Firefox Search Crumbs, Offers Fast Custom Searching - gHacks Tech News

Firefox Search Crumbs, Offers Fast Custom Searching

How do you search? Asking that question to 100 web users would probably yield 100 different answers.

The majority will likely name a popular search engine like Google or Bing.

But the how is not only answered by a where. Do those Internet users open a new tab, load their favorite search engine and browse the results?

Do they use the search form in their web browser or keyword searches?

How do they handle situations where their primary search engine does not return the desired results?

You may be asking yourself what all that has to do with the Firefox add-on Search Crumbs. That's relatively easy to answer: Search Crumbs makes searching easier and faster in Firefox.

The add-on installs itself to the right-click context menu of the browser. Firefox users can use it from the moment of the installation to perform searches.

Selecting text on a page for instance and Search Crumbs afterwards enables you to search for that text in one of the available search engines.

But Search Crumbs can do more than the usual select text search routine. The add-on offers the same functionality in text boxes, text areas, page titles or hyperlinks.

search crumbs

Search Crumbs displays search engines in the context menu. The add-on separates so called root search engines, which are popular search engines that can be directly accessed in the root menu, and content based search engines which are listed in directories. Content based search engines are by default available for image, video, meta, social and merchants searches.

firefox search engine

The order and placement of search engines can be edited in the add-on's configuration. It is for instance possible to add an image search engine to the root search engines to access it more quickly or remove one of the root search engines if you never use it for your searches.

New search engines can be added easily. All that needs to be done is to select one of the existing folders - or create a new one - and enter the search engine's name and url. The url needs to be edited to include the [search] variable in the right place. This variable is used by Search Crumbs for the searches. A look at the existing search engines should provide enough detail on how the variable has to be added.

The structure of the available search engines in the context menu is completely configurable in the options. Search engines can be removed, moved, replaced or added, so that the end results suits the needs of individual users.

Search Crumbs is an unobtrusive but extremely helpful Firefox add-on for users who perform searches in multiple search engines regularly. Search engines in this context means all websites that are offering search, which includes Facebook, Myspace, Wikipedia, Google Maps, Amazon or eBay next to the traditional search engines.

Search Crumbs is only compatible with Firefox 3.6x. It is likely that compatibility can be forced if another version of Firefox is in use. Check out our article on how to force compatibility in Firefox for pointers on how to do that.

Update: The extension is not compatible with recent Firefox versions anymore. An alternative is the excellent Context Search add-on which offers similar functionality.

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