FfChrome — Now Firefox Menus As Clean As Google Chrome’s

Weekends are to get the creative juices flowing. When Google Chrome was released I fell for it’s slick interface. And in an attempt to get our favorite Firefox flaunt the same I thought of this extension. You can scroll down to skip this info and install the extension right away. FfChrome may not be close to what this extension does and is planned to do but for now we’ll call it FfChrome – for those who like elegance. Suggestions are welcome and required – this could be a part of the license agreement in the future :). So here’s what it does.

  1. It will optimize your context menu and show the bare essential items.
  2. You can click on “Show All” and open context menu again to see other items. You can again collapse it to bare essentials on the fly.
  3. All disabled items are taken out by default. What will one do with the “paste” item when you haven’t copied anything?
  4. Ease of use – all changes happen on the fly.
  5. It is contextually sensitive. It knows and respects the context in which you use it. For e.g. context menu items relating to links or images etc. will only show when you right click on a link or an image etc.

The difference

Here are a few pics to show the difference. This is the default Firefox menu I have in my default profile.

Default Firefox Context Menu
Default Firefox Context Menu

The Difference

After installing the extension it only shows the bare essential items. You do have an option to see all of them by clicking on Show All. You’ll need to open the context menu again.

Collapsed- By default only the minimal bare essential items are shown like in Google Chrome.
Collapsed- By default only the minimal bare essential items are shown like in Google Chrome.


You can expand them back and here’s what it looks like when expanded. Again, as earlier you can collapse it back.

Expanded- Menus can be expanded to reveal hidden items
Expanded- Menus can be expanded to reveal hidden items

And here’s what it looks like in Google Chrome. Of course we don’t show the disabled items which are of no use.

The same menu as it appears in Google Chrome
The same menu as it appears in Google Chrome

FfChrome Download

You must understand that this is a beta and if you have problems you should be comfortable disabling this extension from Tools > Addons > FfChrome > Disable button. You should also contribute and provide feedback about any bugs or any feature requests. Right now the extension is in infancy but your suggestions will help it mature and grow. Thanks for using FfChrome.

Install FfChrome for Firefox 3 – for those who like elegance (Right-click to download)

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Comments on "FfChrome — Now Firefox Menus As Clean As Google Chrome’s"

  1. Faithful Firefox Fan says

    Thanks a bunch! Net-citizens like yourself are what keeps me interested in this crazy new frontier called the internet. Keep blazin’ your trail!

  2. Patrick says

    I think that this is a great add on. Chrome is very neat and tidy and allows it to be faster by having less clutter, but it is only beta right now and not nearly as feature rich as Firefox, so more people could use this extension once they learn about Google Chrome….so be prepared for massive downloads!

  3. michael appiah-duku says

    hey there! i don’t really understand what the beta is supposed to mean but i would learn and then come back later to install this add-on. cheers!

  4. David Moss says

    I really like chrome it was a great idea , can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

  5. Jorge says

    I agree with you about the many items in the context menu.
    POSSIBLE BUG: I download and install FFChrome 1.3. At first it works ok. After hover the mouse on “Show All”, all items appears but none separator. Ok, maybe the add-on show all but separators. But, when I look at the menu (File, Tools, etc.) the separators disappears here too! (FF 3.0.2 on XPSP2, if this helps)
    It happens after show the context menu for the first time, before that, all works ok in the menu.
    I suggests (I don’t know if you can catch all the items, from FF3 and others addons, in the context menu), if you could choose the items, e.g. disable “show in new window” and enable “show in new tab”.

  6. says

    Jorge, You are right about the separators. The issue we are having is that if we enable separators, sometimes two consecutive separators appear if the item in between them is not available.

    To your second request, we are gong to have preferences soon so you’ll be able to customize the items you want or don’t. Just use the current version to point out any other feedback you have while I’m working on the next. Thanks for using FfChrome.

  7. Kamna Sharma says

    I just installed this extension to verify the claims. This is a great piece of work and is pretty stable at that. I shows the basic items by default but there’s an extra menuitem which you can mouseover and the context menu expands to show all. Neat and a complete web 2.0 concept.

  8. michael appiah-duku says

    i don’t really understand what beta is supposed to be but i would learn and later download this feature.cheers!

  9. Jorge says

    I been thinking a solution to separators all day. Finally, i can resume it in this lines: Start with a flag in false, then go trought all menu items, if the item isn’t a separator then show (or not if hidden) the item an set the flag to true. If the item is a separator AND the flag is true then show and set again the flag to false.
    After that, i saw that this doesn’t work if there are no items after the last separator. Then, i think to add another flag, setting it to zero if the item isn’t a separator and the position number if the item is a separator. I know a little about programming, only Basic, in facts :)
    Something like this:

    setsep = false
    for each item in the list
    if item isn’t hidden or disabled
    show item, lastitem=zero, setsep=true
    if item is a separator AND setsep=true
    show separator, lastitem=numbernotzero, setsep=false
    if lastitem isn’t zero //is a separator
    hide the item number lastitem

    Well, hope this helps! Great work, anyway!

  10. says

    Jorge, this is a good suggestion. I’ll work on it. I also believe there are native functions in the Firefox source that show or hide certain separators. Needs some experimentation.

  11. says

    I’d second Goofy’s suggestion and add my voice to the point with the separators… :)
    (I would do the German trs. btw)

  12. MezzoToscano says

    Hello, I think I may have run into a bug :-)

    Apparently the extension broke the menu for the NoScript statusbar icon. I disabled FfChrome and the menu for NoScript was back in shape. I didn’t check other extensions that put menus in the statusbar; I could do it later as soon as I have the time.

    About additional features: making the menu customizable sounds nice. However, what about showing the LAST menu commands used, along with the “basic” ones? (Of course, the commands that are currently disabled should be ignored, as well as those already in the “basic” list.) This would reduce a LOT the need to show all the menu.

    Make it super duper and make the number of displayed “recent” commands an option.

    Now I will walk away slowly… 😉

  13. Reeni says

    I cant get my homepage to stay like the older version. It keeps coming up with Mozilla Firefox Start Page and Firefox updated. I’ve done the tools/options/current page thing but the next time I log in it’s the same old story as above.


  14. says

    Why would you want to use the current pages? You want “Show a blank page” or just change your homepage to Google or something else. “Current pages” options sets all the currently opened tabs as your home pages.

  15. Sharon O'Hara says

    How about working on something to prevent Firefox/Thunderbird from scattering some of my saved files EVERY TIME I update including the add on’s…. At the same time I lose some of my filters. Time after time after time…

    Thank you, Shivanand Sharma … and to you other computer whiz kids for working magic to help the rest of us in this exciting Internet world.


  16. SteveJohnSteele says

    very good :-) I like it

    just one request/question …
    can you use standard colors in the settings box (the pink and purple look odd)
    how can I change these


  17. says

    This extension is really useful once other extensions overwhelmed your rightclick-menu.
    Just one suggestion: Please remove the alert when I click “Show all”. Every time I accidentally click on it because I’m used to click on menu items this annoying message pops up and interrupts the workflow.

  18. says

    This extension is really useful once other extensions filled your rightclick-menu with tons of menu items.
    Just one suggestion: Please remove the alert when I click “Show all”. Every time I accidentally click on it because I’m used to click on menu items this annoying message pops up and interrupts the workflow.

  19. mike says

    I have NoScript installed – and when I try using ffchrome – the sub menus for No Script do not appear. I tried setting the options but it doesn’t seem to work…

  20. Sue says

    This would be a useful extension and I want to be able to use it but there is a problem. Whenever I use this extension, FF close, minimize and maximize boxes (located at the top right of the browser) disappear.

    When I disable the extension, they are back again. This makes it unusable to me.

    Anyone else have that problem?

  21. Shuvo Banerjee says

    I used to use FFChrome and was a fan. But with the new update to Firefox 3.0.8, my FFChrome isn’t working at all. I use Mac OS X ,is that the reason?? I always have used Mac OS X and never had a problem..Any help??

  22. Shuvo Banerjee says

    I know that the new version of FfChrome is for Windows users..but I’m using FfChrome 1.5 with Firefox 3.08 for Mac.It is not showing any context menu elements suddenly. I didn’t have any problem like this before when I was using FfChrome 1.5 with Firefox 3.0.7 on my Mac. As soon as I upgraded to 3.0.8, the context menu has disappeared.Any answers?????????

  23. Astara says

    Couple of comments:
    1) instead of just ‘show all’, take a note from MS’s interface, (suggesting this as an optional mode for those who want the mode).
    Keep track of what options the user uses and build a usage pattern. Start with usage data all equal, but as user starts using the menu, build a most-used options list. Make those the visible options rather than having to go through (~100+ options — w/o context) to decide what options they wanted/didn’t want). Yes, I mean literally over 400+ options — about 50% were from translate plugin — under each lang, you had option to translate from a lang to all the other supported langs, soooo…@20 langs, you had each possibly xlating into the other 19…that’s 390 options right there! What a pain to setup!
    2) during setup, you need to display the options withing their submenu context. If I know an option is under the ‘a specific’ submenu, I might prefer to leave all of those sub-options turned on (as I only see then when I turn on that submenu).

    3) MAJOR prob — when I turned on “Toggle Chrome Mode” — I couldn’t figure out how to move the
    window — and resize seemed to be ‘broken’ — limited only to the _broken_ (in FF-WinXP) multi-dot corner. It’s a reported and known bug but in any vertical resizing using that multi-dot corner, the
    verticle resize amount = 1/2 the real cursor movement. So if I want to resize a full height window to anything less than 1/2 the screen size — I can’t, as moving the cursor all the way to the top of the screen (full height movement), only resizes window by half that amount or to half of screen height).
    But that bug is unrelated to FfChrome.
    The bug in FfChrome is that I can’t grab the edges of the browser window (top, sides, bottom) and resize from any place). AND as I mentioned earlier — the worst — I couldn’t figure out how to move the darn window AT ALL.
    5) Helpful under config — a ‘Select All’ (check all) — that way one can start with all turned on and go down from there. At least I can recognize maybe the first level context menu options and disable the one’s I normally don’t use.
    6) (not really a bug, but FWIW), you know the menu delay overlaps functionality with ‘FasterFox’, but I don’t see that being a problem

    Hopefully this post doesn’t just evap. 😉 Hate it when I write a substantive post that just disappears!

  24. Ben says

    How do I get it to work with Advanced URL Builder? I was the Find Usings to display but I can only get an empty submenu until I show all.
    Thanks for an otherwise brilliant addon.

  25. Astara says

    I really ❛sorta❜ like your extension… Ok, I like it…but I have a few ‘nits’ w/it. One seems to be a bug, other seems to be an ‘I would like this’…
    1) The bug …it bothers me more. When I go into chrome mode, an empty horizontal tools bar opens up above my location bar. Above that empty blank space is where tabs open.

    I don’t have a ‘File’ menu open, but it looks like ffchrome may be attempting to force a space to be left for it — but it is unusable. In my browser, my file and location toolbars share the same line and I condense the file items down to a single drop-down menu icon on the location toolbar.

    As a result, in chrome mode I have this .. maybe, half-inch whitish space above my location bar and below my tabs that is unusable and not even “draggable”. I.e. I can’t grab onto it to move the window. It’s literally *dead* space.

    It goes away when I go out of chrome mode. and the browser’s title bar goes there — and the tabs go back below all toolbars.

    So…is that fixable? Can you throw together a version that doesn’t assume a File menu?

    If you want to try getting rid of the file menu, I use the “Personal Menu” extension available on Mozdev — allows you to hide any and everything.

    And that sorta brings me to my second ‘issue’ — .. Personal menu (and other cleanup extensions, allow me to **hide** items). I.e. They operate as a black list.

    I”d really prefer that option in ffchrome — since I no longer see dictionary or spelling suggestions as they are not on the ‘whitelist’ — and there is no way I can add all the words of each of my 3-4 dictionaries onto ffchromes ‘whitelist’.

    Obviously, you can have a toggle to have the list act as a white or black list, but I would suggest it being a black list, so users won’t have to try to go through and toggle every switch on in order to see their menus (or wonder where their menus went)…

    Doable? Both? Happiness is mine?



  26. Astara says

    FYI — website error — when I posted, I got:
    Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/varun21/public_html/binaryturf/wp-content/plugins/SK2/sk2_second_chance.php:2) in /home/varun21/public_html/binaryturf/wp-content/themes/thesis/lib/functions/launch.php on line 93

    I hope this doesn’t mean I am unable to post (or that this post will also go into the ether)…

  27. Makke says

    first of all: Thanks for this great addon:)
    But I’ve got a question…
    is there any possibility to disable the “Show All” button as well?

    I’ve opened the FfChrome 1.7 Properties button and finally found the entry “Show All”…i’ve unmarked it but that had no effect on the “Show All” button in the context menu…

    Hope you can help me:)

  28. NoName says

    I really like the add-on. The only thing is that it’s limited by it’s color. The backdrop for the tabs is always blue. I’d like something in black, and I’m sure more simple color changes would be appreciated by most. Still, best screen-saving add-on ever.

  29. Charles Roba Greene says

    This is probably the best Firefox add-on that I have seen. It makes your context menu so much easier & faster to use. I would give this add-on a five star and recommend it to anyone!!!!
    Charles Greene

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