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10 Reasons why you may want to try Firefox’s Classic Theme Restorer add-on

Classic Theme Restorer has been designed to bring back features and designs that Mozilla removed when it launched the Australis interface back with Firefox 29.

The extension has evolved over time and it does more than changing rounded to squared tabs. In fact, it always did more than that but its author has added new features on a constant basis that may make it interesting even if you like the Australis interface and the changes that came along with it.

This guide looks at ten reasons, or features if you want, that Classic Theme Restorer offers that make it an interesting add-on that Firefox users should take for a trial ride.

Worst thing that happens is that you don't need what it offers, and that is easily fixed by uninstalling it again from the browser.

1. Tabs where you want them

tabs on top

I always preferred tabs on bottom and not on top of the browser. Mozilla's reason for removing the tabs on bottom feature was that it broke the flow of elements that belonged to the open site and those who did not.

I don't think that this is a problem at all, and that it all comes down to how users use Firefox. I prefer tabs on bottom as it saves me mouse movement for example. It may not be much but it adds up throughout the day and since I don't use the location bar that often, it is the convenient option.

With Classic Theme Restorer, you get to choose where to display tabs in Firefox and how they should look like.

2. Other Tab customizations

Apart from selecting where to display tabs in the browser UI, additional options to customize tabs are provided by the browser extension.

  • Set the minimum and maximum width for tabs in browser.
  • Define where the tab close button is displayed (or if at all).
  • Select a different design for tabs (round, squared and others).

3. Tab colors & text

tab colors

You can use Classic Theme Restorer to change how tabs look like in Firefox. The extension provides customization options for selected, hovered, default, unloaded and unread tabs.

For each, it allows you to change the background color, text color, text shadow color, and set them to bold or italic.

I use it to highlight the active tab and mark unread tabs in the browser in a special way which makes it easier to identify those in the process.

4. Small buttons

The option to display small buttons on the navigational toolbar was removed in Firefox 29 alongside Australis. You can restore small buttons on the navigational toolbar using the extension.

The effect is that you save a couple of pixels in height.

5. Remove icons from context menu

Mozilla added icons to the right-click context menu on pages some time ago. While that may make sense on touch devices, it does not really on mouse and keyboard devices.

Use the "page context menu" option of the extension under General UI to replace all icons with labels again.

6. Location Bar changes


Features have been moved and removed from Firefox's location bar as well in recent time. The bookmark star icon is not displayed there anymore for instance. The same is true for the RSS feed icon.

Classic Theme Restorer can:

  • Add the bookmark star icon back to the location bar.
  • Add the RSS feed indicator to the location bar.
  • Remove Stop and reload buttons from it.

7. Set the findbar position

When you hit F3 or Ctrl-f you open the on-page search in Firefox.  It is displayed at the bottom by default. You can use the extension to display it at the top instead if you prefer that location and also set its position there.

8. Display Firefox application button

The Firefox button was removed in Firefox 29 and replaced with the Hamburger menu icon. It is possible to restore it using Classic Theme Restorer.

You can define its position, customize it visually and functionality wise.

9. Visual changes

Classic Theme Restorer ships with quite a few options to make visual changes to the browser. This includes removing background colors and fog from toolbars, disabling or enabling animation, or inverting icons.

10. Add "open in private window" to bookmarks context menu

This feature adds a new entry to the right-click context menu of bookmarks. You can use it to launch the bookmark in a private window.

This article was first seen on ComTek's "TekBits" Technology News


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