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Firefox Redesign Will See Compact Density Option Disappear


Photo: Mozilla

For anyone wishing to maximize the amount of space there is available for web content in their browser, Firefox offers a very useful “Compact density” option, which reduces the size of the user interface. However, when Mozilla rolls out its Proton visual redesign of the browser later this year, that option looks set to disappear.

The planned removal of Compact density was spotted by ghacks.net. A bug was posted on Mozilla’s bug tracking system entitled “Remove compact mode inside Density menu of customize palette.” The reasons given for its removal include the fact it’s “currently fairly hard to discover” and “we assume gets low engagement.” The development team wants to “make sure that we design defaults that suit most users and we’ll be retiring the compact mode for this reason.”

Firefox Customization compact mode option

Firefox density options for the user interface (Photo: Mozilla)

It’s true that the density option is harder than it needs to be to discover as it’s located in Menu > Customize and accessible from a drop-down box near the bottom of the page. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a useful feature to have and Mozilla clearly doesn’t know how popular it is. The Bugzilla thread highlights a desire for compact density to be retained as an option, but it doesn’t seem likely to survive right now.

When Proton arrives, the Normal and Touch density options are expected to remain, with Touch increasing the size of the user interface to make it more finger-friendly. Meanwhile, the development team are optimizing the Normal density for displays that use 768 pixels height, while most displays now use a higher resolution than that. Hopefully this doesn’t mean the UI will be larger than it is now by default.

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