How to change the colours in Firefox 3 for Mac OS X

This page explains step-by-step how to change the text and background colours in the Firefox 3 web browser running on Mac OS X systems. You can change the settings to match your Mac OS X colour scheme, or choose colours just for Firefox.

Note: The following abbreviations for keys on the Mac are used: Ctrl is used for the Control key, Apple is used for the Command key, and Alt is used for the Option key. For keyboard access, make sure 'Full keyboard access' is turned on - you can turn it on or off by pressing Ctrl + F1 at any time.

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Changing colours in Firefox 3 for Mac OS X

Change your colours in Firefox 3

Step 1: Open the 'Colors' window

Click on 'Firefox' in the menu bar, or press Ctrl + F2 to highlight the menu bar and then press the right arrow to open the 'Firefox' drop-down menu, as shown in Fig 1.

Fig 1'Firefox' drop-down menu

Click on 'Preferences', or press the down arrow to highlight 'Preferences' and then press Enter. This will open the 'Preferences' window.

If the 'Content' tab is not already selected, click on it or use the left and right arrow keys to select it, as shown in Fig 2.

Fig 2Firefox 'Preferences' window showing the 'Content' tab

Click on the 'Colors' button, or press Tab until it is highlighted and then press the Spacebar to select it.

Fig 3Firefox 'Colors' window

If you want to use the same colour scheme as you are using for Mac OS X, continue to Step 2. However, on a Mac you have limited options to change your system's colour scheme, so you are more likely to need to set text and background colours just for Firefox. If you want to customise colours just for Firefox, go to Step 3.

Step 2: Use your Mac OS X colour scheme in Firefox

To use your Mac OS X colour scheme settings in Firefox, tick the box next to 'Use system colours' by clicking on it. Or press Tab until the box is highlighted and then press the Spacebar to tick it.

Untick the box next to 'Allow pages to choose their own colours, instead of my selections above' by clicking on it, or press Tab until the box is highlighted and then press the Spacebar to untick it.

Click the 'OK' button or press Enter to return to the 'Preferences' window (Fig 2). In the 'Preferences' window, click on the window's red close button or press Apple + W to return to Firefox.

You should now see your colour settings. If you can't see them, click on the 'Reload current page' button (the curving arrow) on the Firefox toolbar, or press Apple + R, to reload the page with your colour settings.

Step 3: Choose your colours just for Firefox

In the 'Colors' window (Fig 3), make sure the 'Use system colours' box is unticked. If it is ticked, click on it or press Tab until the box is highlighted and then press the Spacebar to untick it.

To choose your text colour, click the colour box next to the 'Text' header, then click on the colour you want to use from the pop-up colour palette as shown in Fig 4.

Alternatively, press Tab to highlight the 'Text' colour box and then press the Spacebar to bring up the colour palette shown in Fig 4. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the colour you want and then press Enter to choose it.

Fig 4Firefox 'Colors' window showing colour palette

Using the same steps, you can also choose a background colour, and different colours for hyperlinks. Note that you might not be able to see background images if you change the background colour.

When you have chosen your colours, untick the box next to 'Allow pages to choose their own colours, instead of my selections above' by clicking on it, or press Tab until the box is highlighted and then press the Spacebar to untick it.

Click the 'OK' button or press Enter to return to the 'Preferences' window (Fig 2). In the 'Preferences' window, click on the window's red close button or press Apple + W to return to Firefox.

You should now see your colour settings. If you can't see them, click on the 'Reload current page' button (the curving arrow) on the Firefox toolbar, or press Apple + R, to reload the page with your colour settings.

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings cannot be changed due to local IT policies - contact your local IT support for further help.

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