Make searching awesome again in Firefox

Sections: Features, How-To, Mac Software, Web Applications / Development

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Firefox searching with the awesome bar I love Firefox, but if there is one thing that could use some attention, it’s the search box. Sure, you can add a ton of different search engines to it, even custom add any one that you want, but it’s slow. First you have to open a new tab, then select the search engine you want to use, then type your query and hit enter. This might not seem like a long time to you, but the seconds add up through the day if you search as often as some of us. Good news, there’s a faster way.

Firefox can search right from the Awesome Bar, and I have to say, since I discovered this fact, Firefox has been that much more awesome to me.

The idea is very simple, you create a special bookmark to the search engine that you want to search with (more details on how to do this soon). Then all you have to do is add a keyword to the bookmark, and it is accessible through the awesome bar.


Great, right? But how do you do it? Go to the search engine of your choice and use it to search for “%s” (without the quotation marks, of course). Now, bookmark the search results page. Then, click Bookmarks, Organize Bookmarks from the menu bar. A window pops up where you should navigate to where you saved your bookmark. Select it and the bottom portion of your window should change. At the very bottom is a button entitled “More” with a down arrow. Click it. You should now have a box labeled “Keyword.”

Bookmark your search engine

This is where you get to choose what you want to type every time you want to use this search engine to search. To save time, I abbreviate all of my most used search shortcuts to single letters. You can use anything really, but a single letter is the fastest.

Add a keyword

Now, the fun part. All you have to do is go to the Awesome Bar (that’s what they call the address bar now, by the way) and type your shortcut followed by your search term.

Here’s an example. I could go to the Awesome Bar and type “g Jake Gaecke” followed by a return to be vain and Google myself.

This saves me a ton of time. If you do a lot of searching, like me, I really think once you get used to not using the regular search box, you’ll come to love this method.

And just in case you aren’t as motivated as some to make these bookmarks yourself, I’ve attached a few of my most common search engine bookmarks. The keywords are as follows: g is for Google, e for ebay, a for Amazon, map for Google Maps, image for Google Images and wiki for Wikipedia. To install the bookmarks, just download the file below, go to the menu bar, click Bookmarks then Organize Bookmarks. Click the icon that looks like a Star and select Import HTML. Use the window that appears to load the file that you just downloaded, and get ready to save some time searching!

Just remember, it’s pretty easy to create your own, so the possibilities are endless.

Download [Search Engine Bookmarks]

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  • James

    Great tip, I've always wondered on how to do this…so THANKS!

  • Vili

    A few years back, I discovered the same thing. Just in case it is of any value to anyone, here is a link to my own list of quick search bookmarks: