Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Add-ons to make Firefox more like Maxthon (Now with backup/restore)


With the recent animeondvd forum taking more aggressive actions to integrate into mania.com, some folks at animeondvd have figured out how to make the forum look and load just like the old forum, but the catch is that you HAVE to use Firefox since that stylish add-on is only available in Firefox. I’ve been using Maxthon for years, so the sudden switch to Firefox is quite uncomfortable for me (I’ve been using Firefox for some minor browsing for sites load extremely slow in Maxthon but works fine in Firefox such as buy.com for a while though, also Google chrome, these two work for those WebPages that kill Maxthon), not to mention the barebone Firefox is completely useless just as IE. So I’ve been playing with various add-ons  to make Firefox to function more like Maxthon, and so far it’s quite successful. Again the processes are quite messy, I would like to put down the add-ons and settings before I forgot…

Feb 14, now adding backup/restore option, the backup/restoring process can be performed across multiple PCs, so that a quite customized Firefox like in this article could be synced up. There are two software I found useful, one is an add-on called FEBE, one is a standalone software called MozBackup. I found FEBE to be somewhat hard to use, but its backup is more complete, especially the settings of the extensions are carried over; MozBackup is very intuitive to use, but settings of the extensions are incomplete. So I'm currently using MozBackup for everything except extentions, and FEBE for extensions only. This has worked well among 3 PCs I have.

So the above red selected are the ones I used. Includes:

Adblock plus – same thing in Maxthon to block the ads.

keyconfig – add F2 for previous tab/F3 for next tab just like what Maxthon does.

QuickDrag – Drag and drop to open a link in new tab or highlight text then drag and drop to search in new tab.

Speed Dial – add oprea/google chrome-like quick opening window.

Stylish – using CSS to change how a website looks.

Tab Mix Plus – add loading status on tabs, saves closed windows, opens tab next to current one, etc.



So here is the individual settings I tweaked:

Adblock Plus – did nothing.

keyconfig – since the out of the box Firefox doesn’t allow assign shortcuts, this add-on is essential. Configuration found from the following two sites (1), (2)

So the code for previous tab is:


the code for previous tab is:


Once you put the codes down, just configure the shortcuts to them, F3 is the default search again key in Firefox, so disable that first. The switching is a bit slower than Maxthon, but I’m happy with the result. And there’s one restriction, upon reaching the last tab, you can’t F3 to cycle back to the first tab. But the original built-in shortcut ctrl+Tab will do the trick. Or vice versa the F2 can’t go from the first tab to the last tab, but ctrl+shift+Tab will do…


QuickDrag – only one change:

Tick the “Open clickable links in new tabs instead of searching or saving”, if left alone, drag and drop will always perform the search in new tab, which is what we don’t want to see.


Speed Dial – setup is relatively easy, here is the effect after adding this add-on comparing with google Chrome.

google chrome:


Firefox with speed dial:

First add your own quick access pages, then the setting is as folloing:

Next thing is to disable the damn Ctrl+X (X=1,2,3, etc) override:

The default setting will override the original Ctrl+X function, it opens the last closed page in current tab instead of direct you to the original function (which is goto corresponding tab)


Stylish – this one is used exclusively to counter the changes recently happened to animeondvd forum. Knowledge about CSS editing is required to change the appearance of the webpages (which I don’t have, I’m just copying from other people’s work)

Here is the comparison before the change in google chrome and after the change in Firefox.

before the change:

It loads a bunch of search box and tabs, ads, and background images. Then the forum text color just changed to yellow/brownish recently which hurts my eye a lot!

And here is after the change:

Everything back to normal, and I’m happy with the results. But upon loading stylish, the page is a bit slow, but still a bit faster than the page loading in google chrome.

So here is how to do it, basically follow this post.

Adding three styles into stylish:

And copy and paste the following codes into corresponding item.

For mania main:

@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);

@-moz-document domain("www.mania.com") {

#rightCol300 > .box-300x250 {display:none!important;}

/* Some script is wasting space below the top header; removing it. */
#content {display:none!important;}
#content_container > #content {display:block!important;}
#content + br {display:none!important;}



For AOD style:

@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);

@-moz-document url-prefix("http://www.mania.com/aodvb/") {

/* Should always have the link to the main site at the top of the page; this fixes it so that it expands the full screen width. */
#topheader-bar {width: auto!important;}

/* Turn off other navigation bars */
#logo-header {display:none!important;}
#nav-header {display:none!important;}

/* Some script is wasting space below the top header; removing it. */
#content {display:none!important;}
#content + br {display:none!important;}

/* Turn off all footer material */
#footer {display:none!important;}

/* Main content area auto-sizes to your browser (whether widescreen or narrow width) */
#contentMid {width:auto!important;}

/* Get rid of useless extra line at bottom of page. */
#contentMid > form > table + br {display:none!important;}

/* Make the copyright notice properly centered. */
#contentMid + div {margin: 0 auto !important;}



For AOD board:

@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);

@-moz-document url-prefix("http://www.mania.com/aodvb/") {

/* Fix color scheme on message board. */
.thead {background-color: #558855!important;}
.vbmenu_control {background-color: #558855!important;}
.tcat {background-color: #558855!important;}
.tfoot {background-color: #336933!important;}

/* This set will modify the links in the header and footer areas. */
#contentMid > div > div.page a:link {color: blue!important; background-color: transparent!important;}
#contentMid > div > div.page a:visited {color: blue!important; background-color: transparent!important;}
#contentMid > div > div.page a:hover {background-color: #ccccee!important;}

/* This set will modify the links in the VB control areas. */
#contentMid > div > div.page .vbmenu_control a:link, #contentMid > div > div.page td.tcat a:link, #posts .thead a:link, #contentMid #threadslist .thead a:link {color: white!important;}
#contentMid > div > div.page .vbmenu_control a:visited, #contentMid > div > div.page td.tcat a:visited, #posts .thead a:visited, #contentMid #threadslist .thead a:visited {color: white!important; background-color: transparent!important;}
#contentMid > div > div.page .vbmenu_control a:hover, #contentMid > div > div.page td.tcat a:hover, #posts .thead a:hover, #contentMid #threadslist .thead a:hover {color: white!important; background-color: transparent!important;}

/* This set will modify the links in the posts themselves. */
#posts a:link {color: blue!important; background-color: transparent!important;}
#posts a:visited {color: purple!important; background-color: transparent!important;}
#posts a:hover {background-color: #60e0f0!important;}

/* You may also specifically modify the poster name links with this section. */
#posts a.bigusername:link {color: #7D7907!important;}
#posts a.bigusername:visited {color: #7D7907!important;}
#posts a.bigusername:hover {background-color: rgb(230, 204, 164)!important;}

/* Color the table background to give the spaces between table cells some definition. */
.tborder {background-color: #BABABA!important;}

/* Darken the background of the main message post area. */
#posts .alt1, #collapseobj_threadreview .alt2 {background-color: #cdcdcd !important;}
#posts .alt2, #collapseobj_threadreview .alt1, #collapseobj_threadreview .alt2 .alt2 {background-color: #e1e3e3 !important;}



Tab Mix Plus – settings for this is a bit messy, I haven’t played around a lot.

Check “Bookmarks/History” under Open tabs from can enable open a new tab for favorite, the default overrides the current tab how stupid is that.

Uncheck the “Restore the tab’s original position” is a must, such an annoying feature, don’t know what the author was thinking about…


Some more settings under display here, click “Customize Styles” will bring up another dialog window, here you can disable the default italic text. uncheck “Close tab button” make the tabs less cluttered and looks exactly how Maxthon looks. Decrease the tab width to make more tabs to fit so that you don’t have to scrolling between tabs if you have a lot of tabs opening.


So these are the things I currently can remember. After all these tweaks, I can say that Firefox can do about 70% of what I can achieve in Maxthon now. The only essential function still missing is the simple collector in Maxthon which I have yet to find a Firefox equivalent add-on… To much trouble doing all these, must have spent me 6 hours doing these, still don’t know why people prefer Firefox… or should I say why nobody comes up with a Maxthon-like pre-configured Firefox.


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