We all have our favorite search engine that we use predominantly and an assortment of secondary specialized search engines for specific tasks.
A common example are general web searches on search engines such as Google Search, Bing or Yahoo, and shopping related searches on Amazon, eBay and other shopping sites.
There is however a gap between the Firefox user interface and those search engines. If you want to search, you can either use the built-in search engine to search on the default search engine (or switch search engines manually before you search on another site), access search websites manually to make the search there directly, use keywords to search using specific search engines, or make use of extensions that add search options to the context menu or the Firefox interface.
Drag and Drop Zones adds another - innovative - option. The Firefox add-on overlays the entire browser screen sans the user interface elements with drop zones for specific search engines and options.
The extension imports all existing local Firefox search engines by default and makes them available on the overlay. New search engines need to be added to the list of available search engines before they become available for selection.
You can move search engines around on the grid in the add-on options. Here it is furthermore possible to remove drop zones, change the overlay color of individual search engines, add new search engines to the overlay or configure general add-on settings.
This includes the grid size, delay before showing the dropzones and various activation options.
Dropzones are by default activated when you drag text, images or links in Firefox.
To search for a phrase or word on a website you would highlight it, drag it and drop it on the search engine in the overlay that you would like to use.
You can define different colors for search engines, which can be interesting to create search engine groups. The drag search process can be canceled at anytime with the ESC key.
It is not only possible to link search engines to a grid. All context menu items can also be added to grids, which adds new possibilities to the add-on. It is now for instance possible to create drop boxes that save images, bookmark links or print the selected text.
A toolbar button is available to enable and disable the Drag and DropZones add-on. This can be important if you need to perform other drag and drop operations in the Firefox web browsre.
Drag and Drop Zones adds a lot of flexibility to searching and using the context menu. The addition of new search engines could be more comfortable, but that's the only minor complaint that I have.
Interested users can download the Firefox extension Drag & DropZones from the official Mozilla Firefox add-on repository. The add-on is compatible with all Firefox versions from Firefox 2 on.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.