News and Views

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Browser Tips

May 5th, 2009 · 1 Comment

I use Firefox to browse the internet, instead of Internet Explorer, of course. Here are a few other things I’ve found that improve my browsing experience.

1) Install Adblock Plus, and activate one of the subscriptions. This will get rid of most ads.

2) Install FlashBlock. This prevents Flash from playing until you click on it. Since most of the ads that get past Adblock Plus are Flash based, this pretty much removes all of them.

3) Even after you’ve blocked the ads and the Flash, sometimes animated GIFs will wiggle and move in a distracting way while you are trying to read a page. They’re not really ads, but they are still irritating; e.g. lots of people use animated GIFs for their avatars in forums. If you just hit the “ESC” key all animated GIFs on that page will cease to play.

4) If the text or image is too small, hold the control key down and roll the mouse wheel. If you don’t have a mouse wheel then “CTRL +” or “CTRL -” will also increase or decrease the font size in Firefox and most applications.

5) The middle mouse button will open a link in a new tab. I often go to a news headline page (like Google News) and middle click on several headlines, then go and read them at leisure. It’s easier than clicking a link, then going back to the headline page and clicking the next link. This is also a great technique for checking out several links from a Google search. The middle-click trick also opens bookmarks in a new tab.

6) An oldie, but some may not have heard: If you hold the control key while hitting enter after typing a URL in the address bar, Firefox will automatically add the “http://www.” on the beginning, and “.com” on the end. So just type “google”, then CTRL-Enter. SHIFT-Enter will add “.net” at the end instead, and CTRL-SHIFT-Enter will add “.org”, but those are less useful in everyday browsing.

What else?

Tags: Computers, Tech & Science

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Don // May 5, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Xmarks, formerly known as Foxmarks are a great addition. I know Daryl has used it for a while and so have I. It allows you to sync your bookmarks to a server so you can then use it at some other location or on a different computer. As an example I used it at home and at work so I have the same bookmarks available both places. I also have multiple computers at home so I just use it on all of them and it makes my browsing much easier.

    The best part is you can use it on Firefox, IE, and Safari.