Tag Archives | search

Easily Create Open Searches

OpenSearchFoxFor me, creating a new Firefox search for the search box everybody has in the upper right hand corner of your browser became harder once Mozilla moved towards the open search standard. Since then I haven’t bothered much with creating searches for it – but I found an extension that might get me back in the game.

The OpenSearchFox extension allows you to quickly and easily create a search plugin from any web site. Now after you first install this extension, you might be a little lost with what to do. All you need to do is right click on any search form (like the one found on FirefoxFacts.com for an example) and then you will have a new menu item to select to create your search. You can also change the icon for the search plugin too – just in case the favicon for the site isn’t “doing it for you” or it does not have one.

Update: Check out this screencast to get a tutorial on how to get up and running with this extention! (Thanks Eddie!)

Turning a Bookmark into a Search Tool

Editing Bookmarks to Add Search FeaturesBookmarks in Firefox have a very powerful feature that most people don’t know about. Let’s take a look at this:

  1. Click on Bookmarks.
  2. Right-click on any bookmark you have there.
  3. Choose properties.

Now, third from the top, there is a text box called “Keyword”. Most likely, this is blank because by default it’s not used at all. Welcome to the wonderful world to keyword bookmarking. Let me show you how to use it.

Say for instance that you wanted to create a keyword bookmark for the search on firefoxfacts.com. Ok, lets go to that page. After using the Firefox Facts search using the words “test”, I come to the page:

http://www.firefoxfacts.com/index.php?s=test

If I bookmark it, it will look like any other bookmark.

Then, if I look at the properties of my newly created bookmark, I can make a few changes to it to transform it into a keyword bookmark:

  1. Notice that the my search term “test” is in the address in the location field.
  2. Replace that with the string “%s” to get http://www.firefoxfacts.com/index.php?s=%s.
  3. Add a keyword to the keyword field. I chose “fxfacts” but anything will work. Use something short and you can remember.
  4. Press OK.

Yay, now we have a keyword bookmark. This is how to use it:

  1. Type the keyword of the bookmark in the address bar. (In my example “fxfacts”)
  2. Type any search terms after that. (My example: “fxfacts bookmarks”)
  3. Press the enter key.

Firefox will now take me to the Firefox Facts search for bookmarks just like that. Let’s see IE7 can do that!

Post by Samuel Brisby – Sam is currently a student majoring in computer science who loves and supports anything open-source especially the Firefox browser. Questions or comments can be sent to spamuel42 (at) gmail.com.

Browse Through Firefox’s Cache

CacheViewerTrying to browse through your old saved browser history can be a pain in Firefox in comparison with Internet Explorer.

IE has “Temporary Internet Files” – Firefox has a pain in the rear interface for browsing through its cache. One way to fix this design blunder though is do download and install the CacheViewer extension for Firefox.

This extenion is a GUI Front-end of and for “about:cache”. It allows searching and sorting memory and disk cache files. All in all a pretty nice tool to help you get going with browsing through what you have saved from the Web on your PC.

If you’d rather do it without the extension – here is a method thrown out there by the folks at Lifehacker:

If you prefer the old-fashioned way of browsing your cache, in Windows you can navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\********.default\Cache and see the hodge-podge of files that make up your cache. CacheViewer is a free download and works anywhere the ‘fox does.

What is the Firefox Search Box?

The search box in Firefox is that box for searching (boy, definitions don’t get any better than that) usually located in the upper right of your browser window. By default you see it set to Google, but did you know you can use others that are listed there or install more of your own?

To use the search box, all you need to do is type in a phrase you’d like to search for into the box, and then hit the “Enter” key on your keyboard. From there you’ll be taken to a Web page with search results as you would see by going to the search engine’s Web site and doing it directly.

If you want to choose one of the other search engines you have installed, just click on the little square logo next to the search engine icon and you should get a drop down box with all the search engines you have installed. Pick the one you want to use, and then its icons should be shown beside the search box. To switch back, follow the same steps.

If there is a search engine that you need that doesn’t come with Firefox by default you can install it yourself to use. You can find a list of popular search plugins here. For even more choices, check out the Mycroft Project. If you want to make your own – this Web page is a good place to start learning how to do just that.

Stream Google Search Results

The folks the brought you the CustomizeGoogle extension for Firefox are working on something else that might help you get more out of Google and push forward a new and innovative idea for Online searching.

This CustomizeGoogle feature saves you from the hassle of paging through Google web search results. Whenever you navigate to the end of the page, you dont have to hit the next button. CustomizeGoogle automatically fetches next set of results and appends them to the bottom of the page.

Here is a move that explains a little more about what is going on:

I like having the streaming results as I skim through Google Reader, so if you can give me functionality like that on the regular Google searches – well, then consider me sold.

+ Learn More About This Extension and Feature!

SearchLoad Options

Want to tweak how Firefox’s default search options react to you in the browser? The SearchLoad Options extension should do the trick then.

Options include clearing the searchbar and resetting the search engine after each search. A time delay can be set in order to reuse search strings or search engines before changing the state of the searchbar.

Search results can be loaded into the active tab, a new tab, or a new background tab. An option allows new tabs to be created regardless of whether the current tab is blank. New tabs can also be created by using the Alt key.

+ Learn More About the SearchLoad Options Extension for Firefox!

Good Search Plugins

I got an E-mail yesterday from a woman who wanted to know where she could find some good search engine plugins to put into Firefox.

She was a beginner and didn’t know which way to turn really. I pointed her towards the same place a point all my friends that want to know a little more about search engine plugins – Mozilla’s official Web site for them.

That is the best place to get started in my opinion. Have any other links that might be a good place for her to begin with customizing that search box in the upper-right hand corner of your browser?

Assign Keywords to Search Engines

Now this extension does add a lot of functionality when it comes to searching. The SearchWords extension for Firefox allows you to assign keywords to your search engines inside of the browser.

Assign keywords to your search engines for quick and easy access to all of your search engines without using the search bar and without having to switch from your current search engine. To use, add keywords to your search engines via the search engine manager and then simply type ‘keyword searchterm’ into the address bar and search away!

This gives you another quick way to do your searches.

+ Download and Install the SearchWords Extension for Firefox!

Wikiseek Firefox Search Extension

Have you heard about Wikiseek? If you read any of the big popular A-list blogs you might think it is the second coming, but I wouldn’t say that just yet. It is nice though. They have also released a Firefox extension that allows you to slip their search into Wikipedia.

If you use Firefox you can install the Wikiseek Search Extension to add Wikiseek to the search form inside all Wikipedia pages. Just click the install link below and follow the instructions. Once you restart Firefox you will see a Wikiseek button in the Wikipedia search form.

Pick it up and let me know what you think.

+ Download and Install the Wikiseek Firefox Extension!