Firefox Search Tweaks - gHacks Tech News

Firefox Search Tweaks

I reviewed the Firefox extension Open Search Fox yesterday which made it possible to add any search box on the Internet as a Firefox search engine. This is perfect if you are a regular on a website that is offering a site search which you use regularly.

Instead of having to visit that website every time you want to use its search, you can simply use it in Firefox directly instead.

I would like to use the opportunity to dig deeper into Firefox's search settings so that you can get the most out of them.

A way to quickly search using any installed search engine -- including website searches that you have added to Firefox -- is to add a keyword to that search. You can set keywords by right-clicking a bookmark and selecting properties from the menu. It is for instance possible to assign the keyword Y to Yahoo search or B for Bing.

Whenever you wanteto search Yahoo you simply enter Y Searchterm into the address bar of Firefox to do so, or B searchterm if Bing is your preferred search engine. This is ideal if your default search engine is a different one that you do not want to change, or if you do not display the search box in the interface by default.

Setting your default search engine in Firefox:

To set your default search engine you have to enter about:config in the address bar and filter for the string Right-click that entry and select Modify from the menu. Enter the string that appears when the search box is not selected. The default search engines that are already included in Firefox use the same name that is displayed when selecting them.

To make Yahoo your default search engine you would write Yahoo in that box, for Amazon you would use You need to enter the name of the search engine and not the address of it though, so keep that in mind.

Update: This does not affect searches you conduct using the address bar.  You need to filter for keyword.url and enter the search engine url under value there with a double-click. Note that you need to add its search string without the search term.

The easiest way of doing so is to visit the search engine, search for TEST, and copy the resulting url into the value field without the TEST phrase in it.

firefox search tips screenshot

Update 2: Mozilla has disabled keyword.URL in newer versions of the Firefox web browser. You need to install a browser extension to get it back. Check out this guide that explains how to add the functionality back to the browser.

If you do not, the default search engine will be used for address bar searches and search box searches in the Firefox web browser.

Open Search Results in a new tab in Firefox:

Firefox opens search results in the tab that is currently active by default. To change this behavior you need to edit another key. Filter for and set the value to true. This ensures that search results will be opened in a new tab from now on.

Firefox Search Tweaks
Article Name
Firefox Search Tweaks
How to modify Firefox's search functionality in various ways. Explains how to change the default search engine, use a different address bar search engine, and open search results in a new tab.

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  1. Bruno 'ReX' Barbieri said on October 15, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Thanks for the “Open search in new tab” tweak. That’s is the thing i ever wanted in firefox search bar.

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