I am currently writing at actively and that's why i sort of abandoned my own tech blog. Since i am too busy to be taking care of both sides, i guess this blog will go into hibernation for a very very long time. Regrettable, but then it's hard to come up with new posts & stuffs.

So once again, i am now writing actively at Computelogy. Feel free to visit there and enjoy our latest articles and posts!

March 1, 2010

Customize Facebook Appearances With Firefox Through Stylish Or GreaseMonkey

For Mozilla Firefox users only:

Facebook keeps its user interface and layout pretty standardized, meaning that all users will be given the same GUI and layout, including the colors and background applied. Well, one of my criticism of Facebook is exactly this; although it offers an abundance of features which i appreciate very much, i could not understand why Facebook won't allow us to apply graphic customization to our own page when other social networking sites like MySpace and Friendster could.

Here's a tip for Mozilla Firefox users who are bored with the lack of graphical customization on Facebook: They can use either Stylish or GreaseMonkey, both user script manager specially for Firefox, to change their Facebook's graphical appearance. It won't result in a slower loading of Facebook's webpages nor would it affect any available features on Facebook!


For novice users, user script is one of the key elements in web design and one which determines what a web page is supposed to have/do/show. So quite simply, if we want to change Facebook's graphic appearance, all we have to do is to edit the script of the web page itself! Problem is, scripting is complicated and will easily bore most users out. Fortunately, there are those who have learned, and are willing, to create tonnes of user scripts that will change the appearance of Facebook online...and all we have to do is use Stylish or GreaseMonkey, as previously stated!

Let's get started: 

1. Visit the Firefox Addon Site and install the add-on 'Stylish' or the add-on 'GreaseMonkey'. You will be prompted to restart Firefox.

2. After Firefox restarted, visit the website, where many user scripts writers have generously posted tonnes of user scripts which include scripts for Facebook.

3. Browse through the library of user scripts for Facebook and select an appearance you like. On your right hand side, you'll notice that there are two options; one is for Stylish, the other for GreaseMonkey. Choose the 'Install with Stylish' button if you installed the Stylish add-on; choose 'install as a user script' button if you installed the 'GreaseMonkey' add-on.

4. Visit Facebook and see the changes! Here's a sample of a customized Facebook Login Page using the Greasemonkey add-on:

5.  Scripts installed as Stylish is manageable from the Stylish Menu. On your Firefox toolbar, find Tools>Add-ons>Extensions>Stylish. 

Similarly, you can install as many scripts as possible and manage them from the GreaseMonkey addon's Options menu. On your Firefox toolbar, find Tools>Addons>Extensions>GreaseMonkey and select the 'Option' button. This is what you will get:

From here, you can manage your scripts easily: disable or enable scripts, add or delete scripts and many more!

The one thing that bugs this customization method though, is that it only allows users to enjoy the customized appearance on the PC where either one of the two add-ons are installed within Firefox. Another similar problem is that other users will not be able to enjoy your customized appearance elsewhere even if they do have the add-ons installed; all they see out of your Profile page is still the same old standardized background. Nevertheless, if used for personal enjoyment, the scripts really work on all Facebook sites, including users' Home page, Profile page and even Application page. A little tip for all: it even works on the Lite version of Facebook as shown below!

Thank you, Firefox, for the addon. You make Facebook more beautiful now!

NOTE: It took hard work and effort for those script authors to write user scripts and share it to us, so if you like the user script and would like to support them through money, do make a tiny donation at their respective user script pages!

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