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Omnibar Comes to Firefox

omnibar-firefox

Looking at Google Chrome features that could be ported to Firefox with an add-on, one of the most obvious additions many people wanted to see was Google Chrome’s Omnibar.  It mixes both the search box and address bar into one browser feature. 

The simply named Omnibar extension gets the job done, and adds a few new features where Google let us down in Chrome.  First, the most obvious feature (as pictured above) it gives you all the features of the search box in your address bar.  The problem, and thing they can not duplicate yet – is showing search results in the Omnibar for Firefox.

Omnibar does support  searching multiple search engines for same query in one go.  All you need to do is use this type of setup:

A general search query is:
@engine1,engine2 your search query

or,if you prefer to give engine name at the end:
your search query@engine1,engine2

Might not be perfect yet, but it does show a lot of promise.  If you have suggestions for it, check out this thread about it, and if you want to give Omnibar a shot – download it on the Firefox Add-ons web site.

Search from the Address Bar in Firefox

The other day, when we were talking about bringing Chrome features into Firefox, the topic “searching from the address bar” was mentioned.  By default, when you type a word into the address bar by itself, it gives you Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” number one result. 

awesome-bar

What if you just want to do a regular Google search? 

There is an easy way to turn your address bar into a Google search box.  You want to type into your address bar about:config.  Next, type into the filter keyword.URL. Once you have found it there, modify the string in there and replace it with:

http://www.google.com/search?btnG=Google+Search&q=

From now on, when you type in a word or phrase into the address bar and hit enter, it will launch a Google search for it rather than giving you Google’s top result for that word or phrase.

Power Up Searching with CyberSearch

Is Firefox 3’s search functions not powerful enough for you?

If you’d like to power it up some, you need to pick up CyberSearch.  This extension allow you to perform various Google searches right from the address bar.  The fun doesn’t stop there.  It also displays the results in the awesome bar format along with your history.

CyberSearch the Web in Firefox

You can do a number of special searches too, depending on the keywords that you use. You can do a Web Search, Local Search, Video Search, Blog Search, News Search, Book Search, Image Search, or Patent Search.

If you still need help wrapping your mind around this tool, be sure to check out the video tutorial on it they have put together for you.

Pick up this Firefox add-on on the Firefox Add-ons site or from CyberNet News.  Also big congrats to Ryan and Ashley for putting out such an awesome Firefox extension!  Great job!

Search Through Your Saved Passwords

saved-passwords-firefoxThis is one of those “under the radar, but still cool” features of Firefox 3 I haven’t heard much praise about. 

You can now search through your saved password information.  This is great for those of us who often forget what login we used with what web site and don’t want to go scroll happy going down the list to maybe find the right result.

To check it out, go to Tools, Options and then the Security Tab.  Then click on the “Saved Passwords…” button under the Passwords section. 

The rest of it is pretty self explanatory.  Type the phrase your looking for in the search box, and the list will get shorter. 

Use Google’s New Favicon in Your Search Box

google-new-favicon-firefox Do you really love the new Firefox favicon that was released a short while ago?  Well, thanks to a little shifting around of Firefox’s internal organs Mozilla Links has come up with a way you can update your search box’s Google favicon to match.  Here are the instructions:

    • Locate the searchplugins folder in your Firefox install folder. (typically C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\ on Windows).
    • Open the google.xml file with a text editor.
    • Locate a section that starts with <Image width=”16″ height=”16″>. You will see it is followed by a long series of characters (the encoded Google icon).
    • Replace it with this equally unreadable code: the new encoded Google icon. Ensure the closing </Image> stays there.
    • Save the file and restart Firefox.

      If your picky about this sort of thing, or you just really love the new look this is a quick and easy hack to do.  Also check out Mozilla Links for more information on this awesome tip.

      Hyperwords – Interact with ANY Text on the Web

      The best way I can describe Hyperwords is a way to super charge your searching via your right-click menu in Firefox. Think of being able to select any word on a page and being able to search for images of that word. You could be looking at this article here, select the word “Mozilla” and go to their Wikipedia entry.

      There are so many different word interactions and lookups you can do (plus you can add your own) this is really a power tool that ads much to the Firefox experience. Here is a video demo of some of the features that the Hyperwords extension adds:

      To learn more, be sure to check out their handy user guide they have posted, as it covers many of the basic questions you might have about it. Hyperwords is quickly becoming one of my favorite Firefox additions.

      Mahalo Follow

      I am a big fan of Mahalo – an alternative to your traditional search engine. I didn’t have a clue until now though that they had a toolbar too. Mahalo Follow gives you all kinds of goodies to help you use Mahalo and a handful of other bonus services.

      Screenshot of Mahalo Follow

      Some of the features of Mahalo Follow for Firefox are:

      • You can quickly recommend links to Mahalo for search results
      • Share your recommended links on Twitter, Faves, del.icio.us, Google Bookmarks, Stumble Upon and more.
      • Follow Mahalo results from the toolbar
      • Follow links and do a little random browsing of the Web, based on links to relative content

      For those of you not up on what Mahalo is, it is a human powered search engine. All the search results are put together by the community, and by doing it this way you can often get results that make much more sense and that are at a higher level of relevancy than your traditional searches.

      Pick up Mahalo Follow for yourself. If your a fan of the Mahalo search, I would highly recommend it as a useful addition to that Web tool.

      Bookmarks by Chore or Subject?

      Sort your bookmarks by task and not by subject. Over time I have learned to depend less and less on my bookmarks for getting me around the Web. Instead of searching through my bookmarks for the link I was wanting to browse again – I’ll just type it into the Google search box in Firefox if it was that hard to remember.

      Most of the time, I can just type it into the address bar faster or get there another way (such as RSS subscriptions via Google Reader).

      The few times I do use bookmarks, it is to check through a series of links for a task and not a subject. For an example, I have a social network folder in my bookmarks bar. There I have all my MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, Hulu and other social-like sites. In another, I have my “site stuff” folder which has my Google AdSense, Google Analytics, FeedBurner and other links relating back to my various web projects.

      So is my habit weird or do you find yourself doing the same?

      Add 110+ Searches with termBlaster

      termBlasterIf just a handful of searching up in your search bar doesn’t cut it for you or if you want to remove your search bar to reclaim space, termBlaster is the super searching extention that will have you looking for things you never knew you could look.

      Here is a little more about the Firefox extension from the developers:

      termBlaster adds the ability to perform searches from your right-click (or context) menu using one of 110+ websites that range from search engines to encyclopedias to translators. Website lists are in XML format and can be modified in Places.

      One would think that speed could come into play when trying to navigate through the search menus but you can do so quickly with little or no effort at all. All you do is highlight and right click the word you want to search and then select the search engine you want to use. They have shopping searches, review searches, torrent searches, map searches, too many to name.

      Remove the Toolbar Clutter

      Remove the Clutter from FirefoxBy design, Firefox is pretty easy to customize as far as the toolbars on the top go. You just have to right click on some empty space up there, then choose “Customize”. From there you can drag things off the Firefox toolbars or add them. Two options are not so easily edited though. That would be the “Go” button and the magnifying glass.

      To remove these two, you will need to edit your UserChrome.css file and add these entries to the bottom.

      Remove the Go Button:

      #go-button-stack, .search-go-button-stack {
      display: none !important;
      }

      Remove the “Search” Button:

      /*Remove magnifying glass button from search box*/
      .search-go-button-stack { display: none !important; }

      Now when your done, restart Firefox and you now have a little more room freed up where those buttons used to be.

      Remove the Clutter

      This is a classic Firefox 2 tip that makes me wonder if it will still exist with Firefox 3 looming around the corner?