This book is divided into 13 chapters. Each chapter discusses one or two aspects of Firefox or Thunderbird and how to apply these programs to your specific browsing and email needs. Chapters and concepts are organized in the order you are most likely to need them.
Chapter 1, "Getting Started," introduces you to the open source model of software development and why Firefox is so cool. You learn what you need in the way of hardware and software to install Firefox on your computer. You'll also see how to get around in Firefox, how to transfer your settings and bookmarks from other browsers, and how to get help from a variety of sources.
In Chapter 2, "Protecting Your Security and Privacy," you see how Firefox protects you from several serious security risks. The chapter first describes spyware, one of the biggest security and privacy problems on the web, and shows you how to avoid it. You then see how to use the Firefox Password Manager to maintain a comprehensive list of passwords. You also learn how to clean out your cache and your history to prevent someone from snooping on your computer and seeing what you've been doing on the Internet.
Chapter 3, "Ridding Yourself of the Annoyances of the Web," is a short but snappy exposition on how to stop popups and banner ads from throwing sand in the gears. You'll see how to suppress popup windows and how to avoid obnoxious graphics, either wholesale or selectively.
Chapter 4, "Searching the Web," tells you how to use Firefox's built-in searching features. You first learn about the Search bar and how to augment it. The chapter then shows you how to use the Find features to search for information within a web page. The chapter concludes with information about Smart Keywords, quick (and customizable) keywords to get you to a variety of websites for quick information.
Chapter 5, "Bookmarks and History," describes how to save and view information about the websites you've been to. You first see how to create bookmarks of various kinds, including live bookmarks that update automatically. You learn how to organize bookmarks into folders and to sort them, both on the bookmark list and through the Bookmarks Manager. The chapter also shows you how to import and export bookmarks. In addition, you see how to use bookmarklets, very small single-purpose applications that look like bookmarks. The chapter concludes with information on how to use the sidebar to display your bookmarks as well as the history of the websites you've been to already.
Chapter 6, "Harnessing the Power of Tabbed Browsing," teaches you how to use one of Firefox's most popular features: tabs. You learn what tabs are, how to create them, and how to open web pages in them. You also see how to open entire folders in tabs on-the-fly.
Chapter 7, "Customizing Firefox with Third-Party Extensions and Themes," introduces extensions and themes. The chapter opens with a description of where to look for extensions and how to download and install them. The chapter then takes you on a cook's tour of the types of extensions available for Firefox and some of the best extensions out there. You next learn about themes and how to change the look and feel of Firefox with a theme. You also see a few themes that you might want to try yourself.
In Chapter 8, "Other Interesting Features," you learn about downloading files using the Download Manager. You see how to pause and resume downloads and clear your download history. You also learn about such diverse topics as printing, customizing toolbars, and zooming in and out on a website's text.
Chapter 9, "Getting Started with Mozilla Thunderbird," introduces you to Thunderbird, the email client. You learn what you need in the way of hardware and software and you see how to install it on your computer. After a brief discussion of the basic screen elements, the chapter concludes with information on where to find online help.
Chapter 10, "Setting Up Your Mail, RSS, and Newsgroup Accounts Using Mozilla Thunderbird," shows you how to migrate your settings and email information from other email programs that you have been using. The chapter shows you how to set up and configure your email accounts in Thunderbird, including how to set up RSS (news) accounts. You also see how to send and receive messages, use the address book, and maintain multiple email accounts in the same program.
Chapter 11, "Protecting Your Privacy and Blocking Spam," gives you tips on how to avoid spam and what to do with it when it does show up. The chapter teaches you about junk mail and how to filter it automatically. You also see how to use passwords and privacy options to make sure you're as secure as possible.
Chapter 12, "Organizing Your Email Topics," presents information about filtering email and using folders to organize your email so you can find it easily in the future. You'll also learn about sorting, doing quick searches, and using mail views and mail labels.
In Chapter 13, "Customizing the Look and Feel of Mozilla Thunderbird," you learn about extensions and themes for Thunderbird (similar to what you saw earlier in Chapter 7). You also learn how to customize the toolbars in Thunderbird for maximum efficiency.
In addition to the chapters, there are six appendices:
Appendix A, "Keyboard and Mouse Shortcuts for Firefox," lists the keyboard and mouse shortcuts that are available to you in Firefox for Windows, Linux, and Mac. You also see how these compare to the keyboard and mouse shortcuts in several other browsers, so your conversion process from another browser to Firefox is made that much easier.
Appendix B, "Keyboard and Mouse Shortcuts for Mozilla Thunderbird," does much the same as Appendix A did for Firefox.
Appendix C, "Menu Commands for Firefox," and Appendix D, "Menu Commands for Mozilla Thunderbird," list the menus and commands for both programs and gives a description of what each menu command and option does.
Appendix E, "Hacking Configuration Files," gives the technically minded some background on how you can get into the code for the product configuration files and make programmatic changes to what happens.
Appendix F, "Security, Certificates, and Validation" tells you how to set some additional security options and how to work with digital certificates.