Apr 272008

4.27.08 by jewels

If you’re new to Firefox, you probably aren’t aware of how easy it is to search quickly and easily from within your browser’s address bar. No, you don’t have to go to a new tab and type in google’s web address, or any other search engine’s address…

Firefox comes with a few built in “quick searches” depending on your version. So we’ll start by taking a look at those, and then delving into how easily you can add your own.
You can perform a google search “out of the box” with Firefox just by typing your search term into the address bar and hitting enter. The only caveat to this is, it defaults to the “I’m feeling lucky” search. Well I don’t know about you, but lady luck doesn’t smile on me very often. So let’s change that to a regular google search. Begin by typing about:config in your address bar and hitting enter.

firefox search google about config

Now scroll down to keyword.URL in the preferences column on the left. Once there, right click and select “modify” from the list. Then adjust the URL as seen here:

firefox search google keyword.url

Now, just typing in your address bar will produce a regular google search. Next let’s look at the other searches built into Firefox using the quick search bookmarks. Go up to your menu bar and click “bookmarks” then “organize bookmarks” to open the Bookmarks Manager. Scroll down the left side and double click on “Quick Searches”. Here’s a pic of what is in my quick searches by default. If you want to change something, just right click a quick search and select “properties” to make your changes.

firefox bookmark manager

I’m editing the dictionary quick search so that it will load with a “d” instead of “dict”.

firefox quick search properties

Now I just have to go to my address bar (ctrl + L) and type the letter d followed by a space, and then my search term, to do a quick dictionary search of a word.
You can tweak quick searches by adding your own for the sites you use the most. Go to any search engine, or any site with a search feature built in and you can add a quick keyword search of your own. Just right click anywhere in the search box and select “add a keyword for this search”. I’m adding one for urban dictionary, since I sometimes need to decode some people’s language.

firefox bookmark keyword

Just repeat that procedure to add as many quick searches you want for the sites you use regularly. If you go back into your Bookmark Manager they will appear in your “quick searches” bookmarks. If you want to add in the keyword you used into the description column that appears in the Bookmark Manager, just right click your quick search, select the properties, and in the description box type in your reminder.

firefox bookmark manager

Happy searching :)

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