What’s That Preference helps users understand about:config preferences [Firefox]

About:config in Firefox is an interesting place. Anyone with the proper knowledge can use about:config to make handy customizations to Firefox, such as forcing Firefox to display HTTP:// in the address bar. The key phrase in that last sentence is proper knowledge. Most of the preferences in about:config aren’t very self-explanatory in regards to what they are for; and that often serves as a barrier for people looking to customize Firefox via about:config. What’s That Preference is an addon that looks to change that.

What Is It And What Does It Do

What’s That Preference is a Firefox addon that allows users to quickly search for information on about:config preferences via MozillaZine or Google. It does this by adding entries in the right-click menu of about:config; the menu that pops up when you right-click any about:config preference.

For those that don’t, MozillaZine is essentially Wikipedia for Mozilla products; it is a community-sourced knowledge database containing information on Mozilla products, which includes Firefox.

Using What’s That Preference

After downloading and installing What’s That Preference, using it is very straightforward. When you are in the about:config page in Firefox, simply right-click the preference you want to learn more about and select either MozillaZine Reference, MozillaZine Group Reference, or Web Search:

MozillaZine Reference opens a page on MozillaZine’s website that provides information on the particular preference you right-clicked. MozillaZine Group Reference opens a page on MozillaZine’s website that provides information on the group of the particular preference you right-clicked (i.e. accessibility, app, browser, etc.) Web Search runs a Google query on the name of the particular preference you right-clicked.

Aside from that there is only one other option/feature of What’s That Preference. By default the two MozillaZine options open MozillaZine pages in a new tab. If you prefer, you have the ability to open MozillaZine pages in a lightbox-like popup within about:config itself — no new tab required. To enable this option, have MozillaZine Results To Panel option enabled (you can find this option via the same right-click menu I discussed above).


What’s That Preference is a simple yet very useful addon. Of course since it essentially is just a shortcut to MozillaZine/Google, you could accomplish the same preferences research without What’s That Preference installed. However, What’s that Preference makes the research very easy and convenient; as such, it is highly recommended to anyone that likes roaming in Firefox’s about:config.

You can grab What’s That Preference from the links below:

Version reviewed: v0.3

Supported OS: Any operating system with Firefox 4.0 – 12.0a1

Download size: 5.1 KB

What’s That Preference addons repository page [direct download]

[via AddictiveTips]

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  • Vagablonde

    @Rob (Down Under):

    from tweakguides website
    hope this is useful to you

    browser.link.open_newwindow [Integer]

    determines where hyperlinks which would normally open in a new browser window end up opening.
    set to 1 : they open in the current tab in the existing window

    set to 2 : they open in a new window
    set to 3 : default all such links open in a new tab in the current

    Note that this setting is the same as found under Tabs section of the Firefox Options>
    an additional choice here (setting it to 1).

  • Jean

    Hello Ashraf,

    We hope you are OK, and you are just enjoying some hollydays

    ” um abraço” from Brasil

    DotTech addict.

  • Hoges

    DUDES what gives??
    No posts for weeks
    hopefully it is not a sign that you
    are going down the same path as the once well posted mydigital etc etc


  • alexander

    Hey dottech.are you still there,what happen..

  • locutus
  • @chuck:

    I thought that was it, Thanks for the confirmation.

    Happy Trails, . . .

  • chuck

    @five words:
    plugins.hide_infobar_for_missing_plugin;false Does the trick. Cheers!!

  • @Locutus
    I use always the search box.
    Not to search something with Google, but either on Wikipedia or on Allociné (a french site related to cinema like “The Internet Movie database (IMDb)”)
    It’s just a habit.

  • @ Rob (Down Under) Thanks!
    @ Locutus – Last time I went to the awesome bar and tried to do a “g” search, I got slapped. -:)

    Any idea how to turn off that irritating plugin needed thing? I don’t want to install some stupid plugin like flash.

    Happy Trails, . . .

  • @Rob (Down Under): who still uses the search box? I always use the awesome bar in combination with the “g” search shortcut.

  • Rob (Down Under)

    Here is a Preference that is handy, and will whet your appetite.
    I love the little Google Search box that shows top right.
    If you highlight some text and drag it to there, then it does a Google search for you.
    What I don’t like (HATE), is that it clobbers your current Tab.
    If you know of anyone who likes that, post their address, and I will get them removed from the gene pool.
    If you wish to change that behavior, and get the search results into a new Tab, then go into about:config and go to –
    It probably is showing False, so double click the line to change it to True
    (PS you can do Ctrl + to increase the magnification of the page)