To err is human... to blame your computer for your mistakes is even more human. It is downright natural.

“Switch To Firefox”

Switching to Firefox from another open application, using Dragon, can be extremely difficult as, normally, the Firefox window defaults to the title of the web page currently loaded.

Not only does this mean that you have to do try and dictate something like:

switch to web-page-with-incredibly-long-name

but, 9 times out of 10, you can’t even see the full name when Firefox has been minimised to the taskbar. So you end up either making wild guesses or trying to navigate labouriously using keyboard shortcuts.

Now there’s an alternative. I’ve discovered a very small (8k) Firefox extension that allows you to rename the application window. The extension is called Titlebar Tweaks and can be found at:

or the extension’s home page:

In the options for this extension, there are two tabs: Layout and
Browser Name.

In the Layout tab, I’ve selected “Browser Name”.

In the Browser Name tab, I have set the custom browser name to “Firefox”.

Now I can “switch to Firefox” irrespective of what page(s) I have loaded in the browser!

However, this has made me start to wonder whether long page titles could represent accessibility barriers to some extent. Should we try to fight our SEO instincts and keep title text as concise as possible?

Published: July 27th 2005