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Firefox and Thunderbird: Beyond Browsing and Email

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Firefox and Thunderbird: Beyond Browsing and Email


  • Sorry, this book is no longer in print.
Not for Sale


  • Copyright 2006
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 360
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-3458-3
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-3458-7

There's a new browser in town: Firefox is quickly becoming a leading alternative to Microsoft Internet Explorer. If you are new to Firefox and want to see what all the buzz is about, Firefox and Thunderbird: Beyond Browsing and Email is the guide that you need. By focusing on how to configure and customize Firefox and Thunderbird, this book will show you how to quickly get a hold of the less intuitive features that most new users struggle to figure out. You will discover which of Firefox's many options should be adjusted, which shouldn't, and how to locate many hidden preferences that will ultimately create a better browsing experience. The author's tips and tricks will teach you how to adjust the browser's appearance and behavior, and how to install the most popular extensions to maximize the browser's performance.

You'll also be introduced to Firefox's e-mail client companion, Thunderbird. You'll cover Thunderbird's built-in spam filters, calendar, and customizeable layout and toolbars. Personalize your e-mail with tips and tricks dedicated to getting the most out of Thunderbird, and learn how to make it work together with Firefox for a seamless online experience.

You can even find out how to contribute to the development of Firefox and Thunderbird. A special section on Web development will show you how you can add new extensions, themes, and customizations to each one and make an impact on the future of Firefox and Thunderbird.



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AppendixA (215 KB)

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapters

Finding Information with Firefox

Finding Information with Firefox

Table of Contents


    The Mozilla Project

    The Mozilla Suite

    Why Firefox Now?


    The Mozilla Open Source Community

    Who Should Read This Book?

    What Is in This Book?

    From the Author


1. Hitting the Ground Running with Firefox.

    Installing Firefox



    Understanding Bookmarks and Favorites

    Internet Explorer's Favorites

    Firefox's Bookmarks

    Transferring Internet Explorer's Favorites to Firefox

    Synchronizing with Internet Explorer

    Making Firefox the Default Browser

    Installation and Configuration Secrets for Power Users

2. The Power of Tabs and Bookmarks.

    Using Tabs to Manage Pages

    Opening a New Tab

    Opening a Link in a Tab

    Changing Tabbrowser Extensions Configuration Options

    Navigating Between Tabs

    Rearranging Tabs

    Rearranging Tabs with the Mouse

    Rearranging Tabs with the Keyboard

    Opening Multiple Bookmarks in Tabs

    Creating and Using TabGroups

    Using Live Bookmarks and Bookmarks in Firefox

    Live Bookmarks, Live Bookmark Articles, and Bookmarks

    Configuring Live Bookmarks and Bookmarks in Tabbrowser

    Working with Multiple Home Pages in Tabs

    Tabbing and Bookmark Secrets for Power Users

3. Finding Information with Firefox.

    Firefox Search Engines

    Using the Location Bar

    Using the Search Bar

    Adding Search Engines to the Search Bar

    Switching Search Engines

    Working with Firefox's Keywords System

    Working with the Find Bar

    Storing Searches

    Navigating the History

    Configuring History

    Downloaded History

    Searching Secrets for Power Users

4. Managing Profiles.

    Locating Your Profile

    Configuration File: user.js

    Customizing Firefox's Look and Feel with userChrome.css

    Customizing How Content Is Displayed with userContent.css

    Using about:config

    Creating Profiles with the Profile Wizard

    Backing Up a Profile

    Restoring a Profile

    Using Multiple Profiles

    Importing Profile Information

    Sharing a Profile

    Profile Secrets for Power Users

5. Taking Control of Your Browser.

    Understanding Web Security Issues

    Websites Written for Internet Explorer

    Blocking Pop-ups

    Blocking Banner Ads

    Blocking Ads with Adblock

    Importing, Exporting, and Removing Filters

    Adblock Preferences

    Software Installations from Non-Mozilla Sites

    Controlling JavaScript

    Using BugMeNot for Anonymous Registration

    Understanding Cookies and Firefox Cookie Controls

    Password-Protecting Firefox

    Determining the Real Location of Sites

    Using Firefox's Clear Private Data Feature

    Taking Control Secrets for Power Users


6. Power Firefox Tricks and Techniques.

    Finding Your Configuration Files

    Windows XP and 2000

    Windows 95, 98, and Millennium



    Firefox Global Preferences and Properties

    Global Preferences

    Global Properties

    Defaults.ini and Components.ini

    Creating and Editing user.js

    Cascading Style Sheets: A Primer

    Editing userChrome.css

    Creating and Editing userContent.css

    Using Themes

    Changing Browser Behavior and Appearance

    Flexbeta FireTweaker

    ChromEdit: User Profile File Editor

    Other Browser Performance Improvements

    Pipelining More Speed

    Miscellaneous Performance Preferences

    Reporting Broken Websites

    Power Firefox Tricks and Techniques Secrets for Power Users

7. Themes and Plug-ins.

    Browsing Mozilla Update

    Installing a Theme

    Plugging In Content with a Plug-in

    Installing Plug-ins

    Acrobat Reader

    Adobe SVG Viewer

    Java Plug-in

    Macromedia Flash Player

    Macromedia Shockwave Player


    RealPlayer 10

    Windows Media Player

    Other Plug-ins and Toys

    Themes and Plug-ins Secrets for Power Users

8. Making Extensions Work for You.

    Firefox Extensions: Never a Dull Moment!

    Installing an Extension

    Manual Installation

    Automatic Installation

    All Extension Installations

    The Most Popular Extension Categories



    Developer Tools

    Download Tools

    Editing and Forms



    Image Browsing

    Kiosk Browsing





    Privacy and Security

    Search Tools

    Tabbed Browsing

    Web Annoyances

    Website Integration

    XUL Applications

    Working with Extensions: Secrets for Power Users

9. Changing Preferences and Settings.




    about:config, Firefox's Configuration Console

    Back Up Before Disaster!

    Understanding the about:config Display

    Adding New Preferences

    Filtering and Sorting the about:config Display

    Using Caution with about:config

    Modifying Preferences with about:config

    Changing Hidden and Undocumented Options

    about:credits-Who's Guilty?


    about:plugins, Plugging into Plug-ins

    Working with about: Secrets for Power Users


10. Hitting the Ground Running with Thunderbird.

    Thunderbird Is a Better Alternative

    Getting Up and Running with Thunderbird

    Installing on Windows


    Importing Account Settings

    Importing Address Books



    Setting Up Accounts

    Server Settings

    Check for New Messages at Startup

    Check for New Messages Every 10 Minutes

    Automatically Download New Messages

    Fetch Headers Only

    Leave Messages on Server

    Empty Trash on Exit

    Creating Your Own Mail Start Page

    Composing and Sending a Message

    Using the Spell-Checker

    Replying to Mail

    Creating HTML Mail

    Creating and Using a Template

    Creating a Signature

    Subscribing to RSS Feeds and Blogs



    Reading Newsgroups

    Thunderbird Secrets for Power Users

11. Organizing Email with Thunderbird.

    Managing Folders

    Labeling Messages

    Filtering Messages

    Sorting and Grouping Messages


    Searching Messages

    Using Search Folders

    Searching Addresses

    Using Thunderbird Address Books

    Organizing Mail Secrets for Power Users

12. Fighting Spam.

    Security and Privacy Settings

    Understanding Bayesian Filtering

    Learning About the Adaptive Filter for Junk Mail Control

    Training the Adaptive Filter

    Changing the Junk Mail Settings

    White Lists



    Handling Spam

    Catchall Spam

    Living Without Spam

    Organizing Mail Secrets for Power Users

13. Customizing Thunderbird for Power Users.

    Finding and Installing Themes

    Finding a Theme

    Installing a Theme

    Switching Between Themes

    Uninstalling a Theme

    Common Theme Problems

    Customizing Toolbars

    Add Buttons

    Rearrange or Remove Buttons

    Button Extensions

    Changing the Window Layout

    Three Layouts

    Folder Pane

    Message List Pane

    Message Pane

    Attachments Pane

    Changing the Appearance of Email Messages

    Plain-text Messages

    HTML Messages

    Locating and Using Your Thunderbird Profile

    Finding Your Profile

    What Is in the Profile?

    Other Modifications and Tasks


    Compact Folders

    Profile Management

    Antivirus Software Issues

    Account Pane Order

    Signature Display in Color Versus Gray

    Turn Off Color Quote Bars-Use > Instead

    Throbber URL

    Finding and Installing Extensions

    Installing an Extension

    Uninstalling an Extension

    Safe Mode

    Changing Hidden Options with about:config

    Installing the about:config Extension

    Modifying Preferences

    Editing Thunderbird Configuration Files

    Changing Configuration Settings Manually

    Thunderbird Customization Secrets for Power Users


14. Web Development with Firefox.

    Firefox and Compliance with Web Standards

    The Mozilla Developer Interface

    Web Developer Tools


    View Cookies

    View Rendered Source

    Web Developer

    JavaScript for Developers

    JavaScript Console

    The Venkman Extension

    Debugging Preferences

    Firefox Command-line Options

    Understanding CSS

    CSS Level 1

    CSS Levels 2 and 2.1

    CSS Level 3

    Using CSS with Firefox



    DOM Inspector

    Web Development Secrets for Power Users

15. Creating Your Own Theme.

    Preparing Your Theme

    Creating the Working Theme

    Configuring Firefox for Theme Development

    Graphics Images

    Creating Themes


    Multibutton Images

    Background Images

    An Example: global.css

    Final Results

    Theme Writing Secrets for Power Users

16. Writing an Extension.

    Setting Up the Development Environment

    Preferences for Extension Developers

    Tools for Extension Development

    The Extension Developer Extension

    Debugging Consoles

    Multiple Instances of Firefox

    Understanding XML User Interface Language

    XUL Syntax

    XUL Example

    Working with JavaScript

    JavaScript Reference

    The Firefox window Object

    Creating a Unique GUID

    Firefox Command Options for Developers

    Working Through an Extension Development Example

    Development Profile Save and Restore

    The Development Folders

    Extension Files

    An Extension for Firefox 1.0.x

    An Extension for Firefox 1.5

    Extension Writing Secrets for Power Users


17. Mozilla's Tools for Developers.

    Open Source As a Way of Life

    Developer Tools

    Mozilla Developer Support Tools


    Looking Up a Bug

    Filing a Bug

    Updating and Modifying a Bug

    Fixing a Bug




    Working with Mozilla Development Tools Secrets for Power Users

18. Browsing the Code.

    Mozilla Firefox Trunk

    Mozilla Code Development Cycle

    Coding Practices

    Setting Up and Building Firefox

    Necessary Software

    Performing a Build

    Packaging Firefox for Distribution

    Check-in Requirements

    Mozilla Source Code Secrets for Power Users

19. The Future of Firefox and Thunderbird.

    The History of Mozilla

    In the Future

    Firefox 1.5 (Deer Park)

    Firefox 2.0 (The Ocho)

    Firefox Versus Internet Explorer

    Thunderbird, Outlook, and Outlook Express

    The Internet As the Internet Should Be




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