Firefox Addon of the Week: Hide GUI Bars


"Gosh, I sure wish I could make Firefox look more like Google Chrome," you ask yourself. I'm not going to question your choice of browsers--however you decide to surf the Web is up to you. Nor am I going to point you in the direction of some kind of Google Chrome skin for Firefox. It's not like Chrome and Firefox are that radically different in regards to the look of their buttons and such. Differences exist, but nothing so groundbreaking as to warrant a customized skin for your Firefox browser. Plus, I think it would look lame. Case closed.

Or is it? Google Chrome does have a nice interface as a whole. I'm not talking about its colors or its icons, but its general layout. You do get a little bit more screen real estate to work with over Firefox's available space. Status bar? Gone. Giant bar of tabs? Relocated to the top of the browser. Favorites toolbar? Well, that's still there... but suppose you wanted to alter this, as well as Firefox's other GUI bars, at the touch of a button. You could jam on the F11 key to enable full-screen browsing, but then you lose the rest of your Windows interface in exchange for the extra browser room.

Now is the point in our one-sided conversation where a useful add-on called Hide GUI Bars comes in to save the day. I'm not going to belabor the point too much, as I bet you can tell exactly what this extension does by the name itself. Here are the gritty details: By default, Hide GUI Bars (temporarily) removes your Firefox menu bar, nav bar, tabs, bookmarks, and status bar when you mash its predefined hotkey of Ctrl+Shift+A. Now that's a clean browsing experience.

If the bleached-out look isn't for you, you can always go into Hide GUI Bars' configuration screen to custom-pick what components of the Firefox browser you want to avert from your eyes. You can also set up a custom hotkey just in case the ol' default just isn't doing it for you. Opening a new tab or new url via CTRL+T of CTRL+L also pops up your full GUI by default--can't pick a new address to surf to without the address bar, right?

Maximum PC picks one new Firefox add-on as its favorite of the week each... week. Have a nifty extension that you can't live without? Twitter David Murphy @acererak with your latest suggestions.

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