You can now set the URL Firefox goes to when opening a new tab

In my last post, I talked about Firefox now indicating which feed items are unread. In this post, I’d like to post about the other change I think people should be more aware of – you can now set the URL Firefox goes to when opening a new tab.

This one’s pretty simple.

  1. In the Firefox location bar, type about:config and press Enter.
  2. Click I’ll be careful, I Promise!
  3. Search for the preference: browser.newtab.url

  4. Double-click on it, and set the value to whatever URL you want.

The default value is about:newtab.
If you want to set it to open the default home page, set the value to about:home.

Live bookmarks now indicate which items are unread

Firefox was updated this week with a new home page and new “new tab” page, but it also contains a couple of new things that I really think people should be more aware of. I’ll spend this blog post telling you about the first one.

Since the first version of Firefox, it has had a feature called live bookmarks, which are bookmark folders that load web feeds. It’s a nice technology demo, but I have trouble finding a practical use for it. As I said in 2005…it does not indicate which RSS items I have read, and which ones are new. I don’t want to have to reread through the list of items on every RSS feed to see if I recognize the titles.

In the latest update, Firefox now indicates which feed items are unread!

When the feature landed on the beta channel, I decided to try switching from my current feed reader to live bookmarks, and so far it hasn’t been bad. I set up a folder in my bookmarks called “Web Feeds“, put all my web feeds in it, and hovering the mouse over a feed makes the list of items load.