Take Firefox Customization to the Next-Level using Custom Buttons Extension

by Jawwad in Firefox, Software | 2 comments

A while back I wrote about an extension called External Application Buttons that allowed to add buttons to the Firefox toolbar that could call Windows applications from within the Firefox. That is a very useful extension for many people but today I will tell you about an extension that also has the ability to add buttons to the Firefox toolbars but these buttons can do a lot more than just calling  external windows applications. In fact you can do almost anything that is achievable in Firefox using these buttons!This extension is called Custom Buttons² and as it’s name implies allows you to create your own buttons and add them to the Firefox toolbar.

After installation restart the Firefox to activate the extension. After activation there will be a new option available in the Firefox toolbar context menu called “Add New Button…”, when clicked will present you with a dialog to create a new button and set various options such as name of the button, icon and the actual code that perform the action when clicked. After setting the parameters in the dialog just press Ok and the button will be created and after your restart Firefox will be available in the buttons pallet that is accessible from the toolbar context menu by selecting the “customize…” option. You simply have to Drag&Drop the newly created button form this buttons pallet to a Firefox toolbar. And then you can use it for the purpose for which you have created it. You will see in the image below that buttons created by this extension are dimmed. This is just to differentiate them from the normal buttons that are available in the toolbar pallet. You can also edit the button code and other options later-on if you need.

custom button dialog | Take Firefox Customization to the Next Level using Custom Buttons Extension


custom button customize toolbar | Take Firefox Customization to the Next Level using Custom Buttons Extension

In the code tab you are required to write the JavaScript code, this is where it’s true power lies because you can write valid JavaScript code to achieve any task in Firefox for example to show or hide a toolbar, restart the Firefox after installation of an extension, turn On/Off the offline mode to the more sophisticated examples such as capturing images from the current page,duplicate tabs etc. Don’t know how to code in JavaScript? Don’t worry there is something for you as well, just read on.

Here are some notes about the buttons that are created using Custom Buttons extension:

  • You can set the name of the button, icon and the actual JavaScript code to make it functional in the customization dialog of the button.
  • You can save, bookmark, clone and perform many other operations on the created button form the context menu that appears after you right click on the custom button.
  • When a button is created the first time, a code skeleton is already generated with the event handlers to catch the right,middle and left click and also Alt,Ctrl and Shift variations of these buttons. It means that your button may have different actions set for left, right and middle click etc.
  • When Custom Buttons extension is installed it also installs a protocol handler so that if you click on Custom Button link on a webpage it will prompt you to install the button in questions. In fact this is the way you will install buttons on the official forum.

Of course not every one is a guru in coding JavaScript to make a fully functional button. But if you can’t code in JavaScript, don’t worry you will just have to visit the Custom Buttons forum where fans of this powerful extension has already created and submitted a large collection of really useful buttons. In fact you can also request a new button if you feel that already available buttons in the forum do not fully satisfy you requirements, but there is a strong chance that you will find a suitable button for a task that you want to perform in Firefox. Some of the buttons that I recommend you to take a look in the forum are as follows(note some buttons may require some other extensions for proper functionality):

As you can see some of these buttons are so powerful that they can replace many extensions. It is a good idea to download a button from the forum that is close in functionality that you want to achieve and then tinker with the code rather than to start from the scratch. Beginners will be better to just use the buttons available on the forum or file a request on the forum with specification or the functionality that they want for a new button.

I am personally using this extension for more than a year and for me it really has replaced many extensions because I can achieve the same functionality with a custom button with the help of this extension. In fact there are many buttons available in the official forum that have no equivalent Firefox extension! I also like the fact that multiple actions can be associated with a single button. I have a few buttons that have more than three actions associated with a single button. This may also be helpful in saving precious space on the Firefox toolbar. If you are an advanced Firefox user and want to take the Firefox customizability to the next level then I highly recommend that you take a look at this extension as you will not be disappointed. You can download the Custom Buttons extension from here.

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  • buick

    Hey I need a button made up for an application in Facebook.

    I can accomplish this task in IE by hitting return repeatedly but FF does not allow this.

    I need to know if there is a way to mock this action in FF or if a button can be created to do it directly. The app runs on PHP which I know nothing of and the Java code for this extension is really baffling me :-S

    I would appreciate if I could get some assistance with this as its really taxing my brain… contact my email for further details :o)

  • Jacob

    Hey, I’m not good with JavaScript and I was wondering if someone could make me a button that reloads my most recently closed tab.
    That would be really useful to have, if you can do this thank you!

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