Improved about:config Page Makes Editing Hidden Prefs Easier

Monday January 20th, 2003

As many advanced users are aware, Mozilla has lots of 'hidden' preferences that can be tweaked to alter obscure settings or improve performance. Making changes to these prefs used to involve manually editing your prefs.js or user.js file. However, now you can alter these options directly from within the browser, thanks to the fix for bug 107418.

To take advantage of this new feature, you must be running a recent Mozilla or Phoenix nightly. Enter about:config in the Location Bar and a colour-coded list of preferences will appear. Editing them should be familiar to anyone who has ever hacked the Windows Registry: each pref now has a context menu that allows you to copy its name or value to the Clipboard, modify its setting or reset it back to the factory default value. You can also add unlisted preferences by using the 'New' submenu: select 'String' if the value of the setting you want to add is textual, 'Integer' if it's a number or 'Boolean' if it's either true or false.

Most modifications will take effect immediately but some may require a restart. Note that making changes in about:config updates prefs.js and not user.js. As the user.js file takes precedence, you'll have to manually remove any lines you want to alter from user.js (or delete the file entirely) before making changes in about:config. Finally, remember that you can really screw things up if you're not careful. You have been warned.

#3 very cool new feature

by mbokil

Monday January 20th, 2003 3:17 PM

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I just downloaded build 2003011922 linux today and when I type about:config and hit enter I see all my configuration settings. Apparently you can double-click on any item and its value will pop-up with a dialog box allowing you to enter new strings for settings. I just disabled tooltips on the menubar and then re-enabled them without a problem. very nice.

Even though people like to complain abou the bloat in Mozilla, once you get used to some of these power user features it is so hard to go back to IE. Mozilla is deffinately the power users browser, er, application suite.