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How to get an Edge experience in Firefox

You don't need to switch browsers to draw on Web pages.

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Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

If you recently upgraded to Windows 10, you may have noticed that your default browser is now Microsoft Edge - even though your old browser, Mozilla Firefox, is still installed on your machine. Needless to say, Mozilla's CEO is not too thrilled about this, especially since changing your default browser back to Firefox isn't as easy as clicking "Use Firefox as my default browser." (Although it's still pretty easy.)

But if you're not sure if you want to make the switch back to Firefox, because you've heard such great things about Edge's new features -- like the ability to draw on Web pages -- think again. You can get the same cool features in Firefox as you can in Edge, so there's no reason to make the switch unless you really want to.

Draw on Web pages

There are a few different add-ons that will let you draw on Web pages in Firefox, similar to (but not exactly the same as) Edge's inking feature.

I like Web Paint, which is also available for Google Chrome. To use Web Paint, install the add-on and you'll see a small paint palette icon appear on your toolbar. When you want to draw on a Web page, simply click this icon and you'll be presented with a feature-rich toolbar for drawing on the page. There's a pencil tool, a text tool, a few shapes and lines/curves tools, an eye-dropper tool, and a fill tool. Web Paint also lets you pick custom colors and choose the size and transparency of your lines. If you want to save your drawing, click the camera icon to take a screenshot of the page.

Reading view

Firefox already has its own built-in full-screen reader that strips pages of ads, buttons and unnecessary images so you can focus on the text.

If Firefox can render a page in reading view, you'll see a small book icon appear in the right side of the browser's address bar. Click this icon to enable reading view; once you're inside, you'll be able to change settings like text size, font, and background color (you can also add the page to Pocket, if you want to save it for later).

Make it speedier

According to Microsoft, most of Edge's improvements are actually under the hood -- it's a much sleeker, speedier browser than Internet Explorer. But Firefox is already faster than Internet Explorer, so what else can you do?

There are a couple of add-ons that will speed up your browsing experience, including Fasterfox and betterFox, both of which are Mozilla-approved and let you adjust performance-related settings such as DNS caching. Note that betterFox does include the ad program Superfish, which can be disabled in the options menu.