Mozilla Firefox
Why use Firefox as your internet browser?
Faster | More Features | Better Security | Cross Platform | Free | Not Microsoft
Download Firefox from
Mozilla 2.0 was released in 2006 !

Installation Options
Do a Custom install
put icons on Desktop, Start Menu, Quick Launch bar as you prefer
import bookmarks/favorites settings, cookies if you are updating from Internet Explorer
On the Menu Bar under Tools, Options. There are configuration options icons. On a Mac they are under Firefox, Preferences.
The Main Tab is where you can set your home page. There is also an option to save all downloads  to a specific place such as the Desktop, or to ask where download should be saved
Security Tab      If you set Firefox to save your passwords you should set a master password to prevent other users from seeing all your passwords.

For the other tabs, you can leave the default settings where they are. They are fine for most people.

Tabbed Browsing
If you have several links you want to look at, right click on each one and choose "Open link in new tab" A new toolbar will open with tabs to indicate the pages. Click on any tab to open it. Click on the X to the right to close the active tab.
Tip: To open a new tab press Ctrl T ( Command T on the Mac) if, for example, you want to search for something.
Tip: Entering a name in the address bar, such as mozilla and using Ctrl Enter (on the Mac use Command Return) will add the http://www. and .com to the beginning and end of the name.

Tip: Entering a search term in the address box (not the search box to the right) and clicking on the green triangle button will do an "I'm Feeling Lucky" search and return the page of the top result.
Increase the Size of Text on a Page
If the page is too small to view, press CTRL + (Mac keys are Command + ), which means hold down the Control key and press the + key, either on the keyboard or on the numeric pad. Every time you hit the plus ( + ) key the text will get larger. Hold down the Control key and hit the minus ( - ) key to make the text smaller.
Tip: to see how recently a page has been modified, click Tools, Page Info
Customizing Firefox
Customize the Navigation Toolbar
Right click on one of the icons in the Navigation Toolbar, click on Customize.
Drag the printer icon onto the toolbar. Now you can print a web page just by clicking on the icon.
The Copy icon is also useful to drag to the toolbar.
 Using the Search Engine Box
On the Navigation Toolbar is the rather large Address Box and the rather small Search Box. By default Google is the search engine. Enter a query here and do a full Google search. This means you don't need to have Google as your home page. "But wait, there's more."
Adding Search Engines to the Search Engine Box
 Click on the little black triangle.  If you click on  "Manage Search Engines..."  you can add many different search engines. Yahoo and Ebay are already there but add, for example, IMDB (Internet Movie Data Base). Click on IMDB to replace the Google G and you will search only IMDB.
Click on "Get more search engines". Some interesting search engines to add are: Ixquick, Ixquick Picture Search, Kartoo, Teoma, Vivisimo, Torrent SearchUS. Kartoo is unusual in that it displays search results as a map.
Adding a Thumbnail Preview to search results with an Extension
Firefox offers extensions which extend the features of the browser. Go to the Menu Bar, Tools, Add-ons, Extensions, Get Extensions. Under Category choose Search Tools look for SearchPreview. Click on Install, then Install Now. The Extensions Window will open and tell you the extension will be installed after you restart Firefox. So close and restart Firefox.
Add Another Extension, this time for the Google Toolbar
Menu Bar, Tools, Add-ons, Extensions, Get Extensions. Under Category choose Search Tools. Look for Googlebar. Install it as before.
[There are many, many extensions. Be judicious in how many you install.]
Google Toolbar
This toolbar adds another search box but only for Google. Click on the word Google to go to the Google Home Page. Enter a search term in the white box. Click on the black triangle next to the G to see which Google features to search: Images, News, Language Tools, etc. The icons allow you to customize your Google search, for example the Shamrock does an "I'm Feeling Lucky" search which skips the search results page and goes directly to the top result.
Any words typed in this search box can be highlighted by clicking on the yellow marker icon. Multiple words get multiple colors. This is a vast improvement over the "find in this page" implementation in IE which pops up a large text blocking window. In Firefox (Edit, Find in this page or Ctrl F ) the find box appears at the bottom of the screen with next and previous buttons but the highlight button only highlights the next item.
Tip: Clicking on the words to the right of the yellow marker takes you to the next occurrence of that word.
 Tip: If you enter text in the Googelbar Search Box and press Ctrl Enter (on the Mac use Command Return) the search results open in a new tab.                  
Tip: Highlight text and right click, choosing "Search Web for" This opens the search results in a new tab. 

Warning Messages
If you need additional plugins to display a page correctly, for example Macromedia's Flash, a pale yellow bar will appear under the toolbars with a button for installing the missing plugins.
This is also where you will see warning messages about programs Firefox has blocked.

Bookmarks,  Bookmarklets and Sidebars
View the Bookmarks Toolbar
The Bookmarks Toolbar is where you can drag the icon for frequently visited sites.
View, Toolbars, Put a check next to Bookmarks Toolbar
Go to a favorite site. In the address bar find the icon just to the left of http:. Drag it onto the Bookmark Toolbar. Now you can go to that site by clicking on the icon. Right click on the icon, choose Properties and change the name that displays.
Add Bookmarklets to the Bookmarks Toolbar
In addition to sites, you can add bookmarklets which are small programs to perform repetitive tasks. Here are two to increment or decrement the last number in a URL. Useful when viewing pictures from your digital camera in a web browser.
Go to
click on Miscellaneous Bookmarklets
Drag to the Bookmark Toolbar the buttons  increment and decrement
Change the name ( by right clicking on the button name) to + and -
View Sidebar
There is a sidebar which you can see by clicking on the Menu Bar, View, Sidebar and checking the sidebars you want. There are default sidebars for bookmarks or history but you can add more for blogs or RSS feeds or whatever. Google something firefox sidebar.
Take Firefox With You
Firefox will work from a USB device. Windows only for now.

For a list of other portable apps see:

  More Help
Mozilla is the organization that is responsible for Mozilla, Firefox and the excellent email client Thunderbird.
Firefox Help Page:
Mozdev develops add ons for Mozilla, Firefox and Thunderbird:
More extensions from Mozdev:
Step by step installation instructions:
This document explains all options available in the Options window of Firefox.

For advanced users only, you can customize every aspect of Firefox by typing about:config in the address box.

This file is found at

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