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Firefox 2.0 Improvements

Firefox 2.0 is released today and having tested it preliminarily with TWiki there are a few things I wanted to point out if you're planning on upgrading.

  1. Access Keys don't work the same (or at all) like they did with Firefox v1.5. If you're used to using access keys, this will likely be a big annoyance.
  2. Firefox search will now search the text entry area -- this is a huge improvement for editing large topics. Finding the location within the topic that you want to edit is now simple.
  3. Firefox now has spell check for the text entry area. I like this feature a lot so far.

So I wanted to open up discussion on other potential interaction points between the new Firefox 2 and TWiki, as well as possible improvements to items such as the Access Keys which don't function the same by default any more.

-- Contributors: JoshuaJohnston - 24 Oct 2006


Could you give an indication how Firefox deals with access keys now and how the implementation could be improved?

-- ArthurClemens - 24 Oct 2006

I just loaded Firefox v2.0 so I haven't tried to test things in depth--the points listed were just what I noticed. As far as access keys, they appear to not work at all using Alt+[Access Key] (Windows 2000 + Firefox v2.0). Before this used to work as expected with Firefox v1.5. It appears that these keys are now entirely handled by the Firefox menu so on a given topic, Alt+S pulls down the History menu and Alt+E pulls down the Edit menu. While editing a topic the same behavior is observed for Alt+S and the remaining keys don't work.

-- JoshuaJohnston - 24 Oct 2006

Outch, that's Alt+Shift+[Access Key] now.

Btw. Konqueror has spell checking, search and search+replace in textareas for ... I don't know for how long. I some respects it is done better in firefox2.0: switching dictionaries easily; right-clicking on misspelled words offers corrections. But it does not have a separate dialog to start a complete spell checking session on the entire text. You have to go thru the text looking for red underlines and right-click on every single word even if it is misspelled in several places the same way. Well and Konqueror fails differently: if I disable auto-spell-checking the misspelled/not recognized words stay red; the spell-checking dialog has layout problems; no right-clicking on misspelled words. And I prefer the red curly underline in firefox2 for spell errors instead of making them all red as in Konqueror.

-- MichaelDaum - 25 Oct 2006

On accelerator keys in Firefox 2.0:

If one liked the old behavior better, one can revert to the old style manually.

In "about:config", set the following values (you can use filter type ui.key to narrow down the results):

  • ui.key.chromeAccess -> 4
  • ui.key.contentAccess -> 4

This should cause the key bindings to behave like they used to.

If you don't revert, remember that some alt-shift shortcuts are popular "global" shortcuts and might intervene, i.e. ICQ traps Ctrl-Shift-I per default.

-- SteffenPoulsen - 25 Oct 2006

Actually, one can further put away the default firefox shortcuts (change them to Alt+Shift) by using these values:

  • ui.key.chromeAccess -> 5
  • ui.key.contentAccess -> 4

Then hopefully nothing will interfer with the TWiki experience smile Don't know if this will work with all Firefox versions though.

BTW: Math is:

  • Shift values 1
  • Ctrl values 2
  • Alt values 4


  • Shift + Ctrl = 3
  • Shift + Alt = 5
  • Alt + Ctrl = 6
  • Ctrl + Shift + Alt = 7

-- SteffenPoulsen - 25 Oct 2006

And what's the win and meta key?

-- MichaelDaum - 25 Oct 2006

Michael, see this article

Thanks for the info everyone!

-- JoshuaJohnston - 25 Oct 2006

See also FirefoxBrowser.

-- RichardDonkin - 26 Oct 2006

Sorry, but I don't understand.

I have FF2 on Linux (FC6, KDE). The old way (Alt+[Access Key]) doesn't work anymore. What is the "new way"? I tried all combinations with no help - if I get some response, its the menu items.

My config values are: ui.key.chromeAccess=4 ui.key.contentAccess=5.

If I change to the suggested * ui.key.chromeAccess -> 5 * ui.key.contentAccess -> 4 I cannot access the menu items through access keys frown

-- YuvalAviel - 25 Mar 2007

If the above math is posted correctly, the keys should be bit-masked:

  • 0b0001 = 0x01 = Shift
  • 0b0010 = 0x02 = Ctrl
  • 0b0100 = 0x04 = Alt

...and as stated, 0x05 = 0b0101 = Alt + Shift (which for you is ui.key.contentAccess).

I'm guessing you already tried that combination, but it works just fine for me (FF2, WinXP)... maybe it has something to do with your platform. (?)

-- JoshuaJohnston - 25 Mar 2007

Yes, I've tried this combination. Shift+Alt behaves exactly like Alt.

Can anyone with Linux confirm this behavior?

-- YuvalAviel - 26 Mar 2007

Shift+Alt seems to work fine for me (Fedora core 6).

  • ui.key.chromeAccess -> 4
  • ui.key.contentAccess -> 5

-- JeffCrawford - 31 Mar 2007

Jeff: I guess you get the TWiki access keys by using shift+alt.

Do you also get the Firefox access keys by using only the alt?

notice also that this is a FF2 problem, not FF 1.x.

-- YuvalAviel - 01 Apr 2007

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Topic revision: r14 - 2007-04-01 - YuvalAviel
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