Aug 282012
 

Firefox 15 is released today – see my review of the new features and changes. However, one feature which hasn’t made it officially ‘live’ is the new In Content Preferences interface.

This is a replacement for the Firefox ‘Options’ window you see when you choose Options from the Firefox Menu (or from ‘Tools’ if you have the menubar displayed).

Although this new feature is included in Firefox 15, it is currently disabled and therefore not officially supported – expect it to be enabled by default in a future version. For those who can’t wait and want to give it a try, you can enable it right now.

How To Enable The New In Content Preferences Interface

  • Open Firefox and type about:config in the address bar and press Enter. Click the “I’ll be careful I Promise” warning button to reveal a long list of preferences used in Firefox.
  • Search for (see tip below) or scroll down to the preference named “browser.preferences.inContent” – the default Value is ‘false’ i.e. use the old Options window.
  • Double click it to change the Value to ‘true’.
  • Close the about:config tab – the new In Content Preferences (Options) interface is now enabled.

Tip: You can scroll down the list of preferences but the quickest way to find it is to type part of the preference name e.g. inContent into the Search box at the top of the config page.

If you have any problems (bear in mind this is an unofficial feature) just revert back to the old Options window – follow the same process i.e. double click the preference again to turn it back to ‘false’.

New In Content Preferences Interface

It is now tab-based instead of opening in a separate Options window. When you choose Options from the Firefox Menu (or from ‘Tools’ if you have the menubar displayed) the new In Content Options tab menu will appear as shown below:

Firefox15c

New In Content Preferences (Options) tab

Features

The new In Content tab for Options includes all the same settings as the traditional Options window – click one of the category buttons to see/change the current options.

The only issue I have with this new tab based system is that, once you have chosen a category button (e.g. ‘General’) you have to click the <= or => arrow to get back to the main Options categories – this takes longer than the old Options window to select a different category (the Options window lets you choose categories directly).

Hopefully this might be changed before the new In Content Preferences interface is officially launched.

Conclusion

The In Content design is a forerunner of future user interface changes planned for Firefox – to make features and options appear within the current window, instead of opening new ones.

Another example is the new panel-based Download Interface which I reviewed in Firefox 14 – like In Content Preferences, this is also available (but disabled by default) in Firefox 15.

The new ‘unofficial’ In Content Preferences interface works well enough – the need for forward/back buttons is a let down compared to the previous design (but might be changed in future).