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I’ve taken to using Google Chrome as my primary web browser lately because it’s super fast and its navigation area doesn’t take up very much screen real estate. That makes it ideal for use on netbooks, which have relatively small displays. But as I was reading through Mobile Computer Magazine’s Eight essential netbook utilities list, I was reminded of an oldie but goodie. Back in May, Mobile Computer wrote up an excellent 16 step tutorial for tweaking Firefox to work better with small screen displays.

In a nutshell, they recommend hiding the status bar and installing some third party addons to replace your menu bar with a drop down menu that you can put in the navigation toolbar.  If you’re looking for ways to maximize your screen real estate, you should check out the article.

Liliputing Forum member slacy also created a Notebooks.com wiki entry with tips for tweaking Firefox for netbooks as part of the Lenovo IdeaPad S10 giveaway.

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6 replies on “How to optimize Firefox for netbook displays”

  1. I had also recently moved to Chrome because of the small visual footprint. I really needed the extra screen real estate. However when prepping my Dell Mini 9 for using at a conference I was presenting at I needed to free up harddrive space.

    That’s when I found out Chrome eats that space. It had hidden files in excess of half a gig stored on my computer, and removing all my cahces, temp downloads, downloads, windows temp, etc didn’t get rid of it, so Google Chrome had to go.

    Thanks for this info, now I can try to get back my precious screen real estate, without sacrificing my equally precious hard drive space. That and still certain websites fail to function properly with Chrome.

  2. Ever tried pressing F11 on Firefox?

    It makes the browser take up the whole screen. Menu bar, etc. is brought up when you move the mouse pointer to the top. That’s only one step and more effective.

    1. Agreed (and covered in step 1 of the piece!), but using full-screen mode means you lose access to your menu bar and bookmarks toolbar, whereas our guide keeps them visible in the least amount of space possible…

      Thanks for the link, Brad.

      1. Yep, F11 will give you the max possible, and its very nice. I optimized my Firefox with the TinyMenu add-in to put the menu as a drop-down from one “Menu” item, and pulled the toolbar, address bar and search bar up beside each other, so the whole thing just takes up room for one toolbar. So far it seems to work really well for me.

  3. Has anyone made an Optimize for…

    – IE 7
    – Chrome
    – Opera
    – Safari

    Some woudl need more of less help but it would be nice to know.

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