Steps in setting up Firefox for the first time, or to maintain, or to reinstall from scratch after a disaster.

Setting Up Firefox, One Step at a Time

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Initial Installation

The instructions here are basically the same as you find on my Firefox customizations page, but are listed in the order that you have to do the steps.
  1. No hidden file extensions: you want to show all files in a folder.  Anything else and you will not be able to identify file extensions most prone to carry viruses, and would see files that look like they have the same name.
    My computer, Tools, Folder Options, View Options: show full pathname and don't hide anything, show extensions. 
  2. Install Firefox
    Get (download) Fire fox: or with latest news:
  3. Set up keyword shortcuts for profile:, and chrome: based on about:cache for more information see profile or for something not dependent of current profile, you can install "Open Profile Folder" extension.
  4. Keyword Shortcuts you might want to install can be found starting on my Keyword Shortcuts page (this site).
  5. In the chrome directory setup userChrome.css and userContents.css based on *-example.css provided
  6. in profile setup user.js based on example.  Firefox no longer has Support articles for Help: Tips & Tricks, you can check out what I use in chrome/userContent.css (txt) and chrome/userChrome.css (txt).
  7. Fixup for Fonts [wingdings and proprietory Microsoft symbol fonts] Unfortunately my instructions no longer work in Firefox 3 and I have no alternate solutions.
  8. Install these extensions first, so you can work on system: 
    • Launchy extension to you can access Notepad and Windows Explorer from where you are notes.
  9. IrfanView (irfanview) with all plugins, do this from Internet Explorer.
  10. Install HTML-Kit HTML-kit , with plugins if you will be working with HTML code for anything, and you will probably need it to work on your own .css and .js files the first time to get the format changed from Linux so you can see the line breaks.
  11. Install all other wanted extensions (listings), you may want to do the ADBLOCK also.
  12. Set up additional keyword shortcuts (this site).  You should already have set up profile: and chrome: in step #3, or for something not dependent of current profile, you can install "Open Profile Folder" extension.
  13. Mouse Set up the mouse for your applications (mouse.txt) under Control Panel Mouse.  If you have a 5 button mouse and can't set buttons 3 to 5 and it is a Microsoft mouse get the latest mouse drivers at (Microsoft)  (#mouse)
  14. PureTextInstall "Pure Text" to be available on your Windows taskbar.  Also using PureText which can be used between any applications since it changes content already copied to clipboard.
  15. Customize your Firefox search (add/delete) with additional mycroft: search engines suggest adding top 30 then delete the at least obvious 10 you don't want.  You can add search engines later yourself from any search form with Add to Searchbar extension, so you don't need to spend a lot of time looking for search engines.
  16. Review other changes from Firefox customizations (this site).

Updates (#updates)

See updates via Tools, Options, Advanced.

Tools and Data you Must Have for Recovery or Reinstallation (#tools)

If your Firefox is at 1.0.3 or earlier, you would probably be best served by not only uninstalling Firefox and starting over, but by eliminating Firefox and starting over (many things become incorporated, or obsolete and may have excess baggage that could mess you up) -- but only if you have a good grasp of what you currently have and how to instll everything and get the options how you want them.  The following items will help, whether you are recoverying from a disaster, or setting up a similar installation on another computer.
  1. You must have at least one alternate browser to use if one fails or is being completely rebuilt.  On windows the main one to have is Internet Explorer that comes with your system, and you should have a browser similar to Firefox such as Opera (look for download).  Except for some bookmarklets Opera is directly as downloaded -- a habits from when you had to pay for Opera to get it fully functional without a banner.
  2. A backup of your profile directory, preferable one level up so you include ll profiles if you have multiple profiles.  All of your customizations are there including bookmarks, passwords, cookies, userpref.js, userchrome.css.  You should clear you cache beforehand to keep the backup smaller (later on you might move the cache file away from your data).
  3. A list of your current Extensions, preferably printed though knowing where the listing ends up on your hard drive would be helpful, see the Infolister extension.  You can see my own customized listing at Infolister_listing
  4. A printed documentation of your toolbars, and status bar -- in other words a screen printout, needs to be full screen width, only need to have a few lines in the body though.
  5. Your primary concern is not to lose your data in this case your configurations must be available.

Bookmarklets; There are a lot of links on this page. The following BookMarklets (Favelets) will distinguish between internal or external links. First click on " highlight links", and then on " int/ext links". Your browser's Reset button (F5) will reload the original unmodified web page.
This page was introduced on August 11, 2005.
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