Migrating from Opera 12 to Firefox

Opera was updated. They messed up. Let's not talk about this any more. Let's talk about how to make Firefox your new Opera 12. To get the elephant out of the room right away: Yes, you guessed right, I did not switch to Chrome because I am scared of Google harvesting all my data and browsing habits. So that leaves only Firefox, and I think that they did good with the recent releases. We probably can not get back everything we miss from Opera 12 times, but some of it is possible, and even better in Firefox. First of all, Firefox has bookmarks and you can import them from an HTML export of your old bookmarks. For everything else, continue reading. If you are still missing a feature, feel free to post it with or without solution - in the latter case, I will try and solve it myself.

Just Tabs Please

The most annoying thing about Firefox was the fact that new windows can be spawned by websites: Popups happen, we all know they do, but it's much easier to handle them when they spawn a new tab and not a new window. I want new windows only to come into existence when I explicitly order Firefox to do so. If you share my feelings on this, navigate to about:config, search for browser.link.open_newwindow and set the value to 3. However, if you are really serious about this issue (like me), then you should also set browser.link.open_newwindow.restriction to 0.

Almost Plugins on Demand

In Opera 12, we had Plugins on Demand. In Firefox, the equivalent is called Click to Play. To turn it on, you need to set the about:config value of plugins.click_to_play to true, and then go to Addons and under Plugins set everything to Ask to Activate. However, after you have done that, you will only be able to allow entire websites to load any plugin of a certain kind. For instance, you might want to play the funny flash game, but you do not want to see the annoying flash ad - no chance. Luckily, there is a plugin to allow click to play on a per element basis. It works flawlessly.

Switch JavaScript On/Off

In Opera, I used to have a tiny checkbox in the status bar which allowed me to turn off JavaScript temporarily. It's useful on pages that try to turn JavaScript against you - a futile technique which only works against the weak of mind because, well, it relies on your browser executing that JavaScript. Anyway, install this trustworthy addon, then go to its options and make it show up in the toolbar. It might not appear in the toolbar right then: To actually place it in the toolbar, customize your toolbar (right click, customize) and drag the JS button next to your address field.

Switch Images On/Off

Same thing for images: There's a good plugin to turn image displaying on and off. You have to customize your toolbar again to place its icon somewhere, but from there it does this simple job flawlessly.

Restore recently closed tabs

Just hit Ctrl+Shift+T. Also, there is an entry recently closed tabs in your History.

The Speed Dial

I love the speed dial. There is an speed dial addon for Firefox, and I recommend this configuraion (rename it to config.speeddial and import it in the speed dial settings) to make it look a little less awkward. With these settings, I actually like the Firefox Speed Dial more than the old Opera one. It is way more configurable and supports import/export of your settings. Gotta love that.

Mouse Gestures

I was very used to pressing Right Mouse, Left Mouse to navigate back in Opera. The all in one gestures addon for Firefox does this out of the box and much more. I can recommend it throughoutly. Update: I realized that the above plugin has some unresolved bugs when you actively use tab groups. Although I like the options less, the fire gestures plugin does everything I need it to do and it plays nice with tab groups.

4 Replies to “Migrating from Opera 12 to Firefox”

  1. Maybe, maybe: http://otter-browser.org/ Otter Browser, project aiming to recreate classic Opera (12.x) UI using Qt5.
  2. Some more useful plugins: NoScript: http://noscript.net/ Block JavaScript, Java, Flash and other plugins Adblock: https://adblockplus.org/en/firefox Solved the popup problem for me Session Manager: http://sessionmanager.mozdev.org/ Save one window or your whole session for later browsing

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