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Friday, November 18, 2011

A Better Firefox Add-on Bar

I was sick of seeing the default Firefox add-on bar taking so much of my precious viewing space, so I decided enough was enough. I created this official add-on, you can download it from either of the links below.

 Watch a video of how this add-on works at http://youtu.be/uIlvcaB77dg



This add-on tweaks the default add-on bar and makes it look much cleaner and more convenient, simply hover over the add-on bar area at the bottom right side of the browser window and you'll see your icons all neatly organized, it has transitions.

This add-on is a direct port from my user-style. Please feel free to drop a comment or leave me some feedback, thanks!


  1. I don't want to be one of those dorks who slams you on AMO because I don't think your description matches what your add-on does (trust me - I'm a dork in enough other ways that I should avoid the easy ones).

    I read the description of the add-on, installed it, and thought "Where the F did my add-on bar go?". I reread the description of your extension and decided that it couldn't be the cause.

    Of course, it was the cause, but it took me a couple of days to that out.

    Being you seemed to have put some effort into the add-on and seemed open for feedback, I decided to try to figure out why I was confused.

    First, the summary in the about:addons page of FF is different than what is on the AMO site. It doesn't mention that you need to put your mouse into the corner of the browser to see the add-on bar.

    The second problem, which may be somewhat unique to me as I find that I'm so exacting in my thought patterns that talking to non-geeks is simply exhausting, is that you never say that your add-on hides the add-on bar. On AMO you say "...simply hover over the add-on bar area at the bottom right side of the browser window and you'll see your icons all neatly organized"

    That's true. I understood that hovering the mouse "neatly organized" the add-on bar but did not understand that not hovering the mouse meant you had no add-on bar. I just assumed you had a less "neatly organized" bar. I think the phrase "auto-hides" needs to be in both the AMO and about:addons descriptions.

    In any case, it's a nice add-on that doesn't integrate with my use-style whatsoever. Sort of like a wonderful piece of modern art. I appreciate the craft and skill that went into it but don't want to have anything to do with it :-)

    All that being said, I see you're still in need of reviews on AMO so I'm going to give you 3-stars for the add-on (considering I hate the thing, I really mean that I appreciate the craft and skill). I also +1 the stars for restartless so you'll end up with a 4-star review from someone who can't stand the add-on. At least when it comes from me, that is a pretty high complement.

    Keep up the good work, though do things I care about more, and stay cool.


    PS: I see you gave a good review to one of the spin-offs of http://codefisher.org/toolbar_button/. I am a big fan of that add-on and, when Mozilla went to requiring SSL hosting for their add-ons, I paid for 2 years of SSL certs and hosting for the add-on. Michael, the author, was on the verge of entering the seminary to be a priest and was struggling for the few bucks it cost (2 years was well under $100, I think about $60). An interest in Catholicism explains the choice of his website Url.

  2. @Neil

    Thank you for your wonderful review, I would like to let you know a couple of things, when I first decided to make this add-on I was mainly thinking about consolidating my visual space, I don't like things taking up too much space from the web browser. I tested it with the add-ons I've been using which are mainly for web development, modifying certain browser objects in the GUI to go into the add-on bar was not my intention for this add-on.

    But, that being said, I did realize after a couple reviews, a few other add-ons which alter objects that are placed into the add-on bar container seem to not appear appropriately (two that come to mind are full-mode for download statusbar and having a search bar in the add-on bar). When this gets fully reviewed, I'll be updating the extension some time after (I'm learning about packets and hacking right now), I will include fixes for the descriptions and will do better to implement support for other modifications to the add-on bar.

    Thank you once again for your feedback and don't worry, I can take beating.

  3. Love your bar. But I have an issue. Sometimes I need to click something on the very bottom right hand corner of a current window but your bar wont let me as it keeps popping up as I try to click.
    Any suggestions?

  4. Hello,

    Have 2 things to say:

    1º - I love your idea but i can't get your extension to work! It says it can't change a necessary file! (I'm on a restricted network account, however)

    2º - Have you ever heard about Netscape 8's Multibar?! The concept would be a great one to have in FF: Hide user defined toolbars and show only one. Then get a button that when you Click > Hide toolbar *, show toolbar A - Click > hide toolbar A, show toolbar B - click > Hide Toolbar B, show toolbar C... and so on) A drop-down list to get fast to the desired toolbar would be great.

    I supose this ain't difficult to code, but i don't have the knowledge. It's the only feature i miss in FF. What do you think?

  5. @talis

    You are right, the fact that you cannot click in that area is a slight issue, I have not looked into this problem much. The only other option would be alter the element, from invisible to sliding in at that bottom right area. (Please do check my userstyle version of this add-on for now and use that in the mean time, there is a slider version that addresses that very issue).


    I understand the problem you are having, I will see if I can addresses the installation problem in version 1.3. I am also aware that there are solutions to that problem, try googling the error you get and let me know if that helps.

    As far as the multibar feature, I have never used it, it may be worth looking into, the code behind it would take time to perfect, I am a one developer team right now, I will look into it in the future, when I have substantial free time to do so.

    Thanks for your comments.

  6. @ ipollesion

    The great benefit of such Addon/button would be saving A LOT of vertical space!

    There's already one addon called QuickToolbars (from where you might start), But it only Hides or Shows the toolbars and does not switch between them. The ability to switch between toolbars would be, from what i see, the killer feature of such extension.

    Anyway, tks for you reply

  7. Link URL be covered by Find Bar ?
    Photo: https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-QaRY3iZ3OhE/TxbTV193EkI/AAAAAAAAC-Q/tZwi9Hcd38U/I/A%252520Better%252520Firefox%252520Add-on%252520Bar.png

    1. v1.2 Disadvantages:
      1. Find text will be covered by Find Bar (because of floating, scroll to and then pull).
      2. Link URL (too long or have a fixed width) will be covered by Find Bar.
      3. In Firefox 10 version, test toolbar(Ctrl+Shift+I) is not displayed.

    2. Thanks for the feedback, I will be updating the add-on later on, I hope to address some of the issues.

    3. I think/thought when I installed the addon (1-2 weeks ago) this was not an issue.
      Unfortunately, since recently I am experiencing this issue, and I think since after an update.

      Has there been an update?
      Was this changed?
      Could you fix this?