Themes


One of the coolest features of Firefox is that you can customize the browser's look and feel by installing third-party themes. Think of themes as the best custom paint job you could ever get for your browser. Figures 7-15 and 7-16 demonstrate how themes can be used to make Firefox unique.

Figure 7-15. The Charamel themea creamy, sugary experience.


Figure 7-16. Noia Extreme theme.


FRIDGE

Check out http://www.grapple.net.tf/ if you are looking for some cool Mac OS X themes. The author has also provided skins for several extensions, including Sage, Scrapbook, and Web Developer.


Locating Themes on the Web

Your recommended first stop for themes is the official Mozilla repository, addons.update.mozilla.org (UMO), which can be accessed directly from the Get more Themes link on the right side of the Firefox Extension Manager. UMO contains a categorized list of themes that are updated frequently and can be sorted by platform.

In addition to UMO, there a number of other places on the web that you can find themes for Firefox.

Installing Themes

Firefox provides a theme manager that makes installing themes very easy. Here are the steps:

1.

Locate the relevant theme, either at UMO or at another site.

2.

At UMO, select the Install link.

3.

Clicking the Install link should launch a confirmation dialog box, as shown in Figure 7-17, that requests your permission to install the .jar file that contains the theme.

Figure 7-17. The theme installation confirmation dialog.


Other sites that list themes may require that you click a link, but you should still see the confirmation dialog box come up, and the remainder of the install instructions listed here should be the same.

4.

After a brief delay, the Install button becomes active and you should be able to click it.

5.

You should then see the .jar file install in the Theme Manager. A progress meter shows the progress until the theme install is complete.

6.

Click the theme that you want to use, and then click on the button that says Use theme.

After installation, you must restart the browser to enable the theme.

Switching Themes

To switch to a new theme, follow these steps:

1.

Highlight the new theme you want to use.

2.

Click the Use Theme button at the bottom of the Theme Manager. You may also right-click the theme and select Use Theme from the context menu.

3.

After selecting Use Theme, you should now see a message underneath the theme name that indicates you must restart Firefox to use the new theme.

4.

Restart Firefox, and voila! Your new theme should now appear.

Uninstalling Themes

To uninstall a theme you have been using, follow these steps:

1.

Highlight the new theme you want to uninstall.

2.

Click the Uninstall Theme button at the bottom of the Theme Manager. You may also right-click the theme and select Uninstall from the context menu.

3.

After clicking Uninstall Theme, you should now see a message under the theme name that indicates you must restart Firefox to use the new theme.

4.

Restart Firefox, and voila! Your new theme should no longer be present.

Tip

If you never installed a theme and you elect to uninstall the theme, it disappears completely without your having to restart Firefox.


TOOL KIT: Something for the Mac Crowd: Firefoxy

(http://homepage.mac.com/amake/software/firefoxy.html)

Firefoxy is a cool addition to your Mac repertoireafter you download this application to your desktop, you can drag and drop it on the Firefox application to give Firefox a more native Mac feel. So if you fancy having an improved experience with buttons, menus, and other controls, this might be something you want to install.


Updating Themes

Updating themes in Firefox is managed the same way as it is in extensions. See the description in the "Updating Your Extensions" section for an explanation of how to configure automatic updates as well as how Firefox alerts you to the fact that theme updates are available.

If you decide that you prefer to check for theme updates manually, you can always click on the Update button in Theme Manager. You can also highlight the relevant theme and right-click to get the Update option. The Update Wizard launches and guides you seamlessly through the update process.

***


Wasn't that a wild ride? This chapter has shown you some of the many ways you can customize Firefox with extensions and themes to add a wide range of functionality and personality to your browsing experience. But more customization can be done. In Chapter 8, "Other Interesting Features," you will uncover additional ways you can customize the UI (user interface) in Firefox, including making your toolbars as complex or as minimalistic as you want. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engineswe're heading into the final Firefox chapter, looking for the checkered flag!



    Firefox and Thunderbird Garage (Garage Series)
    Firefox and Thunderbird Garage
    ISBN: 0131870041
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2003
    Pages: 185

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