Turn off trackpad pinch-to-zoom on Firefox on Mac OS X

If you browse the web using Firefox on a Mac laptop you’ve probably brushed the track pad the wrong way and accidentally zoomed in on content. I’ve never used the pinch gesture to zoom in on purpose, it always happens by accident, then I have to press Command-0 to reset the screen back to normal.

I tried Googling for an answer, and found a bunch of people annoyed by the same experience, but no solutions.

I thought there might be a Firefox setting to control this, so I looked and I found one. Here’s what I did:

  • I typed “about:config” into the Firefox location bar to get to the configure-anything screen.
  • I clicked past the “this voids your warranty” disclaimer.
  • Type “zoom” in the search bar to find settings related to zoom.
  • The zoom in / zoom out gesture settings are browser.gesture.pinch.in and browser.gesture.pinch.out. Click browser.gesture.pinch.in to edit the setting. It’s usually set to “cmd_fullZoomReduce” and I changed that to “cmd_fullZoomReduce-disable”. (That way if I ever want to re-enable it all I have to do is remove the “-disable” part.)
  • Click browser.gesture.pinch.out and change its setting from “cmd_fullZoomEnlarge” to “cmd_fullZoomEnlarge-disable”.

That’s it. No more annoying track pad zoom.

Hope you find this useful.

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Foxmarks – Firefox Bookmark Synchronization

My desktop boxes at work and home both run Ubuntu Linux, I have a Mac Mini attached to my TV and a Mac Powerbook for when I travel. If I’m headed to my company’s co-lo I take along a company laptop running openSUSE Linux. On all of these systems I run Firefox as my primary web browser.

Until recently I used a tool called BookmarkBridge to try to keep my ever-growing list of bookmarks somewhat synchronized. I say “somewhat” because the the process is manual, requiring copying the bookmark files to one computer, doing the merge, and then copying the files back out to the individual computers that need to be updated. Unfortunately the last time I tried using BookmarkBridge to merge bookmarks from multiple computers I ended up with a file of all of the bookmarks from one computer — the new bookmarks from the other two computers were over-written.

I needed a better solution.

A few months ago I found a better solution when I discovered Foxmarks, a Firefox plugin that keeps all of your bookmarks automatically synchronized all of the time. If I add a bookmark on one computer it shows up on the other four. If I move a bunch of bookmarks into the same folder on one machine the bookmarks show up in the same folder on all of my other machines. No fuss, no muss. Brilliant.

It’s really easy to install and use. Open up Firefox, go to the Foxmarks web site and click the install button on their home page. When you restart Firefox you’ll be asked to create a Foxmarks user account (name and password) and you’ll create your initial set of bookmarks from your browser’s current set of bookmarks.

To sync your bookmarks with another computer running Firefox just install the Foxmarks plugin on the second computer. This time when you restart Firefox enter your Foxmarks user name and password when prompted, then decide if you want to merge the bookmarks on the second computer with your current bookmarks or if you want to replace the bookmarks on the second computer with the bookmarks currently stored in your Foxmarks account.

That’s it. Once its set up your Firefox bookmarks on both computers will remain in sync all of the time.

At this time — Foxmarks only supports Firefox. If you need to merge bookmarks with a copy of IE, Safari, Opera, Seamonkey or Konquerer, you’re out of luck.

If you don’t like the idea of storing your bookmarks on someone else’s system you can run your own Foxmarks server. Foxmarks should run with any WebDAV server and is also compatible with the Chandler Server (Cosmo).

Hope you found this useful.

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