Just browsing3 tips to make better use of the Firefox browser

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My MacBook Pro is in the shop -- a virtually painless experience, BTW, since I now have all my files on DropBox. That meant it took just a few minutes to have access to all my files on my temporary computer.

But for just a few days, I didn't bother customizing all my apps the way they're set up on my usual machine. That means that instead of loading my iGoogle home page as my default for all new Firefox windows, I actually see Firefox's default -- a version of the basic Google search window. Look what caught my eye:


I'm a sucker for tips and tricks. And there are a few handy ones on Firefox's tip collection, though many of them are about bookmark management and not as relevant if you use delicious. Here are three I didn't know about, and how I'm going to use them. (The how-tos are quoted directly from the Firefox tip page.)

Bookmark keywords

You can add keywords to your bookmarks for easier and faster access. From the Library, just add a short keyword in the keyword field, and you’ll be able to access that bookmark by simply typing that keyword into the address bar. For example, you could give your del.icio.us account the “links” keyword, and from then on simply typing “links” into the address bar will take you right there.

How I'll use it:

  • To create links that use keywords corresponding to online actions I take on a daily basis; entering actions is more intuitive than site names. Like "bookmark" for delicious, "log" for logging time in Harvest, "note" for adding something to Evernote, or "blog" for the "add a blog post" page on SocialSignal.com
  • To create shortcuts for all my Google apps, because I tend to get lost floating around in there: Calendar, Docs, Email.

Find As You Type

Rather than using the "find" bar to search for a word on page, just click anywhere on that page and start typing the word you want. Your cursor will immediately jump to the first instance of that term. You can use it for links, too. For example, instead of moving your mouse across the page to a "learn more" link, just start typing the word and when the cursor finds it, press enter.

How I'll use it:

  • I have a bad habit of losing track of whether the "find" bar is on or off in Firefox; if I've left it open from my last search, but automatically hit cmd-F to open it, it closes instead...and when I start to type my search term, nothing happens. This will solve that problem.

Reopen a closed tab

How I'll use it:

  • 30% reduction in how often I say, "oh, fuck!"

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