Firefox Tricks to Become More Productive on the Web

At work, out of work, if you’re on a computer, you’re likely to be on the Internet.  So, it makes sense to have some developed surfing skills to help you surf a long as if you’ve been doing it all your life.  Here are some ways to help you feign that expertise or to verify it.

Hotkeys/Keyboard or Mouse Shortcuts

No matter what kind of program you use frequently, knowing the hotkeys will always speed things up. Here are a few of the hotkeys in Firefox:

CTRL + F= find

CTRL + = Increase Text Size, This is the same as CTRL+Mouse wheel Up

CTRL – =Decreases Text Size, This is the same as CTRL+Mouse wheel Down

F5 = Reload

CTRL + Tab = Shift focus on different tab

Clicking the mouse scroll wheel or center button on a link opens the link in a new tab (this is really useful).

Clicking the mouse scroll wheel or center button on a tab closes that browser tab.


Firefox has added features so you can customize your web browsing experience to suit your needs.

Right-click anywhere above the address bar and select Customize.  After you’ve done that it’s open house, and you can move everything you want around.  Change it so it’s more to your style and liking.

You can even add more buttons such as bookmarks, or search bars.  Within the customize window just drag the buttons onto the any of the empty space and change the look and feel to your liking.

Use Add-ons

Depending on what features you need or like, Firefox most likely has an add-on for you (Google’s Chrome browser is quickly catching up with its extensions).  Here are some popular (and useful) Firefox add-ons:

Xmarks Sync

If you use a computer for work then it’s more than likely that you’ll have bookmarks as well.   It synchronizes all of your bookmarks across computers.  This means it lets you use your bookmarks from anywhere and keeps them up to date.  It also serves as a back up in case you even lose all your bookmarks.

Google Preview

This functionality is built into Google Chrome, but you can have that same advantage using this addon.  It gives you a preview to what the page looks like so you can see if it’s something you’re looking for, or if you’ve already been to it.  This helps a lot specifically when you’re researching on google or even just surfing.

All in One Sidebar

This adds all multiple buttons on the side that provides easy access to bookmarks, history, download history as well as many other details.  There are other sidebar add-ons similar to this one, such as Sage-Too, so be sure to check those out too if All In One isn’t a good fit for you.

Change Firefox Settings

Depending on how fast your internet connection and computer are, you can make changes to the settings in Firefox to help optimize your resources so that web pages load faster. Firefox is optimized for those with dial-up connections, but since many people today are on using broadband connections we can change the Firefox settings to be optimized for broadband internet connections. Here’s how:

In the address bar, type in “about:config” (without the quotes).

Type “network.http” in the filter and change on the settings by double clicking.

Change the “network.http.pipelining” to true.

Change the “network.http.proxy.pipelining” to true.

Change the “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests” to around 30.

Right-click anywhere and select New->Integer.  Set its name to be “nglayout.initialpaint.delay” and set its value to 0 (zero).  This new setting with a value of 0 determines how long Firefox waits before it acts on the information received.

Use these tips and tricks to help you customize Firefox to your liking, and to become more productive on the web. If you do not already have it, Mozilla Firefox is a free, open-source web browser that can totally change your web browsing experience.

Do you know of other Firefox tips, tricks, or add-ons that help increase your web productivity? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

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