Make the Firefox Download Panel More Useful

When Firefox introduced the Download Panel in Build 20, they didn’t include any customization options for it. While the Download Panel was a welcome addition to the browser, the add-on Download Panel Tweaks makes it more functional in Firefox.

1. Download and install the Download Panel Tweaks from Firefox’s add-on database.

You won’t have to restart your browser to start using the add-on.

2. Open the Firefox add-on options for Download Panel Tweaks.

download-panel-tweaks-options

This is the control center for customizing your Download Panel.

3. You can change the number of download items to display up to ten.

downloading-items-in-firefox

Firefox’s default is only three at a time.

4. You can also change the maximum height of the Download Panel, as well as reduce the height of the download rows.

This can be beneficial if you’re working on a smaller screen or simply want to see more information in the Download Panel.

5. If you check the box next to “Use alternative panel styling,” you’ll be able to use a Download Panel with a white background and squares as its corners.

alternative-panel-style

The add-on developer has warned users that it was tested on a Windows XP Classic theme. Since there are no customization options for the alternative panel styling, it may not look right for your Firefox theme. If it doesn’t, just disable it.

6. Checking the box next to “Ctrl+J toggles panel” allows you to take advantage of a keyboard shortcut that opens the Download Panel as opposed to the Download Library in Firefox.

Keyboard shortcuts are always a more efficient way to use features within programs, browsers and your computer in general. This allows you to quickly gain access to the Download Panel instead of having to click the icon to open it.

7. You can choose to disable the green arrow that shows when pausing or resuming a download.

8. You’re also able to change the time format for your downloads in the Download Panel.

time-format

By default, Firefox displays the download time like this: 3 minutes, 27 seconds.

Now, you can control how it looks by choosing a time format.

9. Download Panel Tweaks lets you change the format of the panel status lines, too.

status-formatting

You can rearrange the formatting or eliminate some of it as necessary. Depending on the theme you use, you may want to leave the formatting as is to match the scheme.

As soon as you make changes to the Download Panel Tweaks options, they’ll be immediately enabled in Firefox.

Download Panel Tweaks adds some much needed functionality to the Download Panel in Firefox. However, the one thing missing that I’d like to see is an ability to delete a file from the Download Panel itself, not the Library. Whether Firefox adds this feature or Download Panel Tweaks incorporates it, this is a feature that is needed.

One of the reasons Firefox has been eclipsed by browsers, such as Chrome, is because of incomplete features like the Download Panel. While the Download Panel for Firefox is a good addition, the Download Panel Tweaks makes it even better.

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