Firefox Browser Tip: Single-key Search

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You may already use the “Find in This Page” feature of the Firefox browser: pressing Command+F on a Mac, or Control+F on a PC brings up a FIND toolbar at the bottom of the browser window, which allows you to search for words or phrases in a web page that you are viewing.

But here are two neat single-key shortcuts to the Quick Find toolbar for finding text on a web page.

If you press the Forward Slash key (the one that shares a key with the question mark), it brings up the Quick Find temporary toolbar at the bottom of the screen. Type a word or phrase, and if that text is on the page it will get highlighted in your browser window; just like using the Find in This Page toolbar. Wait a moment and Quick Find disappears on its own. Press the F3 key to tab to the next instance of your word, if any.

If you press the Apostrophe key (the one that shares a key with the quotation mark), it also brings up the Quick Find temporary toolbar, but now it will only search for text that appears in a link. If you find what you are looking for, just hit the Enter key, and you’ll be taken to that page.

Neat, huh?

I’m not sure that many people even know about searching within a page that you are already on. Many times you’ll come to a web page after doing a Google (or other) search, but that page may contain a lot of text. Rather than trying to read or scan the page looking for your search term, just use the Find in This Page feature. If your word is there somewhere, it’ll get highlighted and the page will jump down to where your word is. You can usually choose to jump to the next or previous instance of your word. Most browsers have an on-page search feature. The tips here are for Firefox.

Now shaving a keystroke off the time it takes to initiate an on-page search may not be a big deal to most people, but I do a lot of searching for information on the Internet; so the faster I can find what I’m looking for the better.

PS: You can set a preference in Firefox to automatically bring up the Quick Find toolbar if you type ANYTHING while you are on a page. (As long as you are not already in a text or form field.) Go to Preferences (or Options on a PC) > Advanced > General> Tick the Search for text when I start typing box.

2 Responses to “Firefox Browser Tip: Single-key Search”

  1. I new about this. It is basically paying tribute to unix OS users who are used to using the / character in vi, bash, etc and other editors/shells to do a search. But I did not know there is a preference for doing a search by typing a word. I set it to ON for now to see if I like it or not.

  2. […] if you use Firefox, and employ my recent tip, Firefox Browser Tip: Single-key Search, then you can just type your search term and Firefox will instantly jump-to and highlight your term […]