My laptop (now on its very last legs) has a fairly dinky screen. It’s wide enough to not be a problem, but the height is always a pain, especially that now (unlike when I bought the laptop all of 4 years ago) I am a web developer and routinely have firebug and the web developer toolbar open, which sucks up about two fifths of the height of my screen.
Enough is enough, and I’ve decided to get tough on undesirable widescreen, tough on the causes of undesirable widescreen.
First off, although I don’t like Google Chrome’s tabs at the top interface, I do like the fact that they’ve squeezed something useful onto the otherwise desolate windows title bar, i.e the bar at the top of the screen that tells you which program you’re using and, in firefox, the webpage’s title. As I have no need for firefox to tell me anywhere other than on the tab which web page I’m on, this bar is pretty much useless. And, luckily for me, there is a new firefox extension to get rid of it: Hide Caption. It shifts the close, maximise and minimise buttons down to near the search bar and gives me an extra cm of space. It warns that it may not be compatible with tab-mix plus, though I haven’t had any problems, and I use loads of other extensions too with no clash. Although I did uninstall another plug-in called Hide Navigation Bar as this didn’t work, but it may have been a clash.
A few of other things I’ve done to save space and decrease clutter is decrease the text size in firebug, change my windows taskbar to a single row rather than two, use the personal menu extension to hide the menu bar, and got rid of my bookmarks toolbar (although not sure how long that will last). It would be really handy if firebug could have an option to place it to the side of the screen rather than the bottom. Most of the time the lines don’t span the width of the console, so it’d be a great space saver to stack them vertically down a narrow strip at the side of the page.
Incidentally, one of the few add-ons that has remained a constant for me over the years is the qute theme. It’s really nicely designed with light colours and small icons and makes the screen seem a lot less cluttered. There’s two versions available at the moment; the authentic new version for firefox 3.5, and the retro version based on the original icon designs from years ago, which is the one I plump for. Aside from being aesthetically more pleasing it also has the advantage of not having a heart as the icon for bookmarks, which always took me a second to work out what it meant.
Anyway, here is my current, much cleaner looking, firefox appearance now (I would do a before and after, but it’s way too much hassle to go back and disable all the things I’ve changed):