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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