Searching the Web
Firefox lets you easily search for information on the Web using a number of different search engines, which are web-based programs that catalog and retrieve Web pages based on specific information.
The Firefox search bar comes pre-loaded with access to search engines from Google, Yahoo, Amazon, eBay, Answers.com and Creative Commons. Wherever you are on the Web, you can enter a search term in the search bar and receive immediate answers from the search engine that you’ve chosen. You can select a new search engine from the drop-down menu next to the search bar at any time. From the same menu, you can also add, remove and rearrange search engines using the Manage Search Engines... option.
Searching for Web pages on a particular topic is as easy as typing a few words into the search bar of Firefox.
For example, if you want to find information about the World Cup:
- Click in the search bar:
- Type the phrase world cup. Your typing replaces any text currently in the search bar.
- Press EnterReturn or click the magnifying glass to search.
The search results for "world cup" appear in the Firefox window.
Searching for words in a web page
Firefox allows you to search the web for words you select on a web page:
- Select (highlight) any words in a web page with the mouse.
- Right-clickPress Ctrl, click the mouse button, and choose Search (name of search engine) for "(your selected words)" from the pop-up menu.
Firefox opens a new tab and uses the currently selected search engine to search for your selected words.
- Switch to that tab to see the search results.
Searching for text within a page
To find text within the page you are currently viewing in Firefox:
- Press CtrlCmd+F or select to open the Find Toolbar at the bottom of Firefox.
- Type the text you want to find. The search automatically begins as soon as you type something into the search box.
- The Find Toolbar offers the following choices:
- Next: find text in the page that is below the current cursor position.
- Previous: find text that is above the current cursor position.
- Highlight all: highlight occurrences of your search string in the current page.
- Match case: limit the search to text that has the same capitalization as your search string.
- Press Ctrl+FCmd or select to open the Find Toolbar at the bottom of the Firefox window.
- Type the text you want to find. The search automatically begins as soon as you type something into the search box:
- The Find Toolbar offers the following choices:
Next: Find text in the page that is below the current cursor position.
Previous: Find text that is above the current cursor position.
Highlight all: Highlight occurrences of your search string in the current page.
- Match case: Limit the search to text that has the same capitalization as your search string.
To find the same word or phrase again, press F3 or select .
Tip: In , select the Advanced panel, click the General tab, and enable the Search for text when I start typing optionpreference to enable the Quick Find mode of the Find Toolbar.
When enabled, the Quick Find toolbar automatically opens and starts searching as soon as you type something. Unlike the Find Toolbar, the Quick Find toolbar will close automatically after a few seconds of inactivity.
Included search engines
By default, Firefox includes the following search engines, each one suited to a specific type of search:
- Google for searching the Web via Google.
- Yahoo for searching the Web via Yahoo.
- Amazon.com for searching the Amazon.com retail website.
- Answers.com for searching the Answers.com online dictionary and encyclopedia.
- Creative Commons for looking for images, documents and other media available for reproduction and other uses.
- eBay for looking up items for sale or auction at eBay.
- Wikipedia for searching the Wikipedia free online encyclopedia.
- Google for searching the web via Google
- Yahoo for searching the web via Yahoo
- Amazon.com for searching the Amazon.com retail website
- Answers.com for searching the Answers.com online dictionary and encyclopedia
- Creative Commons for looking for images, documents, and other media available for reproduction and other uses
- eBay for looking up items for sale or auction at eBay
Switching search engines
The name of the active search engine is listed in the Search Bar and is identified by its small icon. In the following example, the active search engine is Google. To change the active search engine, click the down arrow next to the search engine's icon, then select a new search engine.
Managing search engines
The Search Engines Manager helps you download and install additional search engines for Firefox. You may find that you need additional search engines to look for specific types of content, such as encyclopedia articles, recipes, movies, or song lyrics.
- To open the Search Engines Manager, click the search engine icon and select Manage Search Engines.
Adding search engines
There are several methods to add search engines to the search bar.
Through the Search Engines Manager
In the Search Engines Manager, you can add new search engines that have been released for use with Firefox.
With the Search Engines Manager dialog box open, click Get more search engines. The Mozilla Add-ons Search Engines page is displayed in a new browser tab.
- To add one of the displayed search engines, click the
button next to the search engine you want. The Add Search Engine dialog is displayed.
- To begin using the search engine immediately after you add it, click Start using it right away.
- Click . The search engine is now available through the search engines list in the search bar. If you selected Start using it right away, the new search engine is automatically selected in the search bar.
While visiting a website
Some Web sites offer search engines that you can add to Firefox. These search engines are specific to the Web site.
- For example, when you visit the YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/) Web site, the search engine button acquires a colored glow, indicating that the website offers a search engine that can be installed in Firefox:
- To add the site-specific engine, open the search engine list and select Add "YouTube Video Search". (The menu label is different for other Web sites.)
- The search engine appears in the search engines list.
Removing a search engine
- With the Search Engine dialog box open, select a search engine in the list, and click .
If you accidentally delete a default search engine, clickto recover the default search engines.
If you accidentally deleted a search engine that you installed, you must re-install it.
Re-ordering search engines
You might want to re-order the search engines in the list, to put the ones you use most at the top.
If you want, you can allow Firefox to prompt you with search suggestions. When search suggestions is enabled, as you type in the search bar, Firefox shows a list of suggested matches based on the letters that you have typed so far. Instead of typing the remainder of the search string, you can scroll through the list to find the search suggestion you wish to search for.To enable search suggestions for all your installed search engines, check the box next to Show search suggestions in the Search Engines Manager dialog box.
Keywords provide an easy way to search specific Web sites directly from the Firefox location bar instead of using the search bar. For example, you could assign a keyword such as eBay to the eBay search engine, then type eBay lamps in the location bar. Firefox then searches eBay.com for lamps. For more information, see Smart Keywords: http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Smart+Keywords
In the Search Engines Manager dialog box, you can assign keywords to search engines in your search bar.
- With the Search Engines Manager dialog box open, select the search engine you would like to assign a keyword to.
- In the Edit Keyword window, type the keyword you would like to use for that search engine, and click .
The Search Engines list has a keyword column, where you can see the keyword for each search engine in the list.
Clearing all search items in the History
To clear all items in your search history, right clickhold down the Ctrl key while you click on the input field of the search bar, and select Clear Search History. Your search bar history is cleared.
If Clear Search History cannot be selected, that means there are no items in your search history to clear.
Clearing an individual search item
To clear individual items from the search bar history, click on the search bar input field. Press the down arrow key on the keyboard to display and scroll the list of items. To delete a highlighted item, press Delete on the keyboard.
Moving or removing the search bar
The search bar is an item on the toolbar like any other. You can move or remove the search bar by customizing the toolbar. For details, see Customizing the toolbar: http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/How+to+customize+the+toolbar
Resizing the search bar
You can increase or decrease the size of the search bar by placing the pointer to the left of the search bar until the pointer turns into a two-ended arrow. Click and drag the two-ended arrow to the left or right to increase or decrease the size of the Search Bar.