open
www.thinkdigit.com/forum. In menu.ini, under [document popup menu], type in:
Go to page, "http://www.thinkdigit.com
/forum"

Easy Page Navigation
In the toolbar.ini file, add the following lines to the [Document Toolbar] section:
Button2, "Top"=Go to start, , , , "View to""
Button3, "End"="Go to end, , , , "View from""
This will give you an easy way to scroll to the bottom or top of a page.

Load Multiple URLs From A Text File
If you right-click on the Opera icon and go to Properties, the 'Target' line reads something like
"C:Program FilesOpera8opera.exe".
You need to change this by adding whatever URLs you want to open, so that it reads something like
"C:Program Files Opera7.20.3nnnopera.exe"
http://www.opera.comhttp://www.google.com
If you save this line as a batch file (opera.bat), you've set up a shortcut to the desktop that just needs to be double-clicked.

Mouse Gestures
Because of the sheer number of mouse gestures available in Opera, they may take some time getting used to, but will greatly enhance your browsing experience once you're used to them.

Here's a sampler of what you can do with the mouse in Opera.

 To go to the previous page: hold right button and click left button OR
Hold right button and move the mouse left

 To go to the next page: hold left button and click right button OR
Hold right button and move the mouse right

 Fast forward (Go to the end of the list of pages visited): Hold right button, move the mouse right then up OR

Hold right button and [Shift], move the mouse right

Rewind (Go back to the first page visited): Hold right button, move the mouse left then down OR

Hold right button and [Shift], move the mouse left

Go to home page: double-click in an empty page

Reload page: hold right button, move the mouse up then down

Stop loading: hold right button and move mouse up

Restore or maximise page: hold right button, move the mouse up then right

Minimise page: hold right button, move the mouse down then left

Close page: hold right button, move the mouse down then right OR
Hold right button, move the mouse right-left-right

Open link in a new page: move mouse pointer to link and hold right button, then move down

Open link in a new page in the background: move mouse pointer to link and hold right button, move down then up

Zoom in and out: hold [Ctrl], roll mouse wheel up or down

Restore default zoom: hold [Ctrl], click mouse wheel

Move back and forth in page history: hold [Shift], roll mouse wheel up or down

Cycle through open pages: hold right button, roll mouse wheel up or down

Open a blank page: hold right button, move the mouse down

Dragging And Dropping
Dragging a link to the bookmarks panel or a toolbar saves it as a bookmark.

Dragging a bookmark to the workspace or Web page area opens the bookmark.

Tabs can be rearranged by dragging them on the page bar.

Notes can be dragged into e-mail messages for automatic pasting.
Drag a download link to the transfers panel to start downloading.

Keyboard Shortcuts
Copy selected text to the 'Notes' panel:
[Ctrl] [Shift] [C]
 Copy text in clipboard to the 'Notes' panel:
[Ctrl] [Shift] [V]
 Save page address as new bookmark: [Ctrl] [T]
 Save as new bookmark in active bookmark folder:
[Ctrl] [Shift] [T]
 Reload page:
[Ctrl] [R] OR [F5]
 Reload selected frame: [Alt] [F5] OR [Ctrl] [Shift] [R]
 Reload all open pages: [Ctrl] [F5] OR
[Ctrl] [Alt] [R]
 Go to next page in history: [X] OR [Ctrl] [Right Arrow] OR [Alt] [Right Arrow]
 Go to previous page in history: [Z] OR [Backspace] OR [Ctrl] [Left Arrow] OR [Alt] [Left Arrow]
 Rewind (Go to the first page visited): [Shift] [Z]
 Fast Forward (Go to the end of the history list): [Space] OR [Shift] [X] OR [Shift] [Backspace]
 Load and display all images: [I]
 Toggle loading of images: [Shift] [I]
 Full Screen: [F11]
 Close active application window: [Ctrl] [Shift] [W] OR [Alt] [F4]
 Close all open pages:
[Ctrl] [Alt] [W]
 Close all open pages except the active one:
[Ctrl] [Shift] [Alt] [W]
 Undo closing of page:
[Ctrl] [Alt] [Z]

Switch to next page on page bar: [1] OR [Ctrl] [F6]
Switch to previous page on page bar: [2] OR [Ctrl] [Shift] [F6]
Activate panels for keyboard navigation: [F7]
Open the 'Search' panel: [Ctrl] [1]
Open 'Bookmarks' panel: [Ctrl] [2]
Open 'Mail' panel:
[Ctrl] [3]
Open 'Contacts' panel: [Ctrl] [4]
Open 'Chat' panel:
[Ctrl] [5]
Open 'Notes' panel:
[Ctrl] [6]
Open 'Transfers' panel: [Ctrl] [7]
Open 'History' panel:
[Ctrl] [8]
Open 'Links' panel:
[Ctrl] [9]
Open 'Windows' panel: [Ctrl] [0]
Close Opera: [Ctrl] [Q]
Hide Opera: [Ctrl] [H]

Access Your Gmail In Eudora
You may want to access your Gmail mails in Eudora, or send mails through your Gmail account from Eudora. To do this, you'll first need to enable POP access in Gmail. Here's how: first, choose 'Settings' from the top Gmail navigation bar. Select the 'Forwarding and POP' tab. Make sure that either 'Enable POP for all mail' or 'Enable POP only for mail that arrives from now on' is checked. (Choose 'Enable POP for all mail' if you want to download mail previously received at your Gmail account, or select 'Enable POP only for mail that arrives from now on'.) Select the action you want applied to mail after you have downloaded it to your e-mail client under 'When messages are accessed with POP'. Finally, click 'Save Changes'.

Now that you're done with the Gmail settings, it's time to configure Eudora to send and receive mail through Gmail. Select Tools > Personalities from the menu in Eudora. Right-click in the 'personalities' window and select 'New...' from the context menu. Choose 'Skip directly to advanced account setup', then click 'Finish'. Type in "Gmail" under 'Personality Name:'. Type your name under 'Real Name:'. Type your Gmail address under 'E-mail Address:'. Type your full Gmail address again under 'User Name:'. Type "smtp.gmail.com" under 'SMTP Server:'. Make sure 'Required, Alternate Port' is selected under 'Secure Sockets when Sending'.

Go to the Incoming Mail tab. Type "pop.gmail.com" under 'Server:'. Make sure 'POP' is selected under 'Configuration:'. Make sure 'Required, Alternate Port' is the 'Secure Sockets when Receiving' choice. Click OK.

Add An Animation To Your Signature
To add an animation to your signature, you first need to know how to create a new signature in Eudora. Here's how: select Tools > Signatures from the Eudora menu. Right-click anywhere inside the signature window. Select 'New...' from the context menu. Enter the name of the new signature. Click 'OK'. Type in your signature text, and select File > Save.

Now, to animate your signature, you'll need to use an animated GIF. First, create a new signature. Type your signature text. Make sure you use some HTML formatting in it somewhere so Eudora adds the necessary HTML code. It's enough to boldface a few characters. (You can remove the formatting later.) Hit [Ctrl] [S]. Find and open your Eudora folder in Windows Explorer. Go to the Sigs directory. Double-click the (signature_name).txt file, where 'signature_name' is whatever name you gave your signature. Edit the file to include <img src="{path to your animated gif}" />, where you want to place the image. (Make sure "{path to your animated gif}" points to the animated gif and follows this format: "file:///C:/Documents and Settings/...".

Save the text file. Try the new signature. Don't be alarmed if the animation disappears shortly after showing up in the signature. It will display for the recipient.

Do Complex Searches
Eudora provides a whole lot of search criteria for mail. If you explore the first drop-down menu in the 'Find Messages' dialog, you will see criteria from 'Age' to 'Priority' and from 'Attachment Name' to 'Personality'. For more complex searches, you can try and combine two or more criteria by clicking on the 'More' button, and selecting either 'Match All' or 'Match Any'.

Using this, you can construct searches combining up to five criteria.

Clear The Ads Cache
Sometimes, Eudora for Windows in sponsored mode may complain that it isn't getting ads. To correct this, you can try clearing Eudora's ad cache.

Eudora keeps the ads in a directory called 'Ads' in the 'Eudora' folder. First, close Eudora. Then go to your 'Eudora' folder. Open the 'EudPriv' folder there, and then the 'Ads' folder. Delete all files in the 'Ads' folder. Finally, restart Eudora-the problem should have vanished.

Customise Eudora Message Labels
Eudora has a great feature called Message Labels that lets you quickly assign a colour and a label to messages. By default, these labels are called 'Label 1' through to 'Label 7'.

You'll probably associate more with something like "to do" than with "Label 1", and you can change the Eudora labels to suit your needs. To customise the message labels in Eudora, select Tools > Options... from the menu. Go to the 'Labels' category. Type in the desired name of the label in the entry field. Then click on the coloured box to open a colour selection dialog where you can assign any colour to your label.

Empty Trash Upon Exit
To have Eudora empty the trash when you exit the application, go to Tools > Options, then to the 'Miscellaneous' category. Make sure 'Empty Trash when exiting' is checked, and click 'OK'. Keep in mind that all messages in the trash will be deleted and purged-and therefore, permanently lost-whenever you exit Eudora!

Identify Your Eudora Folder
You probably will need to know, at some point or other, where Eudora stores your mails. Here's how to find the folder: on Windows 2000 and XP, go to Start > Run. Type in "%appdata%QualcommEudora" (without the quotes). Hit [Enter] and you'll be taken to your Eudora folder.

If that doesn't work, search for 'eudora.ini' on your computer. If you get only one result, the folder containing 'eudora.ini' is your Eudora folder. If there are multiple folders containing 'eudora.ini', you'll have to open them all to identify 'your' Eudora folder. Look for .mbx files and .fol folders that match your setup of mailboxes in Eudora.

Insert Recipients Quickly
If you have added the people (or lists) you send e-mails to most often to the Recipient List in Eudora, you can use one of the fastest ways to address a message. Using the mouse, you can add recipients to mails, forwards and replies easily and quickly from the Eudora Recipient List. To insert recipients quickly and comfortably using the mouse in Eudora, start with a new message, forward, or reply. Click in the To:, Cc: or Bcc: field to put the cursor in it. Click with the right mouse button. Select Insert Recipient > [recipient] from the context menu that comes up.

Make A Filter From A Message
Filters that automatically sort incoming mail are very useful, and they're best set up from existing messages in Eudora. To create an incoming mail filter from an existing message in Eudora, first highlight the message in the mailbox. Select Special > Make Filter from the menu. Enter details as you see fit. You can filter on the sender (it's best to look for the e-mail address only), any recipient or (part of) the subject.

By default, Eudora suggests you create a new mailbox named after the sender that the filter will move all mail to in the future, but you can also have it transfer messages to any existing mailbox (to select it, click the 'In' button), or delete them automatically. Finally, click 'Create Filter'.

Thunderbird
Adding A Background Image
A white background all the time for your e-mails may become boring. To add a background image to a message in Thunderbird, first create a new message. Select Options > Format > Auto-Detect from the message's menu. Click in the message body. Select Format > Page Colors and Background... from the menu. Click 'Choose File...' under 'Background Image:'. Select the desired file and click Open. Click OK.

Add OpenPGP
E-mail Security

Plaintext e-mails are like postcards. Everybody can read what you send and receive. Cryptography is the solution, and ensures that only the intended recipient can decipher your message. Thunderbird comes with great inbuilt support for S/MIME. But OpenPGP is the rivalling standard, and you can add support for it easily.

There's something called Enigmail out there, which works with Mozilla Thunderbird, Netscape and Mozilla, and supports both PGP and GnuPG as its encryption backend-providing comfortable message security. Enigmail is easy to use, and works transparently and with per-account settings. It doesn't interfere with, but complements Mozilla's S/MIME support.

The latest version is 0.92.0, which works with Thunderbird 1.0.x. Visit
http://enigmail.mozdev.org/download.html to download and install it.

Compose Mail From The Address Book
To compose a message from the Address Book in Thunderbird, select Window > Address Book from the menu. Highlight the entry you want to compose a message to, and simply press [Ctrl] [M].

Create A Filter From An Existing Message
Filters that move all mail from a certain sender to a special folder are extremely useful-to have the really important and the not-so-important e-mails sorted out right away and automatically-and in Thunderbird, they are extremely easy to create, too. To create a filter from an existing message, open the message either in the preview pane or in its own window. Click on the sender's name or e-mail address. (In either case the thing to click is the highlighted text following 'From:'.) Select 'Create Filter from Message...' from the menu. Select your desired action under 'Perform this action:'. Click OK.

As an alternative to using the sender's context menu, you can select Message > Create Filter from Message... in the Thunderbird menu.

Create A Mailing List
Using Cc: or Bcc: is usually OK, but using a mailing list is easier and more elegant. Thunderbird includes support for simple mailing lists. To set up a mailing list in Thunderbird, select Window > Address Book. Click on 'New List'. Specify which address book the list should be added to. Give the mailing list a Name, Description and Nickname. Start adding addresses by typing them in the list one at a time. Close the dialog and click OK.

Export Contacts From The Thunderbird Address Book
Thunderbird makes it easy to export your address book to a format that most, if not all, other e-mail programs can understand. To export contacts from the Thunderbird Address Book, select Window > Address Book. Highlight the desired address book in the Address Books list. (If you are not sure which to select, choose Personal Address Book.) Select Tools > Export... from the menu. Make sure 'Comma Separated (*.csv)' is set under 'Format:'. Choose a location and filename, and click 'Save'.

Train The Spam Filter
Thunderbird, as well as Netscape and Mozilla, have great spam filters. The Bayesian spam filter in Thunderbird identifies spam by calculating for each incoming message how likely it is junk. These calculations are based on how you have classified previous messages.

This means Thunderbird can make a very good guess on what your spam and your good mail looks like. It also means that you have to train the spam filter a bit so it can get an idea what you perceive to be spam.

To train the spam filter in Thunderbird, open a message you want to classify as junk and click the 'Junk' toolbar button. Alternatively, click in the 'Junk Status' column in the message list. Either action will toggle the junk status of the message.

You can use it to mark junk not yet recognized by Thunderbird, but you can (and should!) also use it to reclassify mail that has been wrongly labelled spam.

Once you find the spam filter classifies mail satisfactorily, you can have it move spam to a special folder automatically.

Team DigitTeam Digit  teamdigit@digit.in

All of us are better than one of us.