Public Service – Smooth Transition to Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is a web browser, which can serve as a replacement to Internet Explorer. It is mature, complete and stable. It is well designed and easy to use; the user doesn’t have to be a computer expert to use it. Any user of Internet Explorer can begin using Firefox without learning anything new. It also has tabbed browsing, which means that a user can open several websites in one window, instead of opening a separate window for every site, which is unbelievably convenient. It also has very advanced pop-up blocking and security features.

It also has several advantages that seem less important to the average user, but they are quite important in the long run: It is portable, which means that it can be used by users of different computers and operating systems, such as Macintosh or Linux. It is also built with standards compliance in mind, which means that it helps website developers to create sites that are supposed to look the same in all web browsers on all platforms according to the official standards published by W3C – World Wide Web Consortium. Moreover it is Free Software (Open Source), which means that you don’t have to pay anything for using it, and if you are a programmer, you can improve it to suit your needs. Thus it promotes fair technological competition and innovation.

Firefox has only one significant disadvantage: Some websites are built to work in Internet Explorer only. It is not Firefox’s fault – Microsoft dominated the web browsers market with nonstandard technology and many website developers never bothered to improve their sites to the latest standards. This is a simple manual that will help you to work around this problem.

  1. Get Firefox. Download and install it. Make sure that you download it in the language that you want.
  2. When you install Firefox, your bookmarks (favorites) will be imported from Internet Explorer. There are also programs that help you synchronize bookmarks after the installation, but i don’t use them – i use Firefox almost exclusively and don’t have any favorites in Internet Explorer at all.
  3. Firefox’s functionality can be improved using “extensions” – little programs that are very easy to install and update. There a lot of useful extensions, many of which can find at the Firefox Extensions page. Here are two important ones to help the transition from Internet Explorer:
    • IE Tab – after you install this extension, when you will see a site that looks wrong in Firefox, with one click you’ll see it as if it would be shown with Internet Explorer. Just click the little Firefox icon in the bottom-right corner of the window. You can also configure it to automatically show specific bad sites using IE by right-clicking that icon.
    • Google Toolbar for Firefox – it looks and works just like the Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer.
  4. Do you have favorite search engines or reference sites? Such as IMDB, Teoma, Wikipedia, Merriam-Webster, AllMusic, Lexis-Nexis, Sakhr or De Mauro? In Firefox you can search these sites easily and quickly using “search plugins”. Default Firefox installation comes with search plugins for Google, eBay, Amazon.com and several others. More can be added from the Firefox search plugin collection, nicknamed Mycroft.

That’s it for now. Please ask me more, if you have any problems. Make the move – it’s easy and free and it is worth the try!

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