Firefox is great. At least i think it is anyway. Once the savior and browser of choice for disgruntled Internet Explorer users, Firefox has since seen a slight drop in usage due to the success of Chrome, but that doesn't mean it's any less of a browser than it used to be. In fact, with a little encouragement and the odd add-on, Firefox can be made to be the best browser you'll ever use.

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From Small Icons...
If, for some reason, you want to make the icons in Firefox a little smaller, then click on the Firefox button (in the top left). Now go to Options> Toolbar Layout. In the newly popped up window, at the bottom, you'll notice a little tick box with the caption, 'Use Small Icons’. Using small icons can increase the screen space slightly but only a little.

Keyboard Tabs

Rather than clicking your mouse to switch between the multitudes of tabs you have open, why not use some clever keyboard shortcuts:
Ctrl+Tab: rotate forward among the tabs
Ctrl+Shift+Tab: rotate to the previous tab
Ctrl+1-9: choose a number to open the tabs in order.

Mouse Shortcuts

Of course, if you've already got your hand on your mouse, then it makes sense to use that instead, so:

Middle click on a link: Opens the link in a new tab
Shift+Scroll down: Opens the previous pages in the current tab.
Shift+Scroll up: Does the opposite of above.
Ctrl+Scroll down: Increases the text size.
Ctrl+Scroll up: Decreases the text size.
Middle click on a tab: Closes the tab

Here Be Dragons!

Go to the address bar and type in the following: about:config to open the advanced settings warning page. Read the text, and if you're brave enough, then click on the 'I'll be careful, I promise' button. What you're now looking at is the hidden settings page, which controls pretty much everything in Firefox.

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It's a dangerous place to be if you're not careful (hence the warning), so whatever you do, read everything carefully first. If you decide to commit to any changes, make sure you've written down exactly what it was you altered, just in case you have to come back and undo it later.
The next few tweaks can be performed within the about:config pages, but should anything go wrong, we'll tell you how to fix it at the end of this section.

Speed Up
Within the about:config page, type 'pipelining' into the filter at the top of the page. You should now have a number of options available. To help speed up Firefox, alter the following by double clicking on them:
network.http.pipelining: Change this to true.
network.http.proxy.pipelining: Change this to true.
network.http.pipelining.maxrequests: Change this to 8.
Now search for max-connections in thefilter and alter the following:
network.http.max-connections: Change this to 96.
network.http.max-connections-perserver: Change this to 32.
Close down the about:config page and restart Firefox. Hopefully you should have a nippier web experience.

Graphics Rendering

Apparently, Firefox renders a web page incrementally, which means that it starts at the beginning of the page and works its way down.

In most web pages, the start contains meta information, css, JavaScript and so on. What Firefox will default to is a wait time of 250 milliseconds before rendering the remainder of the page. What we're going to do here is set that wait time to zero.
Right-click anywhere in the about:config page and choose New> Integer.
Type in the name: nglayout.initialpaint.delay and click OK.
Give it the value: 0 and click OK.
Restart Firefox and see if it's made a difference, especially on heavily graphics laden pages.

Limit RAM Usage

Firefox, despite its loveliness, is a bit of a resource hog and has been known to suck up any available RAM like a sponge. To limit the amount of RAM Firefox is allowed to use, do a filter search for 'browser.cache' and locate browser.cache. disk.capacity.

The default is 50,000, but this number can be altered by double clicking the value and entering a number depending on how much RAM you have. For example, if you have between 512MB and 1GB RAM, then set the value to 15,000. If you have between 2GB and 4GB, then try 35,000.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Aside from the few keyboard shortcuts we've already mentioned, here are a few that will really enhance your browsing capability and also crown you as a shortcut king to your friends, family and work colleagues.
Spacebar (page down)
Shift-Spacebar (page up)
F3 or Ctrl+F (find)
Alt-N (find next)
Ctrl-D (bookmark page)
Ctrl+ T (new tab)
Ctrl+K (go to search box)
Ctrl+L (go to address bar)
Ctrl+= (increase text size)
Ctrl+- (decrease text size)
Ctrl-W (close tab)
CTRL+SHIFT+T (use this to open a previously closed tab)
F5 (reload) , Ctrl + F5 (Hard Refresh)
Alt-Home (go to home page)

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Cool 3D Effect in Firefox
We like 3D things. 3D is cool. So when we found this little snippet, we couldn't help but get all excited, as you can imagine. All you need to do is open up a web page, then press Ctrl+Shift+i' (for Inspector).

Now look at the bottom right of the screen and you'll see a button titled '3 D View'. Click it and the page will be in glorious rotational, zoom in and out with the mouse wheel, 3D view.