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CUSTOMIZING MOZILLA PRODUCTS

The most common questions about Mozilla products seem to be: How to find and change a particular setting; how to make the product do a particular thing; and how to change the program's appearance. All of these involve changing and/or creating settings or through the use of cascading style sheets (CSS). Before making ANY changes using the methods below, back up your profile.

There are a variety of options for customizing Mozilla programs.

  1. SELECTING PREFERENCES USING THE UI (USER INTERFACE) MENUS.

    In SeaMonkey this is done by selecting Edit - Preferences or Edit - Mail & Newsgroup Account Settings from the menu bar. In Firefox and Thunderbird settings are accessed via the Tools menu. In Thunderbird there is also the Edit - Properties menu.

  2. SETTING PREFERENCES USING about:config.

    Simply enter that into the location bar in any of the Mozilla browsers. In Thunderbird you'll find it under Tools - Options - Advanced - General. Click the Config Editor button. The configuration screen shows user-set preferences in bold so it's easy to see what ones you have changes. Even changes you make in the UI menus will be in bold in the config screen. You can toggle many settings simply by double-clicking on the preference to reset it to the default value.

    You can also right-click on a preference and the resulting popup menu gives you these choices:

    Creating a new pref using the config editor is essentially the same as entering the pref into the prefs.js or user.js file.

  3. EDITING THE prefs.js FILE IN THE PROFILE FOLDER.

    This is not really advised except for the expert user. Use a plain-text editor and be careful of inducing errors by having word-wrap on when editing this and the user.js file.

  4. CREATING A CUSTOM user.js FILE IN THE PROFILE FOLDER.

    This file is read when the Mozilla product loads. Any preferences specified in the file will be recorded in the prefs.js file. So, if you make changes to a specific setting using the UI or about:config while the program is running, then close the program, the next time it is run the preference specified in user.js will change that setting. Some people use user.js to keep a record of custom settings. However, removing a setting from user.js will NOT remove it from prefs.js. You need to change the setting in the config editor, the UI, or edit the prefs.js file.

  5. CREATING A CUSTOM userChrome.css FILE IN THE PROFILE'S CHROME FOLDER. See the CSS links below.
  6. CREATING A CUSTOM userContent.css FILE IN THE PROFILE'S CHROME FOLDER. See the CSS links below.

One of the most frequent requests is where to find a comprehensive list of all the possible preferences and settings. I don't know of any single resource that details all the preferences. However, the following links detail a wide array of Mozilla preferences and customization possibilities. Some of these are rather technical, even a bit arcane.

Info:

Preferences:

CSS:


OTHER DOCUMENTATION



This page last changed: October 25, 2015 - 01:42 PM USA Eastern Time

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