9 tweaks for Firefox 3’s location bar

While Firefox 3’s location bar is perhaps my personal favorite new feature and the one I missed the most when I have to use Firefox 2 for some testing, there are a lot of people who find it weird, obtrusive and don’t like it including bookmarks and history among its results.

An option to restore its old behavior was available for a few weeks during Firefox 3 development but it was pulled basically because it would need a lot of testing and it was thought it was not worth it. The option may come back for Firefox 3.1.

In the meantime, for those who prefer the old way and those who want even more power, here are 9 easy tweaks you can try.

1. Make the autocomplete menu show only typed addresses and not visited or bookmarked

  • Enter about:config in the location bar to access the advanced preferences. Accept the “This may void your warranty message”.
  • Look for browser.urlbar.matchOnlyTyped and double click it to set it to TRUE.

2. To set the autocomplete menu to single line suggestions install the oldbar extension, developed by Seth Spitzer. Together with the previous tweak pretty much restores Firefox 2 behavior, except typed characters are searched in all the address instead of just the beginning.

3. Change the number of suggestions displayed in the autocomplete menu

  • Enter about:config in the location bar to access the advanced preferences.
  • Look for browser.urlbar.maxRichResults and set it to the number of results you want to get.
  • Restart Firefox for the change to take effect.

4. Hide the star button if you prefer to use the Bookmarks menu or a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + D)

  • Open your userChrome.css file located in your profile folder.
  • Add this line to the end of the file: #star-button {display: none !important;}
  • Restart Firefox for the change to take effect.

5. Always show the Go button. By default it is only displayed when you are editing the current web address.

  • Open your userChrome.css file located in your profile folder.
  • Add this line to the end of the file: #go-button { visibility: visible !important; }
  • Restart Firefox for the change to take effect.

6. If you enter firfox in the location bar and you try to correct it, the autocomplete menu won’t suggest anything because it only keeps working as you edit the last characters. Install the Edit Middle extension, developed by harikaried, to make it work with edits anywhere.

7. To auto select the first suggestion in the autocomplete menu, install the Enter Selects extension, developed by harikaried. You will need to logon to Mozilla Add-ons to install it as it’s still experimental.

8. Tweak the autocomplete menu title and addresses size and colors by adding these lines to your userChrome.css file. Check for the specific hexadecimal color code to use at WebMonkey.

.ac-comment {font-size: 100% !important; color: #444444 !important; }

.ac-comment[selected=’true’] { color: #FFFFFF !important; }

.ac-url-text {font-size: 100% !important; color: #000077 !important; }

.ac-url-text[selected=’true’] { color: #FFFFFF !important; }

9. To include Google and Amazon search results in the autocomplete menu install the Searchery extension, developed by Ian McKellar. You will need to logon to Mozilla Add-ons to install it as it’s still experimental.

10. Bonus tip courtesy of Frederick from the comments: To hide the web feed icon from the location bar, add this line to your userChrome.css file: #feed-button[feeds] { display: none !important; }

Happy tweaking!

Thanks Jens, Marius, and Marcelo for the suggestions and corrections which work better indeed. There were unwanted spaces and wrong quotes in the original post but have now been corrected.

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