New GeckoTIP for Firefox


GeckoTIP is an extension that provides Tablet PC Input Panel support in both Firefox and Thunderbird. This new version addresses the following known bugs in the previous version:

  • The floating TIP icon sometimes stops appearing after Firefox has been open for a long time
  • When FF/TB is open, the floating TIP icon sometimes appears unexpectedly in other programs where it shouldn’t
  • TPCTIP occasionally causes Firefox to crash (rare, but reproducible)
  • The current TPCTIP does not install properly on Firefox/Thunderbird 1.5 beta builds due to a change in the XPCOM.DLL file, and likely will continue to fail on the final 1.5 releases.
  • When entering text into the URL bar, search bar, and other user interface elements in Firefox and Thunderbird using the on-screen keyboard mode of the floating TIP, the TIP often dissappears after each key is entered
  • The TPCISC extension, while extremely useful, is also very prone to crashing Firefox

The current release of GeckoTIP provides the following:

  • It is believed that it fixes all but the last two issues on the bug list above
  • It switches the TIP to the “URL” context when the Firefox URL bar has the focus
  • It provides an alternative “Go” button for Tablet users that acts as an onscreen ENTER key. The button is available via the toolbar pallette: “View > Toolbars > Customize…”


Helen, software developer

The TIP is context aware. That is it shows buttons for http://www., .com, http:// when the field is an URL field or @, .com when it is an email field. There is also a manual override for this as shown above. That’s really great


Does setting xpinstall.enabled to “true” allow all websites to install, or just the ones on your Allowed list?

Sereena X

I upgraded to V1.5 and tried to install an extension. Looked everywhere for ways to enable software installation on this version, then found the answer here. I hadn’t even thought of checking about:config. Thanks!


On Peter R Cook posted a solution to the installation problem:

“I think you have fallen foul of a problem I found in the beta 2
release. If you upgrade from V1.0.x , and the existing configuration has software installation disabled the new version appears to have no way re-enable installation. I fixed the problem by loading about:config (type about:config into a blank window) and guessed that xpinstall.enabled was the problem. In my installations it was set to “false”. Editing it manually to “true” has allowed extensions to install.


Ian: I had tried exactly what you suggest (with and without checking the “Warn on software installation” checkbox and with restarting the browser after making the change). I didn’t mention it because it seemed the same as turning off “Warn on software installation”. But it doesn’t fix the problem.

Ian Weiner

Mickey, with Firefox you need to manually add to a list each website that you want to be able to install extensions from (except if it’s from mozilla’s own site). In the Content tab you got to before, click the button “Exceptions” to the right of the “Warn on software installation” checkbox. In the window that pops up, add “”

There should also be a button or something in that initial warning bar to add the site more directly, but this should work.


I’m having trouble installing the Firefox TIP extension.

After removing the previous version of Firefox, deleting the Mozilla Firefox folder and installing 1.5 Release Candidate 1, I was unable to download the appropriate extension from When I clicked the download link on I got a yellow bar saying “Software installation is currently disabled. Click Edit Options… to enable it and try again”. On the yellow bar itself there is an “Edit Options” button that opens Firefox’s “Tools | Options” to the Content tab, but I don’t see an option there to enable software installation. There is an option to warn about extensions being installed, but unchecking that makes no difference.

I know this is a pre-release version, but if someone knows how to get the TIP extension installed it would be good to know how to do this.

Ian Weiner

JK, thanks for the link. You might want to clarify, though, that GeckoTIP is a fork of the TPCTIP extension (nobody knows what GeckoTIP is yet- I changed the name from TPCTIP in deference to the original author).

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