Mozilla Firefox Web Browser 1.03 Tutorial
Mozilla Firefox empowers you to browse faster, more safely and more efficiently than with any other browser. Built with your security in mind, Firefox keeps your computer safe from malicious spyware. Customize your toolbars to add additional buttons, install new Extensions that add new features, add new Themes to browse with style.
Established in July, 2003, with start-up support from America Online's Netscape division, the Mozilla Foundation exists to provide organizational, legal, and financial support for the Mozilla open-source software project.
Mozilla’s software is available as a free download numerous platforms, including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
Version 1.1, Copyright © May 7, 2005, Glenn Fund
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Go to http://www.mozilla.org , select Free Download from within the Get Firefox heading:
Accept the license when prompted to do so. Select Standard Install. You will be presented a confirmation screen. Click Next to continue.
You may optionally select Firefox as your default browser. Have the Start Firefox button selected to start the program:
For Windows users, you will now be given the opportunity to import all of settings from Internet Explorer. Most folks will choose to do so, primarily to retrieve their Bookmarks. You can do this after the installation by selecting the Main menu, File, Import option, but I recommend doing this task now. Items such as Bookmarks will be imported at the top level which is where many people will choose to leave them. Performing the import at a later time will import your IE bookmarks into an independent Internet Explorer Bookmarks folder. This might translate into additional administration effort on your part, to move these Bookmarks to the top level or other Firefox folders. I prefer simplicity. Import now:
You will see a brief message flash by the screen before returning to the browser workspace. You might want to confirm the import by viewing the Main menu, Bookmarks option. All of your favorites should be there:
There are several configuration options that you will want to set. Let’s do that now. Pull down the Search menu in the top, right-hand Toolbar. While in Firefox, you will always have a Search Engine shortcut available to you. I use Google. Select or add your favorite. When you close this menu, your default Search Engine icon appears in its place.
We will now set your default Homepage. Type in the URL and go to your desired Homepage:
Now, go to Tools, Options, General. Select Use Current Page for the Home Page option. You can optionally have Firefox ensure that it continues to be your default browser each time the application is started. Just check the box. Select OK to save these settings.
While we are looking at Options, let’s review the other relevant tabs. Selecting the Privacy tab, for optimized site retrievals, I like to keep Cached sites for 7 days. If you go to frequently changing sites, you might want to Cache for less time:
You may want to optionally Save Passwords in the Password Manager. There are security implications for automatically saving and logging into Web sites. In any case, you can selectively choose not to save passwords for critical sites that you do not want to take any chance with (i.e. your bank).
I also like to setup the Privacy, Download Manager History tab to allow me to manually delete downloaded items. Just in case a setup does not go as planned, I like to know that the executable is right on the desktop to run again. I’ll show you how to save files to the desktop just a few slides down:
From the Web Features tab, I strongly recommend that you set the Block Popup Windows selection. This is a key Firefox differentiator. Take advantage of it. Select other options as appropriate:
Popup Blocker Example:
From the Downloads tab, you will select where you want you downloads to be stored. I like mine to be sent to the Desktop for further action. You can optionally set Firefox to ask each time you perform a download. The choice is yours:
From the Advanced tab, there are several security features that you do want to set. Make sure you have the Firefox and Extensions Software Update boxes checked. For secure sites (i.e. your bank or any site that performs financial transactions) you want to have all Security boxes for SSL 2.0, SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0 set. As for Certificates, let Firefox automatically negotiate which is appropriate.
Now, let’s look at an important Firefox navigation feature – Tabs. Utilizing Tabs, you will be able to have multiple sites open and active on your Desktop. Here is how it works. First, go to an initial site, let’s say: http://www.mozilla.org:
Rather than just opening up another site, let’s keep the Mozilla homepage open, and add the complementary Mozilla updates site https://addons.update.mozilla.org to the Desktop. To open a new tab select File, New Tab or press Ctrl+T. Fill in the URL for the desired web site (https://addons.update.mozilla.org). The add-on site is now active. Simply clicking on the Mozilla – Home tab will bring you back to the original site. You can optionally add more tabs in a similar manner and keep each of these sites active:
Now that we have setup these Tabs, we might want to save them for future use. We can do that. From the Main menu, select Bookmarks, and then Bookmark this Page. You will be presented with an additional screen that will allow you to name the entry and select Bookmark all tabs in a folder. Hit OK to continue.
If you are browsing to another site and you want these saved Mozilla sites back, go to the Bookmarks menu, Highlight the saved entry (Mozilla Tabbed Sites) and then Select Open in Tabs. They’re back…
With that complete, let’s look at Extensions to the base Firefox platform. This open application hook allows Firefox to take on many new and evolving features. This is a design feature that sets this browser apart from others such as Internet Explorer.
There are hundreds or Firefox Extensions that are now readily available for download and customization of your Firefox configuration. There are a number of articles that have also been published listing personal favorites. It makes sense to take the time and perform a “Google Search” for reviews of available Firefox Extensions. All Firefox Extensions can be accessed directly form the Firefox application, which will redirect you to the Mozilla Extensions repository (Internet connectivity is required). Although, you may add Extensions to both Firefox and Thunderbird (Mozilla mail client) in a similar manner, we will be looking at adding several Extensions to the Firefox browser at this time.
Let’s say we did our due diligence and decided we wanted to add the following Firefox Extensions:
SessionSaver: Shut down your browser with tabs open. Re-open your browser. The same tabs appear.
Print Preview Toolbar
Here is how to do add these Extensions. From the Main Menu, Select Tools, and then Extensions. Initially there will be no Extensions listed. Let’s get them. Select Get More Extensions. You will be automatically routed to the Mozilla Update Page:
You can search all downloadable Extensions for the ones you like, or you can go directly to the Extensions that you know that you want to install:
Since we know that we want to install SessionSaver and Print Preview, just fill in the Search box with the word SessionSaver and you will be presented with the desired Extension. Click on the selection:
Select Install Now:
One last security warning, Select Install Now and away you go.
Once installed, you will be given successful confirmation and will be informed that the Extension will be installed upon a restart of Firefox. I would suggest that you load all or your desired Extensions and then reload Firefox just once to activate them all:
Now, repeat the process to load the Print Preview Extension. When complete, you will now have two listed (and installed) Extensions:
Exit and reload Firefox to activate these extensions:
What have we done? Session Saver will automatically bring you back into Firefox where you left off. If you exit Firefox while viewing your designated Homepage, this is where you will be returned to. If you exit Firefox with the alternate Tabbed Pages open, then this will be where you are returned to.
As for Print Preview, From the Main menu select File and then Print Preview. You will be presented with a Print Setup menu at the top of the page along with an image of how the designated image will appear when printed. There are several configurable options to choose from. Here is an example:
Although cosmetic in nature, you might want to change the browser’s look and feel or Theme. Themes are changed and updated just like Extensions. To do so, from the Main menu select Tools and then Themes. You will be presented with a Window that has only the default Theme within it. Select Get More Themes.
Assuming you have a live Internet connection, you will be directed to the Mozilla repository. You may read the various Theme abstracts and then choose to install one or more that are of interest to you:
Let’s pick the popular and highly rated SphereGnome Theme. Click on Install Now:
Confirm to continue:
Once downloaded, Highlight the new entry and then select Use Theme:
You will need to exit and then restart Firefox for the Theme to be become active. Note the new Toolbar look and feel. You may make any available Theme active at any time: