Quick tip: Increase browser screen real estate on a netbook

If you’ve ever used a browser on a netbook, you’ll know that pretty much half of your screen can be taken up by menus, address bars, bookmark bars and tabs. Here’s a screenshot of the full netbook screen showing Firefox on my Acer Aspire One netbook running Ubuntu Netbook Remix – just 12 lines of posts in Google Reader – not too good.


Okay, I know all you keyboard ninjas know about this one, but for those out there who do everything by mouse, try pressing F11 when your browser is open. This is the same screenshot of the full netbook screen after pressing F11.


Great isn’t it. As you can see, the Firefox menus are gone from the top and the status bar from the bottom, and we now have 16 lines of posts. And the F11 full screen trick works in Google Chrome and Internet Explorer as well, and on a desktop PC of course. Hitting F11 again will toggle the menus on again, but here’s a nice feature. If you’ve maximized your screen real estate with F11 and then move your mouse up to the very top of the screen in Firefox and Internet Explorer, the address bar and tabs will auto-show allowing you to open new tabs or key a new URL in the address bar! Move the mouse back down and the menus auto-hide again.

Now if you want even more control over which menu bars and address bars show in Firefox, you could add the Hide GUI Bars extension as described on How to Geek.

Okay, so you knew about F11. Well did you know that in Firefox, hitting Ctrl-F brings up a search bar at the bottom for searching that browser window? Not only that but you can highlight the search results too and click through them. Also works for the other browsers I’ve mentioned. Here’s an example of a search for ‘Facebook’ in my Google Reader feeds.


Okay, so you knew that too and you’ve been short-changed by these simple tips. Well how about the ultimate list of Firefox keyboard shortcuts – head over to ShortcutWorld. There are pages for Chrome and Internet Explorer there too. More keyboard shortcuts than you’ll probably ever need!

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