Address bar button

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Commonly referred to as a page action button, this user interface option is a button added to the browser address bar. Users are able to click the button to interact with their extensions.

Page actions and browser actions

The address bar button (or page action) is very like the toolbar button (or browser action).

The differences are:

  • The button’s location:
    • The page action is displayed inside the browser's address bar.
    • The browser action is displayed outside the address bar, in the browser's toolbar.
  • The button’s visibility:
    • The page action is hidden by default (although this default can be changed via the show_matches and hide_matches manifest key properties), and you call pageAction.show() and pageAction.hide() to show or hide it in specific tabs.
    • The browser action is always displayed.

Use a page action when the action is related to the current page, and a browser action when the action is related to the browser as a whole or too many pages. For example:

Type Bookmarks action Content action Tabs operation
page action Bookmark this page Reddit enhancement Send tab
browser action Show all bookmarks Enable ad-blocking Sync all open tabs

Specifying the page action

You define the page action's properties using the page_action key in manifest.json:

"page_action": {
  "browser_style": true,
  "default_icon": {
    "19": "button/geo-19.png",
    "38": "button/geo-38.png"
  },
  "default_title": "Whereami?"
}

The only mandatory key is default_icon.

There are two ways to specify a page action: with or without a popup.

  • Without a popup: When the user clicks the button, an event is dispatched to the extension, which the extension listens for using pageAction.onClicked:
  • browser.pageAction.onClicked.addListener(handleClick);
  • With a popup: the click event is not dispatched. Instead, the popup appears when the user clicks the button. The user then interacts with the popup. When the user clicks outside of the popup, it closes automatically. See the Popup article for more details on creating and managing popups.

Note that your extension can have one-page action only.

You can change any of the page action properties programmatically using the pageAction API.

Icons

For details on how to create icons to use with your page action, see Iconography in the Photon Design System documentation.

Examples

The webextensions-examples repository on GitHub includes the chill-out example which implements a page action without a popup.