Maximizing Firefox

If there’s one thing I like, it’s a maximized workspace. I run 95% of my apps full screen and alt-tab between them as needed, giving each application all of the screen estate. I try to remove as much clutter from the interface as possible so that what matters most – my content – is filling the display, and the application only intrudes as much as is necessary to do it’s job.

For a while, I’ve wanted to get Firefox to give me what I want – an almost full-screen view but with a navigation-and-address bar at the top of the screen and a tab bar just below it. No menu bar (unless I need it), no status bar (unless I need it!) and definitely no titlebar. Uncluttered. Functional. Perfect.

Today I got what I wished for. Here’s how.

The trick is to use 3 simple add-ons which all work together to remove parts of Firefox’s interface, but do it in such a way that their functionality can still be called upon if required. Some of these are experimental add-ons which means you’ll need a free login at Mozilla to download them, but I can vouch that they’re not going to blow up your computer or anything.

First up is Hide Menubar. This gets rid of the menu bar (well, duh!) until you press the ALT key. Another tap, and it’s gone. That’s perfect if, like me, you prefer to use keyboard shortcuts to navigate the menu, or think that the pixel gain is worth it.

Add to that Hide Caption, which removes the titlebar, dropping the maximize and close buttons into the menu bar – which is hidden, remember. Get rid of the bookmark bar (View->Toolbars), and you’re left with just the navbar and tabbar at the top of the screen. Nice.

Down at the bottom of the screen, use autoHideStatusbar which….. well, I’ll let you figure that out for yourself. If something changes on your statusbar (new mail in your gmail notifier add-on, for example) it’ll appear. Move your mouse to the bottom left corner and it’s there too – but otherwise, it’s out of the way keeping the bottom as decluttered as the top.

Add one cool theme (I like Noia Extreme Dark), and bask in content-filled screenspace.

Oh yes.

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