Ubuntu’s Unity desktop already saves a good portion of vertical screen space by design. Thanks to the global menu bar and what once used to be the application list bar at the bottom is now replaced by the Unity Launcher at the left side of the screen. That is how many pixels of vertical space freed up just by moving a few things around.
What I did with my Firefox 5 to make it gain more vertical screen space short of hitting F11 (full screen) is to hide the navigation toolbar. Yes I hid, one of the most, if not the most important, toolbars in any browser. Fortunately, you can customize the items on the navigation toolbar by dragging it to other toolbars, or vice-versa.
Basically what you have on the navigation toolbar of Firefox are the Back/Forward, Home, Refresh/Stop buttons and the Location and Search bars. What I did was to transfer the Location and Search bars over to the addon toolbar found at the bottom portion of Firefox where the status bar used to be. The navigation buttons I placed in line with the tabs. The setup is a bit weird looking. What with the location bar at the bottom. Take a look below.
The reason that prompted me to do this is because I use the addon toolbar a lot. However I don’t use that much addons for them to occupy the full length of the toolbar. Wasted space. With my small monitor I want as much space on my screen as possible. I could easily hide the addon toolbar with a keyboard shortcut to gain more space but that leaves the fat navigation toolbar still sitting up there.
And during the many times where I just click lazily away on a webpage without ever using the location or search bars – i.e. waste time on Facebook, go around in Cirlces with Google+ or play web-based Flash games – every extra pixel of screen space gained is less scrolling up and down a web page for me.
The great thing is that the addon toolbar can be toggled, conveniently, with the Ctrl + / keys. You can’t do that to the navigation toolbar. It doesn’t have a shortcut by default.
What makes it have more vertical screen space? (1) The tabs up top and the addon toolbar that proxies as my Location and Search bars is one less toolbar visible. (2) The addon toolbar can be hidden quickly with a simple key press without having to dig through the Firefox menu. That leaves only the tabs and the navigation buttons merged in a single toolbar at the top.
Note: A few addon icons hidden for privacy reasons, so you won’t see it on the addon toolbar in the screenshot.
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