Thursday, October 22, 2009

Firefox Extension: Take A Break

Note: This is the online help of version 1.0.x. New features are added in version 1.1. And the icons have been changed in version 1.1.

Note: If you are using a newer version of Firefox, the Add-on Bar (status bar) is hidden by default so the Take A Break icon is not visible. You can use Ctrl+/ or go to the menu Firefox->Options->Add-on Bar to show the Add-on Bar. We are working on the next version of Take A break to allow showing the Take A Break icon on the toolbar.

Addicted to the Web? Don't compromise your health! Continuously staring at the computer can cause headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, fatigue, dry eyes. Take A Break extension tries to help you avoid or reduce these problems. It reminds you when to take a break while you are surfing the Web.

- A little icon on the status bar will be flashing every 15 minutes to remind you a short break. You should sit back and close your eyes, or look outside the window for a while.

- A pop-up dialog will remind you a big break every hour. You should stand up, get a cup of coffee, do some stretching, or go freshen up.

- You can adjust the timers according to your own needs.

Download and install it here:

You will need to restart the Firefox browser after the installation.

After the Firefox browser restarts, you will see an icon of a green clock on your status bar. If your status bar is hidden, you could show it by selecting menu View->Status Bar.

How does it work
- The clock icon on the status bar will be flashing in red and yellow every 15 minutes to remind you a short break.
-- Take A Break extension is on.
-- Icon is flashing and reminding you to take a short break.

- A pop-up dialog will remind you a big break every hour. The pop-up window will be automatically closed after 5 minutes. You can click on the colorful text to close it, too. Clicking on the URL will bring you to more Firefox extensions I made.

- A click on the clock icon will switch off and on its function. If the function is turned off, the icon is in gray.
-- Take A Break extension is off.

- Right-click the icon and you can select to open the Options dialog. Here you can adjust the timers to meet your own needs. See the next section for the meanings of the options.

- Move the mouse over the icon and you can see when the next break will come.

- Of course, you can also open the Options dialog through the menu: Tools->Add-ons->Extensions, and click on the Options button of this extension.

Options setting
Click here to see how to open the "Options" dialog.

- Enable Flashing: enable/disable the feature of icon flashing. If it is not checked, the following two timers of Flashing Interval and Flashing Duration are ignored.

- Flashing Interval: the time between two flashing. You can set a value between 1 to 999 minutes.

- Flashing Duration: the duration of the flashing. You can set a value between 1 to 999 seconds.

- Enable Pop-up Reminder: enable/disable the feature of pop-up reminding. If it is not checked, the following two timers of Rest Interval and Rest Duration are ignored.

- Rest Interval: the time between two pop-up reminding. You can set a value between 1 to 999 minutes.

- Rest Duration: after this long, the pop-up window will be closed automatically. You can set a value between 1 to 999 minutes.

- No reminding if idle for XXX min: if checked, you can inform the extension that XXX minutes of no mouse movement means you are not browsing. So that the extension would temporary stop when you had left your desk.

You can click on the Restore defaults button to restore all the timers to their default values.

If you think this extension is helpful, please share it with your friends.


Anonymous said...

Great extension!!!

Finnally someone cares about human health on a browser! I really love it.

Here's a few things i would like to see:

- in the alert, would be nice to have Some text and a picture advising what we should do in our break

- Alert/Icon appearence Improvement

that's all for now :)

James said...

Thanks for the support. Those are very good suggestions.

Lauren said...

I really like this addon. It's saving my sanity.

In the next version, please consider adding a sound option for the flashing interval. A dinging noise every 15 minutes would help me, at least, keep track of time better than a flashing icon.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this add-on. However it would be great if I could have multiple pop-up messages (different intervals) and the option to put my own text in.

Sunny Snaith said...

I agree with Anonymous ...
It would be nice to have up to three reminders, each with the options to flash, pop up, and/or play sounds.


I agree with Lauren ...
Some sound options would be nice so you know to open your eyes again and to alert you if you've turned away momentarily:

* A sound to start a break
* A sound clip to fill a break
* A sound to end a break

These should each be optional and the sounds should be user-customizable. I would also include a volume adjustment for each, if possible.


I agree with Anonymous ...
The icon really needs some work -- it looks like an envelope.

You might consider using the yin-yang symbol since this is sort of a meditation reminder.

You could continue the Zen theme with the default sounds:
* A low-pitch "bong" to Start and End a break
* Some low-pitch chimes to Fill a break

Sunny Snaith said...

FYI: You need to take a new snapshot of the
Take A Break Options Screen
because you got rid of the Help tab and added links at the bottom.

Zen said...

Sound option will be added to the next release v1.1. It is being tested. Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

I'm the guy that made the first post! ;)

When i said "a picture advising what we should do in our break" i was kind of thinking about something like this:

this would help a lot to keep people out of problems!

Also, a module teaching how to configure your desk would be nice. Something like:

Beside this, the new version is great. I did love the new icons and features! CONGRATULATIONS for a job very well done!

And thanks for caring about our health :D

Anonymous said...

Cutest thing between firefox addons. Each time it pop-ups only warm words in author's address. Big thank you!

Leon Victor said...

It is really very helpful add-ons for our health. You could add a sound that would be cool and option to change the color of the icon.

Zen said...

Hi Leon, sound can be enabled by going to the Options dialog and check the option *Enable Sound*.

Anonymous said...

A yellow colour might be more easily

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