Adding, Hiding, and Removing Toolbars

As I discuss in the "What's the best toolbar design?" sidebar, Firefox developers have done plenty of brainstorming about toolbar design. That doesn't mean we got it right. Fortunately, you can create your own masterpiece toolbars, then hide or remove ours (sniffle). This section shows you how.

Creating new toolbars

If you're a power user with a penchant for buttons or just someone who prefers a more spacious arrangement, you might find yourself wishing that Firefox had more toolbars. No matter: Firefox allows you to add as many toolbars as you need.

  1. You can access this window more quickly by right-clicking the Home, Reload, Stop, or Go buttons (or by right-clicking anywhere on the menu bar if you're using Windows), and then choosing Customize from the contextual menu that appears.

  2. In the Customize Toolbar window, click the Add New Toolbar button.

  3. When prompted (see Figure 18-9), enter a name for the new toolbar and click OK.

    image from book
    Figure 18-9: Before you can design your toolbar, you must name it.

    This is the name that will appear in the list when you choose Viewimage from book Toolbars. By default, Firefox comes with two toolbars, the Navigation Toolbar and the Bookmarks Toolbar, so you can't use those names.

    Firefox creates and displays the new toolbar when you click OK.

  4. Drag items onto the new toolbar as desired.

    You can drag items either from existing toolbars or from the Customize Toolbar window.


    You must add at least one item to the new toolbar immediately, before closing the Customize Toolbar window. If you leave the toolbar blank, Firefox assumes you don't want it and automatically deletes it.

  5. Click Done to close the Customize Toolbar window.


Many developers have created toolbars with special functionality and offer them as Firefox extensions, which I discuss in Chapter 20, that you can install quickly. Two of the most popular are the Google Toolbar ( and the Yahoo! Toolbar (, which make searching the Web easier, spell-check your online forms, translate Web sites you visit to a language of your choosing, and provide a number of other useful utilities.

Hiding toolbars temporarily

You can hide a Firefox toolbar at any time. For example, you might want to do so to make more room for a Web site you're viewing. Hidden toolbars stay hidden until you decide to show them again, even if you close and then reopen Firefox.

To hide a toolbar, choose Viewimage from book Toolbars, and then select the name of the toolbar you want to hide. To show the toolbar later, return to the menu and choose the toolbar's name again. The list displays a check mark next to each toolbar that is being shown.


You can quickly access this list by right-clicking the Home, Reload, Stop, or Go buttons (or by right-clicking anywhere on the menu bar if you're using Windows).

Removing toolbars

Firefox allows you to remove all toolbars — even the built-in toolbars (except the top one on Windows, because it contains the menus).


Although you can recreate it with some effort, removing a toolbar is a permanent action. Don't do it unless you really don't want a toolbar anymore. If you remove a built-in toolbar, you can restore it by following the directions in "Restoring the Default Configuration" later in this chapter, but doing so restores all of the default toolbars and wipes out any toolbars you create. If you just want to hide a toolbar temporarily (perhaps to make more room for a Web site you're viewing), see the preceding section.

To remove a toolbar:

  1. Drag all of the doomed toolbar's items elsewhere — either to another toolbar or into the Customize Toolbar window — and then click Done in the Customize Toolbar window.

    Firefox automatically deletes the empty toolbar.

Firefox For Dummies
Firefox For Dummies
ISBN: 0471748994
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 157
Authors: Blake Ross

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