Monday, October 30, 2006

Workaround: Can't focus Google Toolbar with Alt+S in Firefox 2.0

In Firefox 2.0, a new top-level menu, "History," was introduced, with an accelerator keystroke of Alt+S. Unfortunately, this conflicts with the Alt+S keystroke used to access the Google Toolbar for Firefox. In Firefox 2.0, a press of Alt+S activates the History menu instead of setting the focus to the Google Toolbar.

A somewhat extreme, but effective, workaround for this is just to disable (remove) the History menu. This can be done by adding the following code to your userChrome.css file:

/* For now, hide the new Firefox 2.0 History
menu because Alt+S collides with Google toolbar 
search field */
menu[label="History"] {
   display: none !important;

Help on editing your userChrome.css file is available here:

Google has indicated (in this Google Groups thread) that a better solution should be forthcoming. Hopefully it won't be too long! Until then, I can live with using the Ctrl+H History sidebar and the back button dropdown menu session history to duplicate most of the History menu's functionality.

Update 6/8/2007: The keyboard shortcut Alt+G now works in the latest version of the Google Toolbar for Firefox 2.0 to set the focus to the Google Toolbar's search field. This isn't quite as handy to reach with the left hand on a standard keyboard (compared to Alt+S), but it does bring the Google Toolbar for Firefox into step with the Toolbar for IE, which has always used the Alt+G shortcut to set the focus to the Search field.

(Alt+G wasn't used in older versions of the Google Toolbar for Firefox because it conflicted with the shortcut for the Firefox 1.x Go menu.)

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