Firefox Search and Address Bar

One of the reasons Firefox has been my browser of choice since way back is mostly because it’s so easy to extend using addons and plugins of various complexity. I currently have a pretty long list of addons installed. I use all of them on a regular basis, and trim away the ones I no longer need.

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled on the OmniBar plugin, which “integrates the search bar into the location bar”. It’s pretty useful on its own and gives me more space on the location bar to actually see long addresses (especially when using a netbook). It also reduces the amount of clicks/shortcuts needed to go from the page to the location bar or search bar. Incidentally, here’s a list of those:

  • Select location bar: Ctrl/Cmd+L or Alt+D
  • Select search bar: Ctrl/Cmd+K
  • Back: Backspace or Alt/Cmd+Left
  • Forward: Alt/Option+Right or Shift+Backspace
  • Change search engine: Ctrl/Cmd+Down (Next) +Up (Previous)

I use the search bar and different search engines quite often during the day. Including custom searches I use for work. Using OmniBar saves me from manually changing the search engine every time. I can simply do the following:

  • Select location bar: Ctrl/Cmd+L or Alt+D
  • Type “@engine-name keywords

In fact, you don’t have to type the full engine name. You can simply type the first letter (or couple of letters if you have two engines that collide). For example I can do:

  • @imdb gone with the wind
  • @i gone with the wind
  • @m customerx.com

And it’s very easy to add new search engines. Simply go to the mycroft project and choose the engine you need. Or if you want a custom search engine here’s the recipe I use:


My Search Engine
Search the XYZ site from the Firefox searchbar
UTF-8
data:image/x-icon;base64,...
http://url.to/the/search/form/


You can hack the above, or simply generate a search plugin at searchplugins.net

Similar Posts:

Tagged , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *