How to Customize Firefox Tabs With Extensions

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Firefox is a browser available for most of the recent versions of Windows. Although it doesn’t include that many built-in options to customize tabs with, you can still configure them with browser extensions. There are some great extensions available for Firefox with which you can customize the browser’s tabs.

Perhaps one of the best is Tab Mix Plus. That is an extension which greatly extends the browser’s tab options. The extension is packed with options to customize the tab colors, dimensions, context menu and more besides. You can add it to Firefox from this page.

Once added to Firefox, click the Open menu button at the top right corner of the browser. Then select Add-ons > Extensions and press the Options button beside Tab Mix Plus. That will open the extension’s window shown in the shot below.


First, let’s see how you can customize Firefox’s tab colors with this extension. Press the Display button at the top of the extension window at the top of the window. Then select Tab, on the tab bar, to open further options.

Under Styles there are four tab checkboxes. Select Current tab, Unloaded tabs, Unread tabs and Other tabs boxes. Press Customize Styles to open the window below.

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The Customize Styles window includes a number of color options and settings for tabs. For example, to alter the color scheme of the current tab, the one selected in your browser, click Current Tab. Then select Background Color, and click the top and bottom boxes to choose alternative colors from the palette as below.

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Furthermore, you can also customize the tab font colors and text formatting. Click the Text Color box and choose an alternative color for the font. Then you can also add bold, italic and underline formatting to the text by selecting those checkboxes as shown above.

With Tab Mix Plus you can alter the Firefox tab dimensions. Select Display and Tab, which includes Tab Width options at the bottom. There enter alternative numbers in the Tab Width boxes to alter the pixel dimensions of the tab, and then press the Apply button. In the shot below I’ve altered the tab pixel dimensions to 300 and 500.

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There is also a Tab width fits to tab title option below the Tab Width boxes. That option alters the width of the tab so that if fits the title only. So select that checkbox and click Apply to match the tab width with its title.

Right-click a Firefox tab to open its context menu. That includes a range options, but you can add more to it with Tab Mix Plus. Furthermore, you can also remove options from the context menu.

Press the Menu button at the top of the window. That will open context menu options for Firefox tabs. Click Tab Context Menu to open the options below.

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The options currently ticked there are the ones already included on the context menu. So to remove them, simply click on the ticked check boxes and press Apply. To add new options to the context menus, select the ticked boxes. Then close the extension’s window and right-click a tab to open your customized context menu.

Some of the options on the tab context menus have hotkeys, or keyboard shortcuts. You can also customize those with the extension. Click the Menu button and the Shortcuts tab in the extension’s window. That will open a list of keyboard shortcuts as shown in shot below.

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So you can edit current hotkeys by selecting their text boxes and adding new alternatives. Press the new hotkey to enter in the text box. Furthermore, you can also add new keyboard shortcuts to options on the tab context menus that don’t already have hotkeys. When you’ve input some new hotkeys, press Apply to add them context menu.

This extension includes a number of options for the tab bar. Press Display and click Tab Bar to open those options in the shot directly below. There you can move Firefox’s tab bar to the bottom of the window by selecting the Position drop-down list and Bottom. Then press the Apply button.

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By default, the New tab button is included after the last tab on the Firefox bar. However, you can also alter the button’s position in Firefox with this extension. Beside the New Tab check box there is a drop-down list. Click that list to open it, select on Left side or Ride side and then press Apply.

Those are just a few of the great customization options Tab Mix Plus has. However, one option is doesn’t have, or at least I couldn’t find, is one that adds a vertical tab sidebar to the right or left of the Firefox window. There are a few alternative Firefox extensions available that add a vertical sidebar to the browser.

Among the extensions that adds vertical tabs to Firefox is Vertical Tabs. You can add this extension Firefox from this page on the Mozilla site. There press the + Add to Firefox button and then Install. That will add a new vertical sidebar as below.

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To open a vertical list of your tabs, click the small down arrow on the new sidebar. That opens a vertical list of your open page tabs. You can select an alternative page from there, or close the selected page by clicking the small x on the right of the tab at the top of the sidebar.

You can also move the sidebar to the right of the browser window. Press the Open menu button at the top right of Firefox and select Add-ons to open the add-on page. Click Extensions and the Vertical Tabs Options button. Then you can select a Display tabs on the right option.

So Tab Mix Plus has an extensive range of options to customize your Firefox tabs with. You probably won’t need that much else, except, of course, Vertical Tabs for adding a tab sidebar to the left and right of browser window. Alternatively, check out Side Tabs that also adds a vertical sidebar to Firefox.

Posted by Matthew on February 12, 2016

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