Live Bookmarks

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Live Bookmarks

Main article: Livemark

Powered by RSS or Atom feeds, "Live Bookmarks", allow users to dynamically monitor changes to their favorite news sources. When this feature was first introduced in version 1.0 PR, there were a few worries that Firefox was beginning to include non-essential features and that it was beginning to bloat the browser much like the Mozilla Suite.

Instead of treating RSS-feeds as HTML pages like most news aggregators do, they are treated as bookmarks that are updated in real-time with a link to the appropriate source. Live bookmarks are updated automatically, however no browser option exists to prevent or control the automatic Live Bookmark updates.

[edit] Other features
Screenshot of performing "Find as you type". "ency" was being typed and the first matched text was highlighted in green.
Screenshot of performing "Find as you type". "ency" was being typed and the first matched text was highlighted in green.

[edit] Find as you type

Firefox also has an incremental find feature known as find as you type, invoked by pressing Ctrl+F. With this feature enabled, a user can simply begin typing a word while viewing a web page, and Firefox automatically searches for it and highlights the first instance found. As the user types more of the word, Firefox refines its search. Also, if the user's exact query does not appear anywhere on the page, the "Find" box turns red. Ctrl+G can be pressed to go to the next found match. Alternatively the slash (/) key can be used instead to invoke the "quick search". The "quick search", in contrast to the normal search, lacks search controls and is wholly controlled by keyboard. In this mode highlighted links can be followed by pressing the enter key. The "quick search" has an alternate mode which is invoked by pressing the apostrophe (') key, in this mode only links are matched.

[edit] Mycroft Web Search

There is also a built-in Mycroft Web search function with extensible search engine listing; by default, Firefox includes plugins for Google and Yahoo!, and also includes plugins for looking up a word on and browsing through listings. Other popular Mycroft search engines include Wikipedia, eBay, and IMDb.

[edit] Smart Keywords

Smart keywords can be used to quickly search for information on specific Web sites.[19] A smart keyword is user-defined to be associated with a search box on a given site, and then can be used in the Firefox location bar as a shortcut to search that site. For example, "imdb" is a pre-defined smart keyword; to search for information about the movie 'Firefox' on IMDb, jump to the location bar with the CTRL+L shortcut, type "imdb Firefox" and press the Enter key.

[edit] Version 2.0 and above

[edit] Enhanced search capabilities

Search term suggestions will now appear as users type in the integrated search box when using the Google, Yahoo! or search engines. A new search engine manager makes it easier to add, remove and re-order search engines, and users will be alerted when Firefox encounters a website that offers new search engines that the user may wish to install.

[edit] Microsummaries

Support for Microsummaries was added in version 2.0. Microsummaries are short summaries of web pages that are used to convey more information than page titles. Microsummaries are regularly updated to reflect content changes in web pages so that viewers of the web page will want to revisit the web page after updates. Microsummaries can either be provided by the page, or be generated by the processing of an XSLT stylesheet against the page. In the latter case, the XSLT stylesheet and the page that the microsummary applies to are provided by a microsummary generator.

External links:

* Microsummaries - MozillaWiki

[edit] Live Titles

When a website offers a microsummary (a regularly updated summary of the most important information on a Web page), users can create a bookmark with a "Live Title". Compact enough to fit in the space available to a bookmark label, they provide more useful information about pages than static page titles, and are regularly updated with the latest information. There are several websites that can be bookmarked with Live Titles, and even more add-ons to generate Live Titles for other popular websites.

[edit] Session Restore

The Session Restore feature restores windows, tabs, text typed in forms, and in-progress downloads from the last user session. It will be activated automatically when installing an application update or extension, and users will be asked if they want to resume their previous session after a system crash.

[edit] Inline Spell Checker

A built-in spell checker enables users to quickly check the spelling of text entered into Web forms without having to use a separate application.

[edit] Usability in version 2

Firefox 2 was designed for the average user, hiding advanced configuration and making features that do not require user interaction to function.[20] Jim Repoza of eWEEK states[21]
“ eWEEK Labs found Firefox 2.0, which can be downloaded at, to have the greatest out-of-the-box usability of any Web browser that we have tested (and that's a lot of Web browsers). ”

Firefox also won UK Usability Professionals' Association's 2005 award for "Best software application".[22]
[edit] Version 3.0 and above

[edit] Star button

Quickly add bookmarks from the location bar with a single click; a second click lets you file and tag them.

[edit] Tags

Associate keywords with your bookmarks to sort them by topic.

[edit] Smart Location Bar

Firefox 3 includes a "Smart Location Bar". While most other browsers, such as Internet Explorer, will search through history for matching web sites as you type a URL into the location bar, the Smart Location Bar Will also search through bookmarks for a page with a matching URL. Additionally, Firefox's Smart Location Bar will also search through page titles, allowing the user to type in a relevant keyword, instead of a URL, to find the desired page.

[edit] Library

View, organize and search through your bookmarks, tags and browsing history using the new Library window. Create or restore full backups of this data whenever with a few clicks.

[edit] Smart Bookmark Folders

Quickly access your most visited bookmarks from the toolbar, or recently bookmarked and tagged pages from the bookmark menu. Create your own Smart Bookmark Folders by saving a search query in the Library.

[edit] Full page zoom

From the View menu and via keyboard shortcuts, the new zooming feature lets you zoom in and out of entire pages, scaling the layout, text and images, or optionally only the text size. Your settings will be remembered whenever you return to the site.

[edit] Text selection improvements

Multiple text selections can be made with Ctrl/Cmd; double-click drag selects in "word-by-word" mode; triple-clicking selects a paragraph.

[edit] Web-based protocol handlers

Web applications, such as your favorite webmail provider, can now be used instead of desktop applications for handling mailto: links from other sites. Similar support is available for other protocols (Web applications will have to first enable this by registering as handlers with Firefox).

[edit] Add-ons & Extensions

See also: Add-on (Mozilla)

An Internet Explorer 7 style theme applied to Firefox 2.
An Internet Explorer 7 style theme applied to Firefox 2.

There are 4 types of add-ons in Firefox: extensions, themes, language packs and plugins. Firefox add-ons may be obtained from the Mozilla Add-ons web site or from other sources.

[edit] Extensions

See also: List of Firefox extensions

Firefox users can add features and change functionality in Firefox by installing extensions. Extension functionality is varied; such as those enabling mouse gestures, those that block advertisements, and those that enhance tabbed browsing.

Features that the Firefox developers believe will be used by only a small number of its users are not included in Firefox, but instead left to be implemented as extensions.[23] Many Mozilla Suite features, such as IRC chat (ChatZilla) and calendar have been recreated as Firefox extensions. Extensions are also sometimes a testing ground for features that are eventually integrated to the main codebase. For example, MultiZilla was an extension that provided tabbed browsing when Mozilla lacked that feature.

While extensions provide a high level of customizability, PC World notes the difficulty a casual user would have in finding and installing extensions as compared to their features being available by default.[6]

Most extensions are not created or supported by Mozilla. Extensions have the same rights to the user's system as Firefox itself, and malicious extensions have been created.[24] Mozilla provides a repository of extensions that have been reviewed by volunteers and are believed to not contain malware. Since extensions are mostly created by third parties, they do not necessarily go through the same level of testing as official Mozilla products, and they may have bugs or vulnerabilities.[25]

[edit] Themes

Firefox also supports a variety of themes for changing its appearance. Themes are simply packages of CSS and image files. Many themes can be downloaded from the Mozilla Update web site.

[edit] Language Packs

Language packs are dictionaries for spell checking of input fields.

[edit] Plugins

Firefox supports plugins based on Netscape Plugin Application Program Interface (NPAPI), i.e. Netscape-style plugins. As a side note, Opera and Internet Explorer 3.0 to 5.0 also support NPAPI.

On June 30, 2004, the Mozilla Foundation, in partnership with Adobe, Apple, Macromedia, Opera, and Sun Microsystems, announced a series of changes to web browser plugins. The new API will allow web developers to offer richer web browsing experiences, helping to maintain innovation and standards. The new plugin technologies are expected to be implemented in the future versions of the Mozilla applications.

Mozilla Firefox 1.5 and later versions include the Java Embedding plugin,[26] which allow Mac OS X users to run Java applets with the latest 1.4 and 5.0 versions of Java (the default Java software shipped by Apple is not compatible with any browser, except its own Safari).

[edit] Customizability

Beyond the use of Add-ons, Firefox additional customization features.

* The position of the toolbars and interface are customizable
* User stylesheets to change the style of webpages and Firefox's UI.

A number of internal configuration options are not accessible in a conventional manner through Firefox's preference dialogs, although they are exposed through its about:config interface.

[edit] References

1. ^ CSS Reference:Mozilla Extensions - MDC
2. ^ Web Browser Standard Support[1]
3. ^ Paul Festa. "Microsoft yielding to IE standards pressure?". cNet. Retrieved on 2006-10-13.
4. ^ a b Unpacking Internet Explorer 8's multiple rendering modes, Ars
5. ^ Mozilla's Bugzilla list of quirks mode bugs [2]
6. ^ a b "First Look at's Firefox". PC World. Retrieved on 2006-09-22.
7. ^ c|Net Reviews - Mozilla Firefox [3]
8. ^ Security Announcement [4]
9. ^ Netscape Gecko Plugin Overview[5]
10. ^ Michael Kanellos. "Popularity won't make Firefox insecure, says Mozilla head". Retrieved on 2006-10-13.
11. ^ Plug-in For Hosting ActiveX Controls [6]
12. ^ David Baron. "Mozilla doesn't pass the acid2 (acid 2) test". Retrieved on 2006-12-08.
13. ^ a b "Mozilla Firefox 2 System Requirements". Mozilla. Retrieved on 2007-09-21.
14. ^ Warpzilla
15. ^ "Firefox - All Downloads". Mozilla. Retrieved on 2007-06-30. Follow link on bottom of page reading "Unsupported versions of Firefox for other platforms are also available"
16. ^ Chad Perrin. "Security through visibility: The secrets of open source security". TechRepublic. Retrieved on 2006-10-17.
17. ^ Joris Evers. "Homeland Security helps secure open-source code". cNet. Retrieved on 2006-10-13.
18. ^ "Mozilla Security Bug Bounty Program". Mozilla. Retrieved on 2006-10-13.
19. ^ "What are Smart Keywords?". Mozilla. Retrieved on 2007-06-30.
20. ^ Asa Dotzler. "opera and firefox". Retrieved on 2006-10-27.
21. ^ Jim Repoza. "Firefox 2.0 Balances Innovation with Ease of Use". eWEEK. Retrieved on 2006-10-27.
22. ^ Ann Light. "First UK UPA Awards commend Firefox, Flickr, Google, Apple, John Lewis and BA". Retrieved on 2006-10-27.
23. ^ Reasons to switch to the Mozilla Firefox browser [7]
24. ^ "Malicious toolbars and extensions try to hijack browsers". ars technica. Retrieved on 2006-09-22.
25. ^ Register Article on Greasemonkey Possible Malicious Attack[8]
26. ^ "Mozilla to include Java Embedding plugin". mozillaZine.

[edit] External links

* Firefox Features at

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