One of the complaints that I’ve heard quite often lately about Firefox is that the default Firefox theme in Vista just doesn’t feel like it belongs with the rest of the eye candy. After doing some browsing around today, I’ve figured out some repeatable steps to make Firefox look a lot like IE7.

On to the eye candy!  =)

Here’s some screenshots of Firefox and Internet Explorer 7 running under Vista. The main difference between the two is that IE uses transparancy for the top toolbar and Firefox doesn’t.

In order to achieve this look, the first thing we’ll need to do is install a few addons to Firefox. The first add-on is the great theme called “myFirefox”… the author did a really great job. Then we’ll need to install the “Personal Menu” extension, which will allow us to hide the menu bar.


Personal Menu

Update.. Even better theme: Vista-Aero

Once you have those both installed, and have restarted Firefox, we can move on. The first thing you’ll notice is that the menu bar has moved. It’s now in the same location that the menu bar on IE7 is when you hit the Alt key. You should note that the shortcut keys will still work normally (Ctrl+S, Ctrl+T,O, etc)

If you want to hide this menu using the Personal menu extension, then just right click somewhere on the top bar (the home button is a good choice).

You should see a new item in the menu called “Menus Toolbar”. This will let you hide the menu. It will also give you an informational dialog telling you the shortcut key (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S) should you want to show the menu again. You can change this key if you install the keyconfig extension.

In the right-click menu used above, you should also notice a new item called Menus \ Edit This Menu. If you select that, you will see this dialog, that will let you show the menus via the same right-click menu.

This will let you get to the menus if you really want to. (Or you could use the shortcut key) 

Alternatively, you can add a “Personal Menu” button to your toolbar, and customize a couple of frequently used items on it. Just right-click \ Customize on the toolbar, and choose the shiny new “Menu” button shown on the left hand side of this screenshot, and drag it to your toolbar somewhere.

Now you can edit the menus on that button, and choose whatever items that you would like to have appear.


That was a fairly long explanation, hopefully it helped you out. I personally just use the shortcut key to show the menu, and don’t bother with all the other stuff.

Warning: Make sure that you do not have the “Menu” menu hidden if you want to disable the Personal Menu plugin. If you do, the only way to get the menu back will be to install a new extension (so that it will pop up the add-ons window again), re-enable the personal menu extension, re-enable the “Menu” menu, and then disable the extension.

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Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work.
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