Archive for the ‘Browsers’ Category


Firefox: Hide the downloads panel

March 10, 2022

A recent (since January 2022?) update to Firefox means that anything you save from the internet (e.g. an image) pops up a download box as the item is downloading. If you want to turn off this box, you’ll need to change a configuration setting in Firefox.

  1. Open a new tab in Firefox.
  2. Type about:config in the address bar (no spaces).
  3. Click the Accept the risk… warning bar to proceed.
  4. Click Show all at the top of the next page. This will open the configuration settings.
  5. Search for
  6. Click the far right icon for this setting to toggle it from True to False.
  7. Close the tab.

You’ll still get a small icon on the toolbar to indicate when something is downloading/has downloaded, but you won’t get the popup box.


Chrome: Ctrl+f works intermittently

May 4, 2021

Something that’s bugged me about Chrome for ages is that Ctrl+f (to find) only works sometimes. It tends to work the first time after opening Chrome, but if you go to another page or tab or refresh the page you’re on, it doesn’t always work. I hate intermittent bugs because they are hard to replicate and find a pattern for. Anyhow, this inconsistent behaviour bugged me enough that I went off to the internet to see what others do to get it working, and I found these possible solutions:

  • Ctrl+g, which reopens the Find box (Note: The official function for Ctrl+g is to go to the next matching item in the find, but it seems to work even if you haven’t been able to run Find on the current tab)
  • Click the 3 dots at the top right of Chrome then click Find—yes, it’s more cumbersome than Ctrl+f, but it seems to work every time, not just occasionally (the 3 dots are Google’s answer to a traditional menu bar; personally I’d prefer a menu bar!)

Facebook and FB Purity

October 29, 2020

Facebook (FB) and FB Purity (FBP) are having a bit of a war at the moment. Since FB introduced the ‘new look’, which most people seem to hate, FBP has been trying to revert to the classic look via one of their options. It initially had some some success, and then not, and then again, and then not, as FB closed loopholes in its code.

One of the things I noticed when viewing FB via Chrome on a desktop was that if I had classic look turned on in FBP and even if it wasn’t displaying the classic look because of this skirmish, the screen would refresh and jump OFTEN, and I’d get duplicate posts from some people.

Then this morning when I deliberately refreshed FB in Chrome, FB redirected me to the mobile site (GRRR!) and told me I was using an unsupported browser!!

I figured all these issues might relate to the FBP skirmish, so I turned off the classic look option under the FBP toolbar icon in Chrome (it wasn’t working anyway), and all of a sudden I could get the usual FB desktop site, the auto refresh thing disappeared, and I don’t see duplicate posts.

I’ve still got that horrible new look—I can live with that for now, and hope that FBP can figure out how to get the classic look back.

Meantime, I hope this post helps someone else who has had the same issues.

(As an aside, you don’t want to ask me how much I HATE the new block editing stuff in—I just want to write a blog post, perhaps add a screenshot or two, not sell hipster dude coffee!)


Change browser bookmarks toolbar to icons only

May 7, 2020

If you’re lucky, you learn something new every day, and today I learned that you can change your browser’s bookmarks toolbar to display just the icons, thus saving space on that toolbar for all the icons that have slipped off the edge because you have too many! Now, you may not want to change them all, but just changing those whose icons you’re really familiar with will free up extra space.

Full instructions for each browser are here:

In essence, you right click on the icon, select Edit or Properties or similar, then delete the name and save. That’s it.

If you still need the name because the icon they use is generic [I’m looking at you, Macquarie Dictionary!], then you can always use an abbreviated name—e.g. I use ‘MQ’ for Macquarie Dictionary.


What year is it?

February 3, 2016

I spotted this notice on a website I visited today (Feb 2016). I guess it takes some organizations a long time to adapt to change… (BTW, Microsoft announced end-of-life support for IE 10 in January 2016 [])



Firefox: Can’t open PDF in Acrobat

September 16, 2014

Firefox allows you to set options for how you’d like to deal with a linked file (Tools > Options > Applications). I thought I had them all set properly to open a PDF with Adobe Acrobat:


But PDF links clicked in Firefox would still try to save and NOT open in Acrobat as I wanted!

So after many months of being frustrated by this behavior and setting and resetting those options (for some reason, they reset themselves every so often — I’m not sure if it’s related to the regular Firefox updates or something else), I went looking for an answer. After viewing a lot of websites, I found another setting on that screen that is the critical one — you have to scroll down and there’s Portable Document Format!:



Once I set this to use Acrobat, everything worked fine.

What I want to know is how is ‘Adobe Acrobat Document’ in this list different to ‘Portable Document Format’ and why is PDF under P and not under A as all the other Adobe options are?



Firefox Sync Manage Account not visible

September 11, 2013

Ages ago I set up Firefox to sync bookmarks etc. between my main PC and my laptop. It all worked fine. But now I wanted to set up my PC to sync with Firefox on my Android tablet too. I went around in infinite loops trying to get it to work! The PC kept asking me for my recovery key, but every time I followed the Mozilla instructions on how to find it, I came up against a brick wall — there was no ‘Manage Account’ option on my Sync panel under Firefox > Options > Options, and I couldn’t find anything similar on my Android tablet either.

I was ready to give up, but I’m a persistent sod. One of the Google searches I did mentioned something about making sure you are using the same version of Firefox on all your devices. It was time to fire up the laptop, which I haven’t used for a few months. I updated from Firefox v19 to v23 on the laptop, and just for fun, I decided to see if I could see the ‘Manage Account’ button on the laptop’s Firefox installation. And there it was!!!! (I don’t think its appearance had ANYTHING to do with updating Firefox.)

I *think* that I must have set up the sync the first time on that laptop, and therefore the recovery key was accessible from the laptop and not the PC. I saved it to a location on my server, and now will attempt the sync operation with my tablet…

I got a little further with the sync this time — after entering the recovery key on the PC, it said setup was complete, and the Sync panel in the Firefox Options window now shows the ‘Manage Account’ button on my PC too.

However, my tablet is still reporting ‘Waiting for other device…’ I’ll give it another 30 minutes or so as I have an extensive list of bookmarks, etc. About 5 minutes later: The message on the tablet has now changed to ‘Setup complete’ and it tells me that my data is being downloaded in the background.

So it looks like it worked. It was just a matter of going to the correct device to get that recovery key — in this case, my laptop. The process ended being very quick, but I had a lot of frustration trying to figure out what was going on and was going to give up.



Office 2010: Paste Options button not displaying

April 12, 2012

I have a new computer and I’ve installed Office 2010 on it. I was setting up a template for a client over the Easter weekend when I noticed that the hovering Paste Options button in Word 2010 never displayed and all I could get on the Paste icon on the ribbon was ‘paste as unformatted text’. That’s not usually a big deal as I often want to ‘paste as text’, but not always.

I compared my Word 2010 settings on my new Windows 7 PC with my Word 2010 settings on my Vista laptop (which did have the Paste Options hover button); the settings were EXACTLY the same, so something else was at play here.

Off to my friend Google, and after a few fruitless hits, I found the solution… and it’s not what you’d expect! In fact, it’s so far removed from what you’d expect that I’m surprised the person who found the answer even twigged that a small setting in Program A might be affecting a small setting in Program B (Word 2010 in my case, but all the Office 2010 products too).

And what’s the solution? A Skype add-on to all browsers that makes a phone number clickable to make a Skype call! Who knew??

So here’s what I did to get my Paste Options button back:

  1. Closed Word 2010.
  2. Opened Skype, went to Tools > Advanced > Advanced Settings and cleared the check box for Use Skype to call callto: links on the web. (I’m not 100% sure that this did anything, but I figured I should turn it off anyway.)
  3. Opened Firefox and went to the Add-ons Manager and disabled the Skype Click to Call add-in. Restarted Firefox when asked to do so.
  4. Opened Internet Explorer, clicked the settings icon (cog in top right of screen in IE9), selected Manage add-ons, selected Skype Click to Call and then clicked Disable. I didn’t have to restart IE9.
  5. Opened Word 2010 and tried pasting some text from another source. It worked! I had my Paste Options button back!

Please note: You have to disable this add-on in ALL browsers on your computer, including IE, even if you don’t use IE. I initially only disabled it on Firefox but I still couldn’t get the Paste Options button to display. I had to disable it on IE9 as well. Then it worked.

I found the solution to this issue here:

I sincerely thank Martin who somehow figured out that a Skype browser add-on was affecting a setting in Office 2010. That was a moment of pure serendipitous genius.


Firefox: Organize bookmarks

July 15, 2011

In Firefox 5.x, the Organize Bookmarks option has gone — it’s been replaced with Show All Bookmarks.

To see the complete list of your bookmarks so that you can arrange them into folders, import/export them etc., go to Bookmarks > Show All Bookmarks.

Organize your Firefox BookmarksI’m not sure why they changed the name — Organize Bookmarks worked well for me. My first thought on seeing Show All Bookmarks was that everything I had bookmarked would open in new tabs!


Firefox: Get back your list of recent pages

July 11, 2011

It seems that in Firefox 4.x and later, Mozilla got rid of the little drop-down icon that was next to the Forward and Back buttons that showed you the path of web pages you viewed to get to the current page.This is NOT the same as your History.

This was a really handy and useful feature and one I used often. My husband used it often too, so when we upgraded his Firefox to version 5.x, he complained about its removal.

So, I went looking to see what had happened to it and whether I could get it back. Well, there are some Firefox add-ons that return it to your browser interface, but to be honest, the quickest and easiest way to see your path to the current page is one of these two methods:

  • right-click on the Back button


  • hold down the primary mouse button as you click on the Back button.

It’s a slight change in behavior, but one that will show your path to the current page.

I still don’t know why they got rid of the icon.

Show the page path by right-clicking the Back button or holding down the mouse as you click it

Show the page path by right-clicking the Back button or holding down the mouse as you click it