Chapter 13. The Mozilla Web Browser

Table of Contents

The Initial Browser Window
The Menu Bar
The Navigation Toolbar
The Personal Toolbar
Working with Tabs


Mozilla is a web browser developed as an Open Source program with the aim of providing an Internet application that is fast, compliant with standards, and portable across different computing platforms. In addition to the basic browser, Mozilla includes a number of extra components, such as a mail component and a web page design component. This chapter focuses on the web browser component.

The Initial Browser Window

Figure 13.1. The Initial Browser Window

The Initial Browser Window

In its default configuration, the window presented by the browser includes these elements: the actual document window, occupying the majority of the window, that is used to display web pages (although it may be empty at the outset), the menu bar, the navigation toolbar, and the personal toolbar. There is also a combined status and component bar at the bottom of the window. Finally, to the left of the document window, Mozilla provides a sidebar that contains a number of different tabs, each of them giving access to a particular task.

When you right-click in the document window, Mozilla opens a context menu with a number of entries. Use this menu, for example, to add the current page to your bookmarks (Bookmark This Page) or to view its source code (View Page Source).

The Menu Bar

The menu bar includes the following menus:


This menu provides the common entries to open, save, and print files or web pages. It also allows you to send an entire web page or only the link to a page as an e-mail. Selecting Edit Page loads the current page into the Mozilla Composer, which allows you to edit web pages and to create your own from scratch. Mozilla's online help documents include an introduction to creating web pages, which you may want to read as a primer on the topic. The File menu also includes the Work Offline item, which tells the browser to use only locally stored or cached web pages.


Edit includes the common editing operations, such as Undo, Cut, Copy, Paste, and Delete. There is also an item to search for words or text strings in web pages. Find Previous repeats the previous search action. The Preferences item opens a dialog in which to change the browser's configuration options. The details of this are described in Section “Preferences”.


The View menu includes items to display or hide the different elements of the browser and also to stop loading a web page or reload it. There are also items to change the text zoom for the pages displayed and to change the character coding. Another item in this menu lets you view the source of a web page.


This is the navigation menu with items to go Back or Forward in the page history or to jump to the Home page. Selecting History from the menu opens a window thats lists the addresses of all the web pages recently visited with the browser.


Use Bookmarks to create and edit bookmarks. Bookmarks can be arranged in folders. Any previously created bookmarks can be selected from the menu.


A number of useful browser functions can be accessed via the Tools menu. For example, access a search engine to find certain contents on the Internet. The Cookie Manager gives control over the cookies the browser has stored on your computer and lists each cookie together with the address of the site from which it originated. Use it to reverse previous decisions on whether to accept or reject cookies. The Image Manager allows you to block images and advertising banners from web sites, which improves speed. The Password Manager can make things easier for you if you frequently log in to sites via web interfaces (both in internal networks and on the Internet). Mozilla can remember the passwords for you. However, this feature also poses a certain security risk, so you may not want use it for sites with high privacy requirements, such as online banking sites.


This menu lets you switch to other browser windows and to those of other Mozilla components (if installed) — to the mail client, the composer, and the address book.


Mozilla is a multipurpose tool, so you may want to use this menu to access the online help, which provides information and hints about the features of the program.

The Navigation Toolbar

The buttons of the navigation toolbar give quick access to the basic functions of the browser. Use Forward and Back to jump one step ahead or back in the history of pages viewed previously. Reload updates the contents of a page. Usually, web sites are stored in the Cache for a certain time, in case they are called again. Reload always loads the current page from the Internet. Stop aborts the loading of a page, so no further data is transferred from the corresponding site.

The next element to the right is the location bar in which to enter Internet addresses (URLs) or search terms. If you enter a search term then press Search, Mozilla searches the web for that term using the search engine set in the preferences. After having visited a number of sites, directly select their addresses again by clicking the down arrow, which opens a drop-down list. Mozilla stores the contents of this list so it is available in your next browser session. Start typing a previous address then hit Tab to complete it automatically.

Print prints the current page. The downward arrow to its right also gives access to a print preview of the document. To the very right, the navigation toolbar displays the Mozilla logo, which is animated as long as the browser is transferring data.

The Personal Toolbar

The personal toolbar is a customizable toolbar that is preconfigured to include the following elements:


This points to a web address of your choice which you have configured to be displayed as Mozilla's start page.


This button lets you access the bookmarks collected from intranet or Internet sites.

The Mozilla Organization

This points to the home page of the Mozilla project.

SuSE — The Linux Experts

This points to the home page of SuSE Linux.


The sidebar is located to the left in a separate subwindow.

What's Related

Under this tab, Mozilla can list a number of sites whose topic is related to the current one.


This is an interface to several well-known search engines.


This tab is an additional entry point to your bookmarks, which are presented here in a tree structure.


This tab provides a list of the recently visited web pages.