Speed Dial gets an upgrade

Well, my Christmas/New Year vacations are almost over. The last two weeks have been quite busy, although I decided to spend some quality time with Speed Dial. The result? I added 3 new major new features:

  • Dial Groups: basically, it’s a tab bar for Speed Dial, which will allow the organization of dials by category.
  • MultiKey:  Because that “dial groups” feature can substantially increase the number of dials, this feature allows to access any dial by using keyboard shortcuts. This is enabled by default, so when there are more than 9 dials, the behavior changes. For example, if you press “Ctrl+1″, and there are more than 9 dials, a window will appear, which will show the dial assigned at position “1″. Pressing another number will act like a TV remote control, so if you would press “2″, it would show the dial at “12″. Using backspace will remove the last introduced dial, and using the cursor keys (and the “+” and “-” keys) will cycle through the existing dials. Releasing the “Ctrl” key will select the specified dial.
  • Thumbnail cropping: I received quite a lot of complaints about people not being able to read the thumbnail properly. This feature will allow to select an interesting portion of the assigned website! This is complemented by the “Crop Selector”, a visual tool to select the desired area.

Other than that there are a lot of other features and improvements, like the ability to use an alternative URL for thumbnail generation, to choose between 4 types of scaling, options to increase the quality of the thumbnail, a reduced configuration dialog that will show when Speed Dial is installed (actually, it’s more like a one-page wizard), special treatment for images… I’m rather proud of this release :)

I already posted it in Speed Dial download mirror page. However, it will take a while until it’s available in AMO, as I would like to have it localized before that. I woul really like to get feedback on this new version, so feel free to comment about it or contact me by email.

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44 Responses to Speed Dial gets an upgrade

  1. Todd says:

    Speed dial is awesome, thanks for the great add-on to firefox but can you look into the refresh and refresh all in latest version as sometimes it does not refresh all like it use to and when refreshing one at a time I half to refresh multiple times before it gets the current screen shot.

  2. Matt says:

    I really like Speed Dial, thanks for your hard work.

    I feel there should be an option to configure the number of rows and columns for each individual group – hopefully you could do that.

  3. Mario says:

    First of all, thank you so much for Speed Dial, it was one from those factors I kept in my mind when I was thinking of jumping over Firefox 3 as I ever preferred Epiphany under GNU/Linux (Same XUL engine, faster, better bookmarking and tagging support).

    What I really miss in Speed Dial’s actual state is font customization. My system looks great but the dial frames and menus have an ugly look comparing to the overall aspect of Firefox, which Speed dial is not inheriting…

    Some thoughts about it? Do you have in mind such feature such as that fast dial already implements?
    I hope you do. This one is better and more stable by far.

    Thanks again, take care.

  4. newsblade says:

    I miss only one think: the option to choose a background image.

    Configure miniatures (and other stuff) colours are also welcomed…. but the thing that I really miss is the option to add a background image, since “speed deal” is the page that I “visit” most. That’s my suggestion. Congratulations for the fantastic job

  5. Karim Ahmed says:

    Thank you for SpeedDial; I have been using it for a month and have found it very useful. My feature request is an option to make it behave as Google Chrome where the most used pages automatically get assigned. I would like the option to lock some buttons addresses but allow others to reflect commonly used pages.

  6. Sevensheaven says:

    Speed Dial rocks, but I’ve got only one major wish: an online version, generating and storing site all your previews and settings online, so you can use the same Speed Dial configuration everywhere, in stead of repeatedly having to go through the local setup process for every computer you use.

    Even cooler would be realtime previews (no snapshot generation but windows to the actual sites, for realtime updates).

    Many thanks for this great tool.

  7. Dan says:

    Thank you so much for your work on Speed Dial! It truly is the most useful and fleshed-out implementation of the concept that I’ve seen from any browser or add-on. The crop feature that this helpful blog post enabled me to utilize makes Speed Dial even more enjoyable to use.

    As a Mac user and an extension addict, I would greatly appreciate it if you took a look at the way this extension works with keyboard shortcuts in Mac OS 10.4.11. Speed Dial currently forces me to have command and alt/option binded simultaneously to tab selection by assigning it to the alt key in the extension’s menu (which only acknowledges PC key bindings) in order for me to have it accessible from either of those two keys. This prevents me from using keyboard shortcuts for Mac OS X’s special characters (ie. alt + 2 for ™) and takes away an extra modifier that could have been used for other extensions (Mouseless Browsing in my case).

    Would it be possible for a future version of Speed Dial to be able to better detect Mac keybindings? Thanks in advanced and keep up the great work. So far, I think I’ll be holding on to this extension even when FF 3.1 gets released :).

  8. Dan says:

    Sorry for the double-post, but I should also add that this behavior prevents me from using command as a modifier for opening Speed Dial entries.

  9. BlackWing says:

    Thanks so much for this great app. One suggestion please add Individual Coloring and Group grouping features so that we can Parent/Child group our existing groups.
    Thanks and Happy New Year

  10. Bryan Field says:

    I have found speed dial to be very useful.

    I have two suggestions

    1. (Most Important) I would like the thumbnail reloading to default to never (like only once until I say to do it again)

    The reason for this is (a) (Most important) If you add a Google Spreadsheet then your name shows up until you restart your browser and (b) Shift tab sends you through all the links on the hidden browser before the current page.

    Of course you could just totally dispose of the hidden browser when the thumbnail is complete but I would expect a change-of-default-for-new-dials to be easier

    2. Make the keyboard shortcut more logical?

    If I want to go to the 5th dial in the 4th group I have to say 9-times-3 is 27 and 27 plus 5 is 32 and then do Ctrl+Shift+32.

    It would be much easier if I could set it up to where I do Ctrl+Shift+ and then 4 for the group number and 5 for the dial number

    Of course I can always do what I am doing now which is using my mouse 🙂

    Anyway, 1 is more important.

    Thanks for the gadget anyway. It is certainly been very beneficial short of switching to Google Chrome which has a certain bug that really bothers me.

    Oh, and Showcase is excellent. I have a big habit of leaving my tabs open


  11. EvilGod says:

    Hi, and thanks for Speed Dial it’s great. I wasn’t sure whether you would prefer feature requests via e-mail or comment so rather than fill your mail box I thought I’d put it here. I hope that’s o.k.
    Could you please add the ability to right-click the Speed Dial icon and choose “Open all thumbs in new tabs”. I use Speed Dial to show me my favourite 20 on-line comics and that feature would be excellent, even better would be “Show all not-previously-visited pages in new tabs” I suppose Some of what I ask could be achieved using RSS but Speed Dial does most of what I need so I thought perhaps it could do all of what I need. Just a suggestion.
    Kind Regards.

    • Pep says:

      Sorry about the late reply, but I just didn’t read your comment until now; email is the preferred way for support/feedback/feature suggestions, etc 🙂 I’ll keep your suggestion in mind as a future improvement!

  12. KaaMoS says:

    Thanks for this awesome Add-on, it works very good. I have a little request for you… could you add a scrolling option, please? I have a lot of dial slots and I want to add more, the problem is that… when I add more columns/lines, the thumbnails are shrink. I find this quite disgusting. If you add an option (like checkbox) for making scrolling, I could add more lines/columns and my dial slots will have the same size ever. One more time.. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

  13. Leon says:

    Speed Dial is great! But wouldn’t it be even greater if you implemented the ability for hiding the boxes around the thumbnails? I would prefer that… thanks! And of course a custom background would make the program better, too!

    But you really did a great job and speed dial is the main reason for me to use firefox instead of opera (i know the addon is inspired by opera, but there you can’t have your own logos instead of thumbnails).
    I prefer Speed Dial to Fast Dial because your addon is much less buggy, but in style it is a bit better 😉

  14. Lee says:

    Well here’s a blog that’s regularly updated… …

    First let me say this is an excellent utility, however after the recent updates (05-Apr-09) I am experiencing a few problems.

    Crop Selector & Colour Picker for some reason don’t appear to be working. I get the Hour Glass replacement graphic and it just sits there looking at me. I can cancel so it hasn’t crashed, but it simply will not function. I’m loathed to uninstall and re-install as the last time I did that it made a mess of restoring the tiles.

    Help would be appreciated….


  15. Nita says:

    I have downloaded several times the speed dial and i am only getting one box on my toolbar the add sites box won’t show up. Can this be fixed

  16. Cheryl Rogers says:

    Thanks much for the upgrade. I thought I loved it before, now it’s just greater and a lot more fun, I posted on the Mozilla Add-on post of how I used it to set up my Internet challenged sis. She loves it. I set up multiple tabs and color coded and set as her home page. Now she can pop on the Internet with more confidence and eventually she will become more proficient. Of course I have all mine setup as well…you should be proud of this release!

    • admin says:

      I always feel really proud when I hear histories like that. I created Speed Dial to make browsing easier and more fun, and I’m always happy to learn that it actually helps people.

  17. Feature proposal says:

    Could you consider integration with IE tab extention.

    Unfortunately there are sites – e.g. bank clients – require IE for proper functioning. So if there is a possibility to click speed dial icon and get a site with IE tab switched on that would be great.

    Tnx for your work. Speed dial is great FF extention.

    • admin says:

      Unfortunately, that’s not possible, as the way Firefox generates thumbnails won’t render plugins, which is the base of IE Tab. Sorry!

  18. chillboy says:

    speed dial is too slow compared when open 2 tabs in firefox (1 is speed dial and 2 is a website) moving between those tabs is very slow. clicking speeed dial taking 5 seconds to show tab but clicking the other tab showing quick.

    i downgraded to

  19. Sean says:

    I just got my Speed Dial for Mozilla Firefox upgraded to and I have met an annoying issue.
    Sometimes the Speed Dial won’t load up (actually most of the time) unless I manually open the link chrome://speeddial/content/speeddial.xul and choose open in new tab…

    Have you heard any complaints like this before ??

    • admin says:

      I need more information about this… when doesn’t it load? In blank new tabs? If it’s the case, it may happen because of a tab-enhancement extension like Tabbrowser preferences, which overrides the new tab behavior; however, you can set that link to open in new tabs in the settings panel of such extension. If that doesn’t fix the problem, feel free to contact me directly by email, and I’ll help you.

  20. Lori says:

    I absolutely love Speed Dial. I came across your blog and thought, the least I could do is take the time to tell you just how much I use and love it. It is by far my most used add-on. I don’t know what I’d do without it actually. It has become my new ‘favorites’. By the way, I use Speed Dial in the Flock browser and it works perfectly. Just upgraded yesterday to the new version of Flock.

  21. Catto says:

    Hey Now Pep,

    Speed Dial is a stellar add on. I love it & use it all day every day. I thank you very much. I think if I had to choose one add on speed dial would be it.


  22. mackos-gnu says:

    i am interested to 2 new feature:
    speed up;
    choose a background

    • admin says:

      Speed Dial can be made faster with some configuration tweaks, like using JPG files instead of PNG, or reducing the thumbnail size. Also, now it’s possible to define a background image; edit the group and click on “Additional style options”.

  23. Jon says:

    I love speed dial. Thanks for making it.
    I am using it on all my computers. I would love to be able to synchronize all of my dials and groups between computers. Is this possible in a future implementation?

    Thanks again

    • admin says:

      I’m planning to work on it for the next major release; the problem is that with the current structure is quite difficult, so I plan to do some important changes, although most of the invisible for the final user.

  24. Tom says:

    I’ve been using Speed Dial for more than a year and rely on it! Excellent idea. I’m sure there are more features than I have time to learn.

    One problem, though, is that when I save a site to Speed Dial, it doesn’t always “stick.” Plenty do remain, which is the idea, but some are there for a day (I check back just to see), but later I go to use the site and it’s gone. Any reasons for this? Thanks. If there is another place for me to be asking this question, let me know and forgive me for asking you directly!
    Continued best wishes, Tom

    • admin says:

      Hi Tom,
      you mean that the site is blank, or it just disappears completely? If it’s the later case, your Firefox may not be saving its preferences properly… maybe you’re closing the computer without closing Firefox first, or there’s some other problem.
      However, Speed Dial makes automatic backups, which you can find in the Speed Dial settings panel, clicking the “Actions” button at the lower-left side (check under “Restore backup”)

  25. someuser says:

    On a apple keyboard with german layout you type the parenthesis { and } with ALT + 8 and 9. (Important for programming and wiki editing stuff)

    Speed Dial *overwrites* that by selecting tabs with ALT + Number by default.

    That’s quite annoying and it takes a while to find out which firefox add-on is causing the problem. Maybe you could build in a country-dependend setting for that key binding? great add-on though!

  26. Jay says:

    I think this ,addon needs

    -panel transparency
    -panel personal layout

    and its perfect, Thanks

  27. koi says:

    Please update – drag and drop no longer work with latest version.

  28. Grant says:

    Hi there,

    Firstly, hats off for a great looking and superbly done addon !

    Unfortunately, I’m experiencing a show-stopping issue as when the speed dial is loaded, mouse gestures don’t work, regardless of SD settings….

    Any ideas you have about this issue would be greatly appreciated,

    Keep up the fantastic work,


  29. sthtyh says:

    Just one question, in which my name has no importance, but all will benefit from.

    For those users who want to leave Opera for Firefox, but do not want to loose the Speed Dial Feature.

    How can one configure the Speed dial as initial page?


    How can one configure how many thumbnails they want on their screen?
    (I want a 7 X 5, but I am sure many may want more and others less).

    We are not talking about “grouping” as it may not be of interest of all. Just the amount of thumbnails on the initial page of the browser.

    Please answer. If it suits me, I am willing to donate 100 euros.

    • admin says:

      It will appear by default as your initial page, as long as your setting in Firefox is to open a blank page when it starts; this is defined in the Tools > Options panel, Main tab, “When Firefox starts”. You can also set the following as your home page, if you like:
      About your second question, you need to edit the group; this can be done from the “Manage groups” dialog, available from the Speed Dial settings panel, or more easily by right clicking on it and choose “Edit” in the contextual menu; you’ll see the options there.

  30. utter says:

    I like Speed Dial, but I have some problem.
    How to protect my URL in field “Location” from any modifications?
    “http://www.accuweather.com/world-forecast.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=0&locCode=ASI|RU|RS040|KRASNODAR&metric=1” was splitted and URL “http://weather.yahoo.com/Brooklyn-New-York-United-States/USNY0176/forecast.html?unit=c” was cutted. I need any URL as is. What to do?

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