Add-ons make customizing Firefox a near limitless endeavor, but what if you want to customize your add-ons? Wait for it – there’s an add-on for that. This may seem like add-on Inception, but don’t fret, it’s much less confusing than that particular film. Puzzle Piece allows you to customize the addon bar in Firefox. It takes the Firefox add-on bar that usually appears at the bottom of your window and shrinks it into a small little panel that can display the same content without the waste. It saves space, is more accessible, and it’s remarkably easy to set up.
Let’s Get Started
When you install add-ons in Firefox, some place icons in a toolbar that extends across the bottom of your web browser. Here’s how it looks by default on an Ubuntu desktop.
This, frankly, just is not modern UI design. Not only is it dated, it wastes many valuable pixels that could be better spent showing more web content. To alleviate this, let’s hop over to the Firefox add-ons site and download Puzzle Piece. After it is installed, this is what your new add-ons bar will look.
This new bar is substantially smaller, but since it overlays the website you’re browsing, it can be a tad intrusive. This is not a problem. Simply click on the green puzzle piece to set the bar to auto-hide. The addons bar will then disappear and re-appear using a smooth, yet subtle, fade animation. It’s seamless and – dare I say – a little fun to click on.
Your new add-ons bar can be repositioned to appear in the left-hand corner instead. To do this, just right-click on the puzzle piece icon and select The Puzzle Piece Options. The following window will appear.
Unchecking the top option will move the add-ons bar to the left side of the browser. Rechecking the box will return it to its original position. It happens instantaneously, so feel free to move the bar back and forth to get a feel for which side suits you best.
If neither side pleases you, the Puzzle Piece also empowers you to be rid of Firefox’s add-on bar entirely. Return to the preference menu and check the “Move the add-on bar into the location bar” option.
Your add-on bar will then disappear. The icons previously docked on this bar will appear inside of Firefox’s location bar instead. They should line up to the right of the current URL, adjacent to the bookmarking star.
The green puzzle piece is still visible inside the location bar. Clicking on this icon auto-hides the icons just as it did before. Right-clicking continues to present Puzzle Piece’s options.
We’ve long accepted that web browsers are necessary to peruse the internet, but that doesn’t mean we enjoy looking at them. That is why many extensions are available for Firefox that reduce the amount of clutter we have to tolerate around a webpage. The Puzzle Piece makes it possible to install as many add-ons as you want and easily access them without adding an unwanted bar at the bottom of your window. It’s just one more tool to help you reclaim your web browsing experience. If you know of other tools that help in this endeavor, share them with us below.