Monday, October 29, 2007

Fixing annoying "delete to go back" in Firefox

One of the most popular posts here on my blog was where I explained how to get click -hold contextual menus back in Firefox 2.0 Why on earth they thought Mac users would enjoy having to hold the control key whenever they want to see a contextual menu is beyond me.

I love firefox but another hugely annoying feature is that hitting the delete key jumps you backwards though the browser history. Who thought that was a good idea? If you think your cursor is in a text field and it isn't then you're in for a nasty surprise when you hit the delete key to edit your text and you navigate away from your current page. What kind of power user is in such a hurry they can't take the two seconds to hit the back button? Who needs to rapidly speed backwards though their history like that. Even if such users do exist, why the delete key? (that's the Backspace key for you PC users)

There are lots of instructions online about how to disable this feature using the config menu. It is easy and anyone can do it if you can follow directions.

  1. Open a new Firefox tab (apple+T) so you can work in one window and read these direction in the original.
  2. Type "about:config" into the address field of the new window. Hit return and the config page appears.
  3. Enter "browser.b" into the "filter" field at the top.
  4. Click-hold the "Browser.backspace_action" Value column, and choose Modify from the pop-up menu. Type 2 for the new value.
  5. Click OK.
You're done! Annoying problem solved.

~kirk

2 comments:

Katie said...

Thank you so much. I get very angry when I'm 3/4 of the way through a form and the backspace destroys my efforts.

Kirk Mona said...

I discovered that the previous annoying lack of click-hold in Firefox 2.0 was because they were trying to fall into line with what Apple wants. Apple doesn't want applications to use click-hold. Apple seriously thinks that control+click is better. Never mind that it is annoying to have to use the keyboard AND the mouse to do a simple task.

Also, weirdly apple DOES use click+hold to access menus from the Dock. Why is it okay there but not in applications?

So, the change to control+click to access context menus is really apple's fault. Boo apple.