Customize Firefox FullScreen Mode With MiniMode
By on April 18th, 2010

In Firefox, you can switch to full screen mode by hitting the shortcut key “F11″. The full screen mode removes all the toolbars, panels, status bar, address bar and presents a clean and clear reading environment. For example: whenever I am writing something or watching a YouTube video, I normally use the full screen mode to avoid distractions.

But there are some problems with the full screen mode in Firefox. The full screen mode hides everything, which is often a barrier for quick browsing. Let’s see some common examples:

1. Can not copy the URL from the address bar: You may want to hide only the toolbars and might want to keep the address bar intact so that you can copy the URL of the page in full screen mode. You don’t want to revert to the normal mode again, just for copying a URL.

2. Can not switch tabs: The full screen mode also hides all the tabs, so if you want to switch tabs – you have to come to the normal mode, change the tabs and then go to the full screen mode again.

3. Can not open a bookmark: Since all the toolbars are hidden, you do not have one click access to the bookmarks. You have to come to the normal mode again, load a bookmark and then switch to the full screen mode.

This is when you need the Minimode add-on for Firefox. The add-on helps you to customize the full screen mode according to your needs. Once the add-on is installed, restart Firefox and open the add-on preferences from “Tools > Add-ons > Minimode > Options”.

As you can see, you can choose the elements you want to hide by selecting the appropriate checkboxes in the add-on settings. The keyboard shortcut is Control + F11, which will hide all the toolbars except the tab bar and the title bar. This is useful, because I can switch the tabs even in the full screen mode. From the add-on preferences, you can choose to show any combination of toolbars in the full screen mode.

Here is how my WordPress writing pane looks, after I have installed the add-on and writing this article:

Techie Buzz Verdict

The Minimode add-on lets you customize the full screen mode in Firefox. You can choose which elements to show and which elements to hide, thus making it a very handy extension for productivity. One flaw spotted: don’t try to hit F11 after the add-on is installed, it freezes the screen. Hit Control + F11 instead.

Techie Buzz rating: 3.5/5 (Very Good).

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Author: Amit Banerjee Google Profile for Amit Banerjee
Amit has been writing for Techie Buzz since early 2009 and keeps a close eye on web apps, Google and all things Tech. He also writes at his own tech blog, Ampercent. Follow him on Twitter @ amit_banerjee

Amit Banerjee has written and can be contacted at amit@techie-buzz.com.

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