How to install Speed Dials in Firefox -- and how to back them up

How to install Speed Dials in Firefox -- and how to back them up


When Opera invented "speed dials", they quickly became an important wish list item in all other browsers. Speed dials allow you to visually "see" (via screenshots) a list of most recently visited web sites when you open a new tab. Several Forefox plugins tried to fill this important niche, but none of them really stood out -- until now. This great plugin also allows you to back your Speed Dials up.

Getting it installed

As probably virtually every reader knows about (and how to) install addons in Firefox I'll take that as read. So, pop over to the official Mozilla addon website and install Speed Dial. If the button for the addon does not appear, just select the View drop-down menu and enable the Navigation toolbar. If it's still not there just select Customize from the View menu and drag it onto the toolbar. You should see something like this.

Figure 1: The Speed Dial buttonFigure 1: The Speed Dial button

Once installed, when you create a new window (or a new tab, if you prefer so) it will show your speed dial screen:

Figure 2: The speed dial screenFigure 2: The speed dial screen

Backing your speed dials up

Click on the button's drop down arrow and select Speed Dial Options, then Actions which will bring up the two (highlighted) options we want.

Figure 2: Options for exportingFigure 2: Options for exporting

Of course, Speed Dial backs up daily by default. Mine are stored here:/home/richmondg/.mozilla/firefox/u5p22ryn.default/SDBackups but we want to export to a separate file and therefore to another medium and or browser. So, both options are useful. Export Dials will prompt you to save them in your chosen location (handier), Export as HTML likewise. The latter is handy if you want to import as Speed Dials as HTML format bookmarks to a browser that doesn't have that feature. Open the saved Speed Dial HTML file from where you saved it, say, with Konqueror, add it as a bookmark, create a new folder called Speed Dial Links and the simply drag it there as in the screenshot.

Figure 3: Speed Dial groups imported to KonquerorFigure 3: Speed Dial groups imported to Konqueror

Quick, clean and easy. (Thanks to Josep del Rio, Speed Dial's developer.)

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Gary Richmond's picture

Biography

A retired but passionate user of free and open source for nearly ten years, novice Python programmer, Ubuntu user, musical wanabee when "playing" piano and guitar. When not torturing musical instruments, rumoured to be translating Vogon poetry into Swahili.