An introduction to Mozilla Firefox_ part 1

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					An introduction to Mozilla Firefox, part 1
Mozilla Firefox is one of the best browsers out there on the market, and it's free. Through the unique development methods of Open Source, they are able to make a product with impressive speed and less bugs than programs developed by traditional methods. Mozilla Firefox has a number of unique features, and it is overall a good product. Throughout this series I will try to present Mozilla Firefox for you.

Installation and configuration
Obviously, the first thing you need to do is get your free copy of the Mozilla Firefox browser. You can locate the Firefox installer on the Mozilla download page. If you go to this page,, you will always find the newest version available. Now, I recommend you read on the page which version you should download, as Mozilla Firefox develops at a high pace, it's not always the good thing to get the latest version, as it is with most programs. :) I will use the Windows version and the series will mainly evolve around Windows issues. Download the file and you are ready to begin.

Mozilla Firefox Installer
Of course there is an installer to Mozilla Firefox. :) I will take you through the simple pleasure of using a installer. This Mozilla Firefox installer is the official release from the Mozilla community. After you finish your download it's time to begin the install. Locate the installer .exe (in this case named "MozillaFirefox-0.8.-Setup") and double click it. Hopefully you will get this window:

If you got any programs running, close them as advised. Press next.

Read the agreement, if you agree, check the box and press "Next". :)

If you want to choose what to install and where to install, mark the custom box, if not choose standard.

The installer will tell you where Mozilla Firefox will be installed, most of you will have the same path as I have in this screenshot.

Voila. :). Mozilla Firefox has the capability importing settings/bookmarks/cookies etc. from other browsers, so if you're migrating from Internet Explorer or Opera, go to File > Import and you should get this screen:

I'm importing from Internet Explorer so that's what I chose. :) Press next, and you should get this screen:

Here you can select what to import; it makes sense to migrate everything, so just leave it as-is and press next.

And there we go, Firefox is ready for use with your old browser settings. :)

An introduction to Mozilla Firefox, part 2
The tabbing function
Now, this is one of the best features of Mozilla Firefox. Almost all of my time online I need to have many browsers open at the same time, and honestly, it can get quite messy sometimes. Mozilla Firefox has however added a very helpful function to the browser, called tabbing. Open your Mozilla Firefox browser, then press "Ctrl-T" at the same time. Your browser will now open a new tab that can be used, in the same browser window.

As you see by pressing "Ctrl-T" I now have 2 tabs in the same browser. :) You can alternate between these by pressing "Ctrl-Tab". If you need more browsing tabs simply press "Ctrl-T" again. If you want the browser to open multiple sites when you start the browser, this is possible. Go Tools > Options...and you will see this choice in the "General" selection:

As you see the browser here gives you a variety of options, you can 1. use the pages you're currently browsing; 2. Choose startup pages from you bookmarks; 3. use a blank page. As you see in the screenshot, you can also write it the startpages manually, and if there's more than one, divided with a | mark. Use as many pages as you like. :) There are more ways to control how tabs work as well, if you right-click on a tab, you'll see something like this:

Here you're able to create new tabs, reload the current tab (reload is also available via "Ctrl-R"), reload all tabs, close other tabs and finally close tab (also available via "Ctrl-W").

An introduction to Mozilla Firefox, part 3
Basic functions, commands and how to stop popups
With a flexible application like Mozilla Firefox, it's important you know your way around with the keyboard and the mouse. In this part of the article I will talk about some basic commands, where to find them and how to keep things efficient. In addition I will talk a bit about blocking popups.

The mouse
Many of us prefer to use the mouse when we navigate in a web browser, you can by right-clicking over a certain area get a variety of options. Use your mouse and right click and you will see different options for different areas of the browser.

The commands
However, if you're fan of your keyboard, there are a few basic commands you should know:  Ctrl+N - Opens a new browser window.

    

Ctrl+T - Opens a new "Tab" window in the browser, try it. ;) Ctr+O - Open a file. Ctrl+W - Close a "Tab" window in the browser. Ctrl+Shift+W - Close window. Ctrl+R - Refresh window.

These are some of the basic commands you can use, in addition there are some more, you can view all of these commands in the drop down menus under File, Edit and View. For a complete listing of shortcuts, see

Killing popups
Popups can at times be very annoying if you haven't taken precautions. If you go Tools > Options... You will get the options menu, from the left menu in the options menu choose "Web Features", you should have this window:

If you want to completely remove popups, make sure the "block popup windows" is checked. You can then give selected sites the right to use of popups. Now, the first time you enter a website that uses popups, you'll get a dialog that tells you that popups are being blocked, and in the lower right corner of the browser, an icon will appear each time a popup is blocked:

Some sites require the use of popups to function properly, if you need to toggle the popup-settings for a given site, click on the icon in the lower left corner and use the following window:

A little side note in the end, many popups are a result of surfing different pages with insecure browsers like Internet Explorer, something that can result in hidden programs added to your hard disk. Such programs can be removed using the excellent freeware program Ad-Aware, you can get your copy here.

An introduction to Mozilla Firefox, part 4
Mozilla Firefox Extensions
Mozilla Firefox is a multi-functional application, and the browser allows us to download and install add-ons, known as "Extensions". Throughout this part of the Mozilla Firefox series I will elaborate on the subject of how to install the extensions. As for this article, I'm going to install the amazing "Google bar" extension. :) I will elaborate on the Google bar a bit later in this article. As in many of the other situations, you start off with going Tools > Extensions, if you navigated correctly you should get this window:

In the bottom left corner you have a hyperlink which says "Get More Extensions", press it. Firefox will then open a new window where you can choose from a variety of extensions, as I said earlier, I'm going to use the Google Bar. If you see the screenshot below, you should see something similar.

Press on the link you want to install, I chose Google Bar and by pressing the link I got a new page, as you see below, to continue press the highlighted install link.

You may get a software warning on whether or not you want to install the extension, that's your choice. ;) I'm living on the edge and chose install.

When the extensions has been downloaded and installed, you'll see a message like this in your Extension window:

If you now restart Mozilla Firefox, you will have a new tool bar called Google Bar, which allows you to use google from the toolbar (FYI Google is a search engine). If you play a little with the Google Bar you will see it has a variety of functions, it's simply a tool bar you can't be without. :)

An introduction to Firefox, part 5
Browsing history
The Mozilla Firefox browser has got many useful functions, some of them you might need to use on a regular basis, some are nice to have in mind if you need them. In this article I will go through a few of them. Hopefully this will make you enjoy Firefox even more. :)

Browsing history (Ctrl + H)
This can be a very nifty function for anyone. By pressing "Ctrl + H" you will get this window:

As you see in the highlighted area you know got a window where you can go through the browser history, if you need to find an old URL maybe? The browsing history

option gives you a variety of options. As you see the history is divided into different days, and you can go in and check each one of them.

As shown in the screenshot above, you can also in the "Find" field type in a search string and the browser will search the browser history for sites containing those keywords, below you can see I typed in "Mozilla", and the browser automatically generated a list over sites I've visited containing the word "Mozilla".

To the right of the search string field, you got a drop down menu where you can sort the sites as you wish, press it and check it out. :) "Ctrl+ H" is one of the nicest functions in Firefox. There are more, to be continued...

An introduction to Mozilla Firefox
Download manager
Going to Tools and clicking on "Downloads" will give you something looking like this:

This is the Mozilla Firefox download manager, this feature mainly consists of 2 functions, you can view current downloads, and finished downloads. If you look at the screenshot above, the first thing I noticed was the pleasant user interface, good job Mozilla.

The highlighted area shows where files are stored by default, and clicking on the folder icon or name will open the folder in your favourite file explorer.

The Clean up button will let you clean the list of finished downloads on your download manager list.

In the screenshot above you see a download in action. As you see the download manager tells you how far it has come, what speed it's downloading at and how much time remains before the download completes. You've also get the choice to cancel or pause the download, very nifty if you're on a slow connection. :)

The open link will open the downloaded file in the default application, if there aren't any applications defined for that file, Firefox will ask you how it should be opened.

An introduction (printing)





Page setup, print preview and printing
I'm sure many of you print documents straight from the browser. Mozilla Firefox allows you to edit the printing options as well, as an ordinary text editor would do. The Firefox application is truly a multi-functional browser. :) First of all, from the drop down menu in the top left corner of the browser, you can choose "File". Go File > Page setup...and you will get these two options:

In "Format & Options" you can choose orientation, portrait or landscape. You can scale or make it auto-adjust. If you want the background printed out (usually that's not necessary) just check the box which says "Print background (colors & images)".

In "Margins & Header/Footer" you can adjust margins, as well as choose what you want or don't want in the headers and footers, really it's only your imagination which is the limit. :) Now, as you see you have many of the same options as a regular text editor program as for example Open Office, Word and such. I can't tell you what your settings should be, that's your choice. :) For the next function, go to File > Print you will get the following options:

If you look at the top tool bar, you got all your options at one place. :) You can really access most functions from Print Preview, and lay the finishing touch on your printout. Enjoy.

An introduction to Firefox, part 8
Bookmarks and the bookmark function is something most of you who browse on a daily basis will use. In this article I will explain a bit more about the options you get in Firefox regarding bookmarks. I'm sure with a bit more knowledge on how Mozilla Firefox works, and how to use bookmarks optimally, your experience and satisfaction with the browser will increase.

If you look at the screenshot above, I have highlighted the button for your bookmarks, press it once with your mouse button and you will get a extended menu:  Add to bookmarks (option)

Choosing this action will add your current page (tab window) to your bookmarks. If you choose this option you will get the following window (as shown below), note you got a few options. You can give the bookmark a name in "Name" field. You can also

choose where the Mozilla Firefox browser should store the bookmark (which folder), really it's up to you. :) If you check the box which says "Bookmark all tabs in a folder", the browser will create a new folder under bookmarks, which includes all the open tabs windows. If your unsure about tabs windows check out this article. I suggest you spend a few minutes navigating and try to learn where things are. :)

To remove a page from bookmarks, simply press "Bookmarks" on the top of your browser and locate the page you want to delete, right click and press "delete".  Manage bookmarks (menu)

Yes, a new window. I won't elaborate to much, this will get out of hand. ;) The bookmarks manager can be used to manage the properties (name, where it's

pointing to) for each bookmark, as well as organize the bookmarks into folders and separate sections. I suggest you use some time and get to know the choices you have. Nothing you do can really hurt the program, so go on explore a bit.  Bookmark toolbar folder (a folder)

Here you can find some of the Mozilla sites, you can also add pages to this folder if you want to.  Mozilla Firefox & Mozilla Information (a folder)

By default there are placed some Firefox help sites under this folder, you can also add your own sites here if you wish to do so.  Quick Searches (a folder)

Lists a few search sites, you can edit this option aswell.  Imported IE favourites (a folder)

If you used IE as a default browser previously, you will find your bookmarks from IE under this folder, quite handy. :)  "Your bookmarks" (URLs)

At the very bottom of "Bookmarks" menu, you will find your bookmarks added by you after Firefox installation, note you can move the bookmarks to folders if you wish to do so.