User Manual


Download and Installation

Note: The HCI Browser is currently "alpha" version software, meaning that is has not been extensively tested. We highly recommend that you create a new, separate Firefox profile to use to test the extension rather than installing it in your everyday profile.

Create a new Firefox Profile

We highly recommend that you create a new Firefox profile to use to test out the HCI Browser. The HCI Browser is currently "alpha" version software, so it is wise to try it in a "safe" environment.

Born Geek has put together a great Firefox Profile Tutorial that will walk you through the process of creating a new profile.

Install the HCI Browser extension

  1. Download hcibrowser.zip and unzip it to a folder called "hcibrowser" on your Desktop. The zip file contains four configuration files (intro.txt., pretask.txt, tasks.txt, and posttask.txt). This "hcibrowser" folder with the four configuration files must be on your Desktop in order for the HCI Browser to work correctly (i.e. Desktop/hcibrowser/intro.txt, Desktop/hcibrowser/pretask.txt, etc.). Log files will be written to a sub-folder of this directory called "data".

  2. Download hcibrowser-ff5.xpi and save it to your Desktop.

  3. Start Firefox with the test profile you created above.

  4. Go to File-->Open File... and open the hcibrowser.xpi file you just saved to the Desktop.

  5. Firefox will display a dialog box asking you to verify that you want to install. Select "Install".

  6. The "Add-ons" dialog will display. Choose "Restart Firefox".

  7. When Firefox restarts with the HCI Browser for the first time, it may not display the start-up, introduction, and pre-task screens because of the way it is restarted after the installation. Instead, it will start in the middle of "Task #1". If you exit and restart Firefox again, it should display these screens correctly. This appears to be a problem when using Firefox 3.5, but not with version 3.6.

  8. Send us a note to let us know how you like it and if you have any feedback

If you use the HCI Browser in your research, we ask that you cite us.


Should you need to uninstall the HCI Browser extension, start Firefox and click past the introductory screens to get to a main browser window. Then choose Tools-->Add-Ons and click the "Uninstall" button next to the HCI Browser.

License and Source Code

The HCI Browser is open-source code, licensed by the GNU General Public License.

You can view the source code by unzipping the hcibrowser.xpi file (.xpi files are packaged using zip).