Add Full-Text Search to your Chrome Browsing History

Web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox use the browsing history in a number of ways.

Besides making available a list of sites that users have visited in the past, it is also used when users type in the browser's address bar to display matches.

That's comfortable if you want to reopen a site at a later time again. Google Chrome matches only the url and site title when text is entered into its address bar.

While that works most of the time, it sometimes falls short. This can be the case if you forgot page title or url but remember a word or phrase used on the page.

One option to deal with that is to re-open most sites listed in the browsing history but that may take a long time and is not overly efficient because of it.

The Google Chrome extension All Seeing Eye changes that by adding full-text indexing to websites that you visit in the Chrome browser.

This means that you can use the search options that it adds to Chrome's History page to search for any text displayed on a website at the time you visited it.

chrome all text history search

It changes the history page in several ways. First of all, it displays thumbnail images instead of a list of sites that you have visited.

While this may provide additional functionality it means that not as many results as before are displayed without scrolling.

For each website, a thumbnail, page title, and last visited date and time are displayed.

The search at the top can be used to find text on these sites. Just enter any test and hit search, and after a short moment, only matching sites are displayed.

A click on a result opens the site it links to in a new browser tab in Chrome.

Caution: Theextension records text on all sites you visit including https:// websites. There is no option to disable protocols, but you can blacklist sites that you want to exclude from being indexed. I'd add any secure website, but especially websites that may leak private information to that list. You would not want your financial statements to be displayed there for instance.

Two icons are displayed on each thumbnail, with the first opening the snapshot in a new tab and the second deleting it in Chrome.

Now, the snapshot may be different from the actual site depending on how dynamic the contents of the page are. Note though that the snapshot is not a HTML page, which means that you cannot select text on it or click on links, or interact with it in any other way.

Conclusion

All Seeing Eye adds full-text indexing to all websites that you visit in Chrome and Chromium-based browsers. That's certainly interesting for users of said browsers who use the history regularly to find sites they have visited in the past.

The developer should however implement an option to block https websites from being indexed at all, and that should be set to default to avoid any issues with sensitive data leaking in the process.

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Responses to Add Full-Text Search to your Chrome Browsing History

  1. Dave July 28, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

    Just like Opera. Old Opera.

    • Edson July 31, 2014 at 1:50 am #

      Exactly...

      By the looks of it, I will keep Opera 12.17 for a very long time waiting for an unlikely feature parity...

  2. chesscanoe July 30, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

    I wonder if opening a Private Browsing window in Firefox 31 avoids the privacy indexing problem you cite.

  3. Robert Headley August 1, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    Hey Martin, they added tags. You can add https as a tag, and it blocks https sites. I tested it. Seems to work.

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