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Friday, March 25, 2011

15 Coolest Firefox Tricks Ever!

Everybody’s favorite open-source browser, Firefox, is great right out of the box. And by adding some of the awesome extensions available out there, the browser just gets better and better.

But look under the hood, and there are a bunch of hidden (and some not-so-secret) tips and tricks available that will crank Firefox up and pimp your browser. Make it faster, cooler, more efficient.

1) More screen space. Make your icons small. Go to View – Toolbars – Customize and check the “Use small icons” box.

2) Smart keywords. If there’s a search you use a lot (let’s say’s people search), this is an awesome tool that not many people use. Right-click on the search box, select “Add a Keyword for this search”, give the keyword a name and an easy-to-type and easy-to-remember shortcut name (let’s say “actor”) and save it. Now, when you want to do an actor search, go to Firefox’s address bar, type “actor” and the name of the actor and press return. Instant search! You can do this with any search box.

3) Keyboard shortcuts. This is where you become a real Jedi. It just takes a little while to learn these, but once you do, your browsing will be super fast. Here are some of the most common (and my personal favs):
  • Spacebar (page down)
  • Shift-Spacebar (page up)
  • Ctrl+F (find)
  • Alt-N (find next)
  • Ctrl+D (bookmark page)
  • Ctrl+T (new tab)
  • Ctrl+K (go to search box)
  • Ctrl+L (go to address bar)
  • Ctrl+= (increase text size)
  • Ctrl+- (decrease text size)
  • Ctrl-W (close tab)
  • F5 (reload)
  • Alt-Home (go to home page)

4) Auto-complete. This is another keyboard shortcut, but it’s not commonly known and very useful. Go to the address bar (Control-L) and type the name of the site without the “www” or the “.com”. Let’s say “google”. Then press Control-Enter, and it will automatically fill in the “www” and the “.com” and take you there – like magic! For .net addresses, press Shift-Enter, and for .org addresses, press Control-Shift-Enter.

5) Tab navigation. Instead of using the mouse to select different tabs that you have open, use the keyboard. Here are the shortcuts:
  • Ctrl+Tab (rotate forward among tabs)
  • Ctrl+Shft+Tab (rotate to the previous tab)
  • Ctrl+1-9 (choose a number to jump to a specific tab)

6) Mouse shortcuts. Sometimes you’re already using your mouse and it’s easier to use a mouse shortcut than to go back to the keyboard. Master these cool ones:
  • Middle click on link (opens in new tab)
  • Shift-scroll down (previous page)
  • Shift-scroll up (next page)
  • Ctrl-scroll up (decrease text size)
  • Ctrl-scroll down (increase text size)
  • Middle click on a tab (closes tab)

7) Delete items from address bar history. Firefox’s ability to automatically show previous URLs you’ve visited, as you type, in the address bar’s drop-down history menu is very cool. But sometimes you just don’t want those URLs to show up (I won’t ask why). Go to the address bar (Ctrl-L), start typing an address, and the drop-down menu will appear with the URLs of pages you’ve visited with those letters in them. Use the down-arrow to go down to an address you want to delete, and press the Delete key to make it disappear.

8) User chrome. If you really want to trick out your Firefox, you’ll want to create a UserChrome.css file and customize your browser. It’s a bit complicated to get into here, but check out this tutorial.

9) Create a user.js file. Another way to customize Firefox, creating a user.js file can really speed up your browsing. You’ll need to create a text file named user.js in your profile folder (see this to find out where the profile folder is) and see this example user.js file that you can modify. Created by, this example explains some of the things you can do in its comments.

10) about:config. The true power user’s tool, about.config isn’t something to mess with if you don’t know what a setting does. You can get to the main configuration screen by putting about:config in the browser’s address bar.

11) Add a keyword for a bookmark. Go to your bookmarks much faster by giving them keywords. Right-click the bookmark and then select Properties. Put a short keyword in the keyword field, save it, and now you can type that keyword in the address bar and it will go to that bookmark.

12) Speed up Firefox. If you have a broadband connection (and most of us do), you can use pipelining to speed up your page loads. This allows Firefox to load multiple things on a page at once, instead of one at a time (by default, it’s optimized for dialup connections). Here’s how:
  • Type “about:config” into the address bar and hit return. Type “network.http” in the filter field, and change the following settings (double-click on them to change them):
  • Set “network.http.pipelining” to “true”
  • Set “network.http.proxy.pipelining” to “true”
  • Set “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests” to a number like 30. This will allow it to make 30 requests at once.
  • Also, right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it “nglayout.initialpaint.delay” and set its value to “0″. This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives.

13) Limit RAM usage. If Firefox takes up too much memory on your computer, you can limit the amount of RAM it is allowed to us. Again, go to about:config, filter “browser.cache” and select “browser.cache.disk.capacity”. It’s set to 50000, but you can lower it, depending on how much memory you have. Try 15000 if you have between 512MB and 1GB ram.

14) Reduce RAM usage further for when Firefox is minimized. This setting will move Firefox to your hard drive when you minimize it, taking up much less memory. And there is no noticeable difference in speed when you restore Firefox, so it’s definitely worth a go. Again, go to about:config, right-click anywhere and select New-> Boolean. Name it “config.trim_on_minimize” and set it to TRUE. You have to restart Firefox for these settings to take effect.

15) Move or remove the close tab button. Do you accidentally click on the close button of Firefox’s tabs? You can move them or remove them, again through about:config. Edit the preference for “browser.tabs.closeButtons”. Here are the meanings of each value:
  • 0: Display a close button on the active tab only
  • 1: (Default) Display close buttons on all tabs
  • 2: Don’t display any close buttons
  • 3: Display a single close button at the end of the tab bar
    (Firefox 1.x behavior)

MSN Messenger Tricks

These tricks require that MSN Plus! Live is installed on your PC:

1. Sending Continuous Nudge

You might have experienced this before: one of your friend on MSN messenger keeps sending you non-stop nudges continuously, until you can hardly do anything on your MSN messenger. When you try to do the same back to him, you get the message "You may not send a nudge that often". If you have this experience before, I bet you will be desperately trying to find out how did your friend do those annoying stuff while you are not able to the same. And the answer is you need to install the NudgesToolsScript in order to do this. Just download the script and execute it (double click the .plsc file.. you will get a warning message.. just check the the check box that says "I accept the responsibility of installing this script" and click 'Import'). After installing the script, you will now be able to send continuous nudges to your friend with no delay. If you really want to annoy any of your friend :P, type "/sendnudge 1000 100" (without the double quotes) and hit enter. Your friend will then get 1000 nudges every 100 milliseconds! By the default setting, your own chat window will also be vibrating when you send nudges.. To prevent vibration on your own chat window, do this: go to Tools > Option > Messages, and uncheck the "Allow me to send and receive nudges" checkbox so that your chat window will not vibrate when sending nudges to your friend. To stop the nudges, type "/stopnudge" and it will stop immediately.

2. Find out if somebody has blocked you on MSN

This is probably one of the most frequently asked question: how can I know if someone has block me on MSN messenger. There are lots of online services out there which claims to be able to check if someone has blocked you. As far as I know, many of them contains some sort of spyware, and will intrudes your MSN and sends annoying automated messages to all of your contacts. So instead of using those so called MSN block checker, here's a manual way to check if someone has blocked you:

1. Register a new MSN account. Use a different nick name so that no one can recognize that it's you.
2. Sign in to MSN on both your actual account and your new fake account. Having MP!L installed, you can sign in to 2 separate session of MSN simultaneously using different account.
3. Add the contact that you want to check using your new account. If at anytime, someone appears online, or accept you into his/her contact on the new account, but appears offline in your actual account, he/she has blocked you.

This seems to be a more troublesome way, but it saves you from being intruded by spyware, and most importantly, it works. 

3. Cool effects on MSN display name
This is a cool trick that enable you to easily edit your display name and make it looks cooler. Install the script NameEditor. Then go to the script button (somewhere on the top of the messenger), and choose NameEditor > Edit Name. The Name Editor window will appears, which which enable you to fill in some cool effects for your display name. This will easily make your name stand out among all the names in your friends' contact list.

4. Check Gmail with MSN Messenger

The original MSN Messenger will only alert you when you receive an email in your Hotmail account. With the Gmail Checker script, we will also be receiving incoming email alert for Gmail account. A pretty useful feature to be added to MSN Messenger!

5. Let your keyboard's LED alert you when you have incoming message

This is a cool script that will flashes your keyboard's LED, and plays a beep sound from your laptop when you receive incoming MSN message. Just install the script KeyFlasher, and start playing around with the script configuration. You can specify which LED to flash (Num Lock / Caps Lock / Scroll Lock), the speed of the flashes, amount of the flashes, etc.. Simple and fun!

6. Easily translate the text in chat window

Another very useful and cool script to be installed on your MSN messenger is the GoogleTranslator. You can easily translate the text in your chat window into another language by just hitting F5 on your keyboard. As the script name suggest, this script is using Google's translator to do the translation.. which means it supports multiple languages translation! A really useful script.

10 Yahoo Messenger Tricks You Shouldn't Miss!

1. Finding an invisible user on your yahoo messenger list:

Want to find out someone who’s hiding from you? You can easily do so by going to Yahoo Invisible Checker. All you need to do is type in the Yahoo! ID and the particular users status will be revealed.

2. Run Multiple Instances of Yahoo Messenger on same system:

Some of you might be having more than one yahoo ID would like to log in simultaneously. Here is an easy way to do it without installing any sort of software. You just have to edit the registry and voila there you go. Follow the instructions from here.

3. Invisible Nickname In chat rooms

Just go to edit profile and in the nick name type a (space character) on it just press Alt 0160 ( or ALT+255 ) and save it.

Now go to any yahoo chat room and you’ll notice that your nick name is empty. [Alt+0160 is a keyboard shortcut for space]

4. Removing Ads from your Yahoo Messenger

If you are using Yahoo Messenger 8.0, then you can disable ads by following the below steps:
1. First close the Yahoo Messenger.
2. Save this .bat file and execute it.
NOTE: You won’t be able to enter the chat rooms if you use this patch.
This above fix doesn’t work for Yahoo Messenger 9 Beta. Here’s a way to disable the ads in Yahoo Messenger 9:

1. Make sure the Yahoo Messenger isn’t running, if it is then just close it.
2. Now backup the following file C:\Program Files\Yahoo!\Messenger\YahooMessenger.exe (create a new copy)
3. Download HxD hex editor.
4. Open C:\Program Files\Yahoo!\Messenger\YahooMessenger.exe in the hex editor
5. Now go to the offset 295928 (in HxD: Search/GoTo)
6. Look at the right column and replace y from “y.m.s.g.r.a.d.s” with p
7. Save the file and close HxD.

NOTE: This approach breaks Yahoo Messenger’s terms of service.

>> If nothing works try launching this file.

5. Yahoo! Smiley Codes!

You can make use of all smileys including hidden ones in your messenger by using YEmotePLUS plugin.

6. Change the Yahoo Messenger Title Bar
You can change the text that appears at the very top of the yahoo messenger window by editing the ymsgr.ini file.

1. Go to Program Files\Yahoo\ and open ymsgr.ini.
2. Then at the end, type this:
caption=YOUR TEXT
3. Change YOUR TEXT to whatever you want it to say. Then save the file and close messenger. When you restart messenger you will see your new message.

7. Creating Custom Profiles for Chat
You can create custom profiles with different name, sex and other details from Yahoo Create/Edit Profiles. You can use these for chat services only.

8. Online Status Changer and Manager
HyperIM is currently the best status changer & manager for Yahoo messenger available at present. You can download it from here.

9. Retrieve Yahoo! Messenger Display pictures
Y! Display Pic will retrieve yahoo users even if they are offline or invisible. You can download it from here.

10. Access Yahoo Messenger Chat archives while offline
You can access your Yahoo chat logs using Yahoo Message Archive Decoder. It reads Yahoo! Messenger archive files (.dat files) and presents them in a format that you can read. It decodes the message archive without logging in (offline mode and no passwords required). You can download it from here.