Firefox 3 features you may not know

While the awesome bar, download pause and resume, malware protection, the new themes, and serious performance improvements are perhaps the most representative features introduced with Firefox 3, here are some other useful ones you may not be aware:

  1. Duplicate tabs. Press Ctrl while dragging a tab to create a duplicate of the dragged tab including its history. Note that this feature doesn’t work on Mac.
  2. Move tabs to another window. Just drag a tab and drop it on another window to move it. If the dragged tab is the last one in its window, it will be closed.
  3. Resize the search bar. When the search bar is placed next to the location bar, you can drag the handler between them (invisible on Windows and Linux) to resize it.
  4. Add keyword search. Select Manage Search Engines… in the search engines menu to open the Search Engines Manager, select a search engine, press Edit Keyword… and enter a few characters to define one. Now you can enter the keyword followed by your search terms in the location bar to search with that plugin.
  5. Discontinuous selections. Make a selection with the mouse as you usually do. Then press and hold the Ctrl (Cmd on Mac) key to make additional selections and create a larger discontinuous one so you can copy or print just what you need.
  6. Integrated add-ons. No need to visit Mozilla Add-ons because Firefox 3 brings it to you directly from the Add-ons Manager new Get Add-ons page: search, find and install with a single click.
  7. Disable plugins. Crashing? It may be a plugin. To be sure, disable the suspect through the new Plugins page in the Add-ons Manager.
  8. Check your crashes. Enter about:crashes in the location bar to get a list of crashes submitted by Breakpad (Mozilla’s crash reporter). Click on a crash report to get details provided by Socorro, Mozilla’s crash reports server.

55 thoughts on “Firefox 3 features you may not know”

  1. One not-so-awesome feature: It outs you if you’re gay and your mom is using your computer:

  2. I know that the first point is working well on Windows, but I tried it on the Mac since it first appears on the betas. I don’t know if I do something wrong, but I’m not able to duplicate tabs on Mac. Even the latest nightlys don’t work on Mac…

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    1. Only works on builds from if you are using a Linux distro provided version of Firefox 3 about:crashes won’t work.

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  6. Uh, tab duplication works fine on Mac Firefox. Use the command (aka Apple aka puppy-paw) key, not the control key.

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  8. I loved it so much but there is a problem in multimedia things they dont worlk with firefox as well as it does with explorer .. do u think i have missed something like adds on ? can you help me plz thanks

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  10. La mayoría de esas funciones ya estaban en la versión anterior o vienen desde la

    Una que no conocía y que me gustó es la de hacer búsquedas en el historial, desde la barra de direcciones, ahorra mucho tiempo.

    Por ejemplo, la dirección de este post es:

    Cuando quiero volver a buscarlo y “se me olvidó” la dirección, puedo escribir algunos de los elementos de la dirección y entonces busca en el historial y me la muestra, digamos que solo me acuerdo que fue escrito en “mundo” y que se trata de “firefox 3″, entonces en la barra de direcciones escribo “mozilla firefox 3″ separado por espacios o “firefox mozilla 3″ o también “3 features firefox”, cualquier combinación y me muestra el desplegado de direcciones que tengan estas palabras clave.

    Funciona también con el título de las páginas, he ahí la importancia de un buen diseño web y el de usar urls amigables.

    Saludos 🙂 buen blog.

  11. However the discontinuous selections thing won’t work if the texts are inside a table cell. Firefox will select the whole cell instead of the text you are highlighting.

  12. Interesting article. I didn’t knew the discontinuous article. I selected the first short descriptions and got: Duplicate tabsMove tabs to another windowResize the search barAdd keyword searchDiscontinuous selections
    A bit disappointed, I expected some separator (newline?) to be added. I must remember to include these separators in the selections…

    Some features were already available with Tab Mix Plus, I think (including the undo close, Mickey). I started without this extension (not compatible with FF3 at start) and was happy to find it back! 😉

    @gluca: drag’n’drop of images was there in FF2 already! At least to a Windows folder or to the desktop. You can also d’n’d URLs to IE (useful for testing…). No need for special extension! 😉

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  16. “Discontinuous selections. Make a selection with the mouse as you usually do. Then press and hold the Ctrl (Cmd on Mac) key to make additional selections and create a larger discontinuous one so you can copy or print just what you need.”

    this would be wonderful … but Firefox Selections printing is broken: usually it spits blanks pages when you print selections. I suspect this is the reason why UI team decided to hide the “print selection” option from the user ( it is in a separate tab … complicating the user to print selection ). If you want that the user actually *use* this feature, the solution is simple and no brainer: when the user makes a selection ( continuous or discontinuous ) add a contextual menu item “print selection” … simple, elegant and easy to do.

    But FIX SELECTION PRINTING in Firefox first !!

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  19. Please make FF3 backward compatible. Things that work with FF2, Break with FF3. This should not happen.

  20. I have downloaded what I thought was an upgrade to Firefox 3 and the system crushed. I got a message that thier is a problem with Firefox, it crushed and send a report. I did, but did not get a reply from anyone. I removed the program from my computer, reinstalled, and I got the same message. Ca someone please tell me what to do?
    Thank you much
    Nureet Cohen

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  24. Undoing closed tabs: middle click on the “tab bar” once for every undo. (anywhere will do, even in the little space between a tab and the upper border)

  25. i think we’ll have to say good bye to Firefox 3 use if it does not give the full path in the file upload control on the client or server side

  26. Some things do not work in Firefox ver. 3.0.6 on Macintosh 10.5.6. One is Jajah log-in with the Jajah button. Can you help me? Do I need to reinstall ver 3 and go through the updates? If so, should I avoid 3.0.6?

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