Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Firefox Extension: Boss Key and Buttons

NOTE: Many users have asked whether there will be a WebExtension version of this add-on. We appreciate your support. Unfortunately, there is no plan of such development in the near future as we do not have the time/resources. This extension may stop working when XUL is deprecated.

This Firefox extension allows you to quickly minimize your browser windows by pressing the F12 key or both the left and right mouse buttons.

(Version 2.0) You can also change the configuration to use other keys or mouse buttons.

- Press the F12 key to minimize your browser windows.

- Press both the mouse buttons (left and right) down to minimize your browser windows.

- Open and focus on a new tab with the URL you preset.

- Hide the tab-bar.

- Press Shift-F12 to show the tab bar and close the new tab opened by the boss key or buttons.

- (Version 2.0) Use the menu Tools|Boss KnB Restore to show the tab bar and close the new tab opened by the boss key or buttons.
- Minimize the browser window.

- Do the hiding for all the open browser windows.

Download and install it here:

You will need to restart Firefox browser after the installation.

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

- Enable F12: enable/disable boss key F12. By default, it is enabled. It may be obvious but I want to mention that the Firefox browser window must be the active window you are using. If it were at the background, it could not capture the key pressing event and would not do anything.

  (Version 2.0) If F12 is used by other extensions, you can choose F8 or the + key in the Number Pad as your boss key.

- Enable mouse: enable/disable using mouse to hide windows. By default, it is enabled. You must press down (and hold) both the left and right mouse buttons together inside your browser window. Do NOT simultaneously press both buttons. Instead, press down one button and while holding it down, press down another button. If you are using Linux, avoid clicking on the Flash plug-in, which seems to have a higher priority to capture the mouse pressing events. You might want to practise a little bit.

  (Version 2.0) Some more options are added in this version. You can choose your boss button from the list of:
  . Press both left and right buttons: this is the default.
  . Double-click right button.
  . Double-click middle button. You may need tweak the configuration of Firefox to make it work. Please see the Note section at the end of this help for details.
  . Double-click left button.

- Open a new tab and load URL: if checked and the URL is supplied, the boss key or buttons would load the URL in a new tab and bring the new tab to the front. Avoid using this new tab because when you press Shift-F12, it will be closed.

  (Version 2.0) with a sign: if checked, the web page opened in the new tab would have a gray bar on the top. It signals you that this tab is a Boss K&B tab and you should avoid using it. When next time you press the Boss Key or Button, this tab will be focused again. By default, it is checked.

- Hide tab-bar: if checked, the boss key or buttons would hide the tab-bar. Pressing Shift-F12 will show the tab-bar again. If you open a new tab by using menu File|New Tab or Ctrl-T, the tab-bar will show up too.

  (Version 2.0) You can also show the tab-bar by using the menu Tools|Boss KnB Restore.

- Minimize window: if checked, the boss key or buttons would minimize the browser window.

- Apply to all windows: if checked, the above actions would be applied to all the open browser windows when the boss key or buttons were pressed.

You can press Shift-F12 to restore the browser window to the previous status before you pressed the boss key or buttons. It would close the new tab and show the tab-bar. Please do not use the new tab.

(Version 2.0) You can also close the new tab and show the tab-bar by using the menu Tools|Boss KnB Restore.

If you accidentally used the new tab and it were closed by Shift-F12, don't panic, you could get it back from the menu History|Recently Closed Tab.

(Version 2.0) For those who have also installed the extension of mouse gestures, you can choose to use double-click middle button or double-click left button. Please be aware that there are some limitations for using them:

  - If you choose double-click middle button, you should disable autoscrolling feature. To do that, go to the Options/Preferences dialog, select Advanced icon, then choose General tab. In the Browsing section, uncheck Use autoscrolling.

  - If you choose double-click middle button, you should set Firefox parameter middlemouse.contentLoadURL as false -- It is already set as false by default for all but the Linux/Unix platform. To do that, input about:config in the address bar, and double click the parameter to change it.

  - If you choose either double-click middle button or double-click left button, avoid clicking on the links. Otherwise, when you come back, you would see a new page following the link you clicked.

The Hide tab-bar option of this extension is imperfect. My other extension Autohide Tabbar is a much better choice.

If you like this extension, please share it with your friends.


Anonymous said...

How do I open the Options menu fer the Boss Key add-on?

Zen said...

To open the Options dialog, you
1) click "Tools" menu button;
2) select "Add-on" menu item;
3) select "Extensions" icon;
4) select the "Boss Key and Buttons" extension;
5) click the "Options" button.

Anonymous said...

Works well except on Java windows. Many chat rooms / sites use pop-up Java windows and unfortunately these stay open / active when using Boss Key and Buttons. Any chance of fixing that?

Anonymous said...

Can you do this extension for google chrome?

Miliiin OutZ¡ro said...

Sometimes, just when I left click on a flash object, Firefox gets minimized its window and opens a new tab. Ie, the extension function is activated.
This happens when I have the mouse enabled: Press Both left and right buttons.

Please fix it.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Maybe add the option extinction browser, rather than minimize, as is done in maxthon ?

Anonymous said...

This addon stoped woring for me yesterday, Firefox greyed it out and sais it isn'T compatible with 12.0. I use Win XP

Zen said...

It works fine with Firefox 12.0 on my machine. The majority users of this extension are on FF 12.0 too. Maybe you can try to reinstall it.

Anonymous said...

I've noticed every time i watch a youtube video, the very next time i click anywhere outside of that item it'll trigger the extension. It also happens for certain pop-up login windows when used in combination with LastPass. Odd behaviour, can it be fixed?

Michael said...

FF48 got a new feature called "Electrolysis" (multi process design). I had to set extensions.e10sBlockedByAddons to false, otherwise this new feature can't be activated. After changing this value, the left+right mouse click - feature won't work any more. F12 is still working. Thanks for this very nice addon :)

MSM said...

With the new FF Version and using this Addon it is not possible to use the Context menu e.g. to open in new Tab

Anonymous said...

Hi guys,
Thanks a lot for your great work. The "Boss key" extension is very useful for me (and a lot of other people I suppose) but it's not compatible with the new versions of FF (57 and above).
Will there be a new version based on webextension ?
Hope you'll do it !

John said...

Please update the extension for Firefox Quantum.
Thamk you for your work!

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