Most netbooks have 1024 x 600 pixel or lower resolution displays. And while a few years ago, it wasn’t hard to find full sized computers with 800 x 600 pixel monitors, these days most applications and web sites are designed for larger screens. One thing that you can do to improve the experience of using a netbook is to optimize your web browser for the small screen by removing unecessary toolbars, changing icon sizes, and performing other actions to make sure that you have as much room as possible to display actual web pages.

One of the easiest ways to do that is by installing the Meerkat Firefox extension. This utility hides the Firefox status bar when there’s no activity, removes the menu bar and places those items in a drop down menu, resizes icons, and adds downloads and bookmarks buttons to the navigation area so you have easy access to these features without letting them take up valuable space in a dedicated toolbar.

The developer says Meerkat can add about 60 pixels of vertical screen space for web browsing. That’s about 10% of a netbook screen. Of course, you could also install another web browser like Google Chrome, which takes up less screen real estate than Firefox, even without any plugins. But if you’re tied to Firefox Meerkat might be worth checking out. The developer recommends returning your toolbars to the default layout before installing the plugin.


Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign


Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Subscribe to Liliputing via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,535 other subscribers

3 replies on “Meerkat extension optimizes Firefox for small-screen computers”

  1. So, from the description, it seems like it simply reorganizes the GUI…which isn’t something you couldn’t do already (though with more work), and not only in Firefox.

    But…it doesn’t mention tackling the real problem with small screens: that many webpages themselves don’t fit horizontally! (which you can see a bit on the screenshot above – horizontal scrollbar is active (luckily, in this case, the whole width of the website is visible nonetheless..but there are many offenders in this area))

    Perhaps, finally, some mention of Opera on Liliputing? It’s GUI can also be compressed, but apart from that:

    1) it has wonderfully working “fit to width” function

    2) Built-in user styles mechanism for webpages, which can improve legibility

    3) Opera Turbo really helps on slow/mobile connections

    4) Full keyboard navigation; helps a bit on netbooks with small touchpads (or you can draw gestures, also built-in…)

    Plus the browser as a whole is more snappy; more visible the slower the hardware is.

Comments are closed.