About software, technology and random things


Hiding the Closing Button (X) on the Firefox Add-on Bar


Since the introduction of Firefox 3 or 4 (I don't quite remember) and the removal of the status bar I have liked to use the Add-on bar instead. In the newer versions of Firefox, however, that Add-on bar comes with a closing button, an X on the very left.

Unfortunately, there is no built-in option to disable that particular button. Right-clicking and "Customize ..." doesn't allow moving or removing that button either.

After searching the web for a while, I stumbled upon a Google Groups thread:

In that thread, Chris Ilias gave a simple solution (thank you!):

  1. Go to your Firefox profile directory. For that, just enter about:support in your URL bar (or click on Firefox => Help => Troubleshooting) and click on the "Open Containing Folder" button next to "Profile Directory".
  2. Close Firefox. (So maybe it would be better to continue reading these instructions beforehand and/or copy them into a text editor. 🙂 )
  3. Enter the subfolder "chrome" in the profile directory.
  4. Open the file "userChrome.css". If it does not exist, copy "userChrome-example.css" and rename the copy to "userChrome.css".
    If you are using Notepad, you won't be able to see line breaks / new lines. Therefore I recommend using a program that can interpret these kinds of line breaks, for example TextPad, Notepad++ or even WordPad, which comes with Windows itself.
  5. Add the following line to the file:
    #addonbar-closebutton { display: none }
  6. That's it! Save the file, start up Firefox again and enjoy the Add-on bar without a closing button!

These instructions were written for Firefox 11, but they should stay viable for the next couple of versions as well.

I hope this was of any help to you.

Thanks for reading!


PDFCreator and (Adware!)


If you have recently encountered a weird behavior within your browser (I only know of Firefox because that's what I use), chances are that Adware has been installed onto your computer.

When I was looking for a picture on my own website and I mistyped the URL, I noticed that immediately after it showed me my custom 404 page, I was redirected to a domain called The URL was:[404URL]&type=404&ISN=[funkystring32]&ccv=130&cnid=302398&cco=US&ct=12

with [404URL] as the wrong URL. [funkystring32] seemed to be some kind of MD5 string (32 characters, 0-9, A-F), maybe a unique identifier.

After searching the internet for a couple of minutes, I read a thread on the official Avira forums. In it it was explained that PDFCreator comes with an Adware called "Search Settings Plugin" that installs and enables itself in Firefox. Luckily, being a normal addon, the problem was quickly solved from there: Tools => AddOns => Extensions => Search Settings Plugin => Uninstall/Disable.

I can only shake my head at things like this.

There has also been discussion on the official pdfforge (PDFCreator) forums about this:

Thanks to the people at the official Avira forums! Oh, and nevertheless, in all honesty: thanks to pdfforge for providing such a nice tool. I have the feeling it's gonna be of great help to me in the future 🙂