Get more Firefox options with Pale Moon Commander and Configuration Mania

There’s only so much tweaking you can do from within Firefox’s own Options dialog. All the really juicy stuff is hidden away, accessible only by typing about:config into the Address bar, heeding the warning and then attempting to navigate the bewildering list of preferences from accessibility.accesskeycausesactivation to zoom.minPercent. This is fine for occasional tweaks, but if you’ve a hankering for some real deep-seated changes, you’ll want to consider a more user-friendly alternative.

If you’re a Windows user running Firefox or its performance-enhanced variant, Pale Moon, then the answer lies in installing the free Pale Moon Commander 0.6add-in. Also available for Windows, Mac and Linux, is Configuration Mania 1.6, aimed squarely at Firefox itself.

Once installed, Pale Moon Commander is accessible via the Firefox > Options menu by selecting Advanced options… You’ll see its dialog box is modeled on Firefox’s own Options dialog for familiarity purposes, with six sections recognizable by their brightly colored buttons: Graphics, Network, Performance, User Interface, Security, and Other.

Select one and its contents are further divided, again like Firefox, into tabs. From here it’s a case of ticking some options, choosing others from dropdown menus and entering figures for others. Nothing is documented, however, so you need to know what you’re doing. And remember the warning that accompanies about:config itself -- these are low-level settings that can really screw up your browser.

Should things go spectacularly wrong, Pale Moon Commander 0.6 does add a Reset tab under Other, but clicking Reset All Preferences effectively returns your browser, and any installed add-ins, to their factory defaults, so use with extreme care.

Mac and Linux users looking on with a feeling of impotent jealousy can relax. There’s an alternative add-in for all flavors of Firefox called Configuration Mania 1.16. It’s a more established tool, again accessed via the Options sub-menu, but opts for a different design, sporting six tabs with sub-sections serving to further break down all the tweaks in each.

Again there’s no documentation, but you can at least right-click a setting and opt to search for its entry in the MozillaZine Knowledge Base for enlightenment. It also has a reset button, but this can be used selectively on tabs.

While there’s plenty of overlap, both add-ons have tweaks not found in the other tool, and both can happily co-exist too. Pale Moon Commander is optimized for the Pale Moon browser, but will work with Firefox, while Configuration Mania is aimed squarely at Firefox users. Just make sure you back up your Firefox configuration before you begin.

Pale Moon Commander 0.6 is a freeware download for Windows machines running Pale Moon or Firefox, while Configuration Mania 1.16 is a free open-source download for Firefox across Windows, Mac and Linux.

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