Gimme My Keys, Firefox!

I’ve been a long-time user of Firefox, but for a while now I’ve actually been browsing with Camino as the regular browser on my mac.  After using Firefox 3 (FF3)for a while at work and my other computers, I figured it was finally time to switch back on my mac, too.  So, I downloaded and installed it, copied over my more recent bookmarks, and went about my life.

That is, until I noticed that FF3 wasn’t following one of the altered keyboard shortcuts I’d set up the last time I used Firefox to change the Quit shortcut.  (For me, ⌘-Q to quit the app is dangerously close to ⌘-W to close a tab.)  I use the standard OS X method to alter/reassign keyboard shortcuts, so I just went back and redid the Quit shortcut change for Firefox like before.  Except it didn’t work.  Sure, my reassigned shortcut of ⌘-⌥-Q worked, but so did the old ⌘-Q, rather defeating the purpose.

So, I started my hunt for an answer.  A Mozilla support thread let me know that I wasn’t alone in this frustration and also pointed me in the direction of a Macrumors thread.  This, in turn, gave me the actual Bugzilla entry for the issue, including discussion from some of the developers and users.  Apparently, a fairly late change in FF3/Gecko 1.9 made it so that system-assigned shortcuts weren’t being observed and it’s unlikely to be fixed really soon.  One of the developers mentioned it ought to be possible to get around this with an addon/extension, though.

Now it was off to find an extension to help solve my problem.  After far more searching than I’d prefer, I found Keyconfig, an extension by “doranado” that’s been around for quite some time, but looks to have been recently updated.  I installed the extension, restarted FF3, reassigned some of the shortcuts (you’ll find the option under the main Tools menu to open up Keyconfig), and held my breath.  Thankfully, this seems to have done the trick and I no longer need to worry about accidentally hitting Q when I meant to hit W on a shortcut.  I figured this info might be useful for other FF3 users out there.

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