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Save Screen Space in Firefox by Converting Firefox Toolbars into Buttons

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Most browsers are moving towards a minimalist approach and are consolidating menus, toolbars, and other program elements. If you want to maximize the website viewing area, and you use Firefox, there is an option for optimizing the space available in your browser window.

Buttonizer is a Firefox add-on allows you to quickly convert one toolbar at a time to a button on the address bar. To install Buttonizer, go to the Buttonizer page on the Mozilla Add-ons site using the link at the end of this article. Click the Add to Firefox button.

01_clicking_add_to_firefox

The Software Installation dialog box displays. Click Install Now.

NOTE: Depending on your settings, there may be a short countdown on the Install button before you can click it.

02_clicking_install_now

Once the add-on is installed, a popup window displays asking you to restart Firefox to finish the installation. Click Restart Now.

03_clicking_restart_now

Once Firefox restarts, you’ll see the Buttonizer button on the right side of the Address bar. Right-click the button to see a list of toolbars that can be converted to a button. Select a toolbar from the list.

NOTE: Only one toolbar at a time can be converted to a button.

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The selected toolbar closes. Hover the mouse over the Buttonizer button to access the toolbar you “buttonized.”

05_buttonized_bookmarks_toolbar

To view a convert a different toolbar as a button, simply right-click on the Buttonizer button and select another toolbar. The previously selected toolbar displays again and the newly selected toolbar closes and is available on the Buttonizer button.

To view all toolbars as toolbars again, select Reset from the menu.

06_selecting_reset

Install Buttonizer from https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/buttonizer/.

Buttonizer is a very simple add-on, but it can be useful if you’re short on screen space.

Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 01/14/13

Comments (15)

  1. Murphy

    For me “Hide BokmarksBar” + “Hide Navigation Bar” extensions, then hide the tab bar and use the ctr + shift + e (actually remapped by another extension) to show the grouped tabs. This leaves me only the page with the title bar on top. For me it is the best for reading without any distractions from tabs, address bar, menus, etc. :)

  2. tony

    NOTE: Only one toolbar at a time can be converted to a button.

    Rendering this almost completely pointless.

  3. WandersFar

    To each his/her own, but personally I hate buttons. They just add to the visual noise and keyboard shortcuts are loads faster anyway.

    I used to use dedicated addons to hide toolbars and further tweak Firefox’s UI, but now I just use Stylish. It’s powerful and you can affect both sites and Firefox itself, very useful. Fewer addons = faster Firefox.

    I just have one bar which is a combination tab bar and address bar. No icons whatsoever, just the list of tabs and the URL. My viewable area is only 40 pixels shy of my vertical screen resolution, and that’s including the taskbar as well.

  4. JKL

    That’s a nice little trick if you don’t want a lot of junk cluttering up your browser window. But why not just go full bore and go full screen to push everything except the content out of the way? It’s easy! No finger acrobats involved either. Try pressing that ONE BUTTON!

    F11

    It’s a Windows maximize toggle which works for other “Windows” too. Try it right now!

    Of course, you could just right-click on an empty portion just below the title bar to select what tool bars you want to see or not see. No real need to “buttonize” them, if you ask me.

    Then again, another little trick would be the “Prt Sc” (print screen) key. Press it and you just took a snapshot of whatever was on your desktop and whatever may have been maximized for pasting into a (empty) graphics file. To do that, just open up Paint or some other graphics editor and press “paste” (also CTRL+V) to paste the contents of your clipboard (which you took with the print screen key) into a new picture.

    But I’m sure there are also programs that can do these things too. I’m just not sure I like the idea of downloading and installing more software that may have a virus (or worse) in it.

  5. Keltari

    I gave up on Firefox long ago. Chrome is faster, more stable, and just better in every way.

  6. Kodess

    Nice arguments Keltari, “better in every way” that means nothing.

    First of all, the latest browser speed tests showed Firefox’s nightly builds to be faster than chrome.
    Stability has never been an issue for me, except at 80+ tabs, but Chrome crashes way earlier (50+).

  7. Black Knight Rebel

    You can save so much more space by consolidating most used functions into a sidebar using the Vertical Toolbar add-on And for what it’s worth, the Bookmark bar already comes in a neat button form factor that can be found under the Customize option.

    You can also save even MORE space by turning the Firefox menu button into a normal button by using the Movable Firefox Button add-on

    To further save space you can use the old trick of hiding the Menu bar. It is easily accessible just by pressing Alt on your keyboard and it goes back into hiding by pressing Alt again or clicking away from the menu bar.

    Another trick is to use “small icons” for the navigation buttons (home, back, refresh, etc) The Small Buttons option is found under Customize.

  8. Rob

    No real advantage over using F11 to use full screen IMHO.

  9. hfxmike

    F11 FTW

    @JKL – best printscreen utility is gadwin (the free version). I have mine set to draw a rectangle around what I want, and save that as an auto-named jpg in my dropbox folder. Pretty nice.

  10. got runs?

    I have a large monitor so something like this isn’t needed.

  11. gyffes

    Chrome’s great until you try opening more than, oh, 5 tabs at a time.

    Having said that, no browser currently satisfies; each has something negative (in varying degrees) that detracts.

  12. gyffes

    And the bottom line is, toolbars should be illegal.

    If I can find the jerk pushing Ask.com via java installs….

  13. John

    Keltari- I use full screen 95% of the time in Firefox. Wanna go back a page, or change tabs? Just move cursor to top, and menubar drops down. In Chrome? Hah. Moving cursor to the top tells me that I’m in full screen. Big deal. Already knew that. But- to get the menu bar back, so as to merely go back a page or flip tabs, I have to exit full screen. Then go full screen again. Thanks- but NO THANKS.
    Some of the people who bow down to our overlord google are getting to be as obnoxious as some other fanboys that I can think of.

  14. cam2644

    I doubt I would use this particular add on but please keep giving us info on Firefox because it’s still the most flexible and user friendly browser

  15. E,W.

    At least Chrome doesn’t take it on itself to disable or block Java entirely.
    I had to install Chrome on my husband’s desktop just so he could play games in Pogo!
    His Crome browser has only one bookmark…. Pogo. He’s a happy camper. :)

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