Firefox 3.6 to ship with extra pixels on Windows

Firefox 3.6 beta 5 features a new option to hide the menu bar. Right click on the navigation or menu bar and uncheck the Menu Bar item to have it gone for good.

With today’s current resolutions, you will instantly get somewhere between 20 – 40K extra pixels.

Hide menu bar in Firefox 3.6

When you need to access a menu bar option, press the Alt key and the menu bar will appear temporarily.

To do the same in Firefox 3.5 you will need an extension like Personal Menu or Compact Menu 2.

12 thoughts on “Firefox 3.6 to ship with extra pixels on Windows”

  1. Interesting, not something I really want to do. I am not hurting for screenspace with this 24″ monitor.

  2. I saw this (was it in beta 4 also I think?), but it worked for some time and then it screw up. Now the only difference in checking this option is one pixel less, the menu is still visible…

  3. I have Firefox 3.6b5 and it doesn’t have that. You can only hide Navigation, Bookmarks Toolbar, and the Status bar. Do I need to change something in about:config to get that?

  4. Ya, I saw this coming a while ago when plans were being made to basically redo the whole layout in Windows.

    I use the menu bar quite often so I’m glad that it will be easy to enable viewing it when it’s hidden by default in future releases.

  5. So will this feature be in the linux/mac version of 3.6 when it will be released, or will Mozilla treat these platforms second-class as usual.

  6. I wonder if there is any way to tell how many people actually use this option? Is there really a real demand by average users to hide menu bars? Is there any way to get stats on this?

    I’m not really even sure what average user would even care about hiding the menu unless they were browsing using a mobile device with a tiny screen.

    I remember back in the Win95 days and earlier apps usually did not even have tool bars, only menu bars. Tool bars were a luxury. At best they displayed 16×16 pixel icons and yet sometimes tool bars were criticized for wasting screen space. Then Netscape and IE came along started using huge buttons on their tool bars. The Windows 95 desktop Windows Explorer didn’t even show a tool bar by default and suddenly the IE 4/98 Windows Explorer had HUGE tool bar buttons – and that was back when people were regularly running 640*480 and 800*600!!

    You know Windows Vista/IE 7 was all about blatantly copying the look of MacOS X (Areo, Exposé, Dashboard, etc) and as such they tried to make IE 7 look like Safari. But since Windows doesn’t have a shared menu bar they just hid it instead. Now everybody is trying to copy them just because “Microsoft did it”.

    Permitting the user to customize this is great, but I should point out this implementation is flawed. Once hidden there is no visual indication that the user can restore the menu. Right-clicking or using Alt keys is not considered “discoverable”. For comparison, on Mozilla Sea Monkey the menus and tool bars can “collapsed” leaving a visible indicator behind that they can be restored. Although in practice the menu bar should never be hidden (or movable: MS Office 97 let users drag the menu all over the place causing all kinds of confusion and it was too easy to move by accident) because the standard way to hide/display other UI elements is through the “view” menu.

  7. I have a notebook with a 14″ wide screen and addons like compact menu 2 are really very useful to increase the “functional” surface of the screen.

  8. Hiding the menu bar doesn’t work anymore if you activate Personas…
    Another reason not to use those “light-weight themes”.

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