Hugo: Firefox's most advanced "search all tabs" extension

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 21, 2013
Updated • Feb 23, 2018
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Sometimes when you are doing research, you may be interested in finding results for a specific term or phrase on all or most pages that you have open in the web browser.

That's something that you cannot do in Firefox by default. What you can do is search each page one by one until you have searched them all. While possible, it is not really practicable at all, especially if we are talking about dozens of pages or even more that need to be searched.

Update: Hugo is not compatible with recent versions of Firefox. Mozilla disabled the classic add-on system in Firefox 57. You may use Search Multi Tabs instead which offers similar functionality.

I have reviewed FindBar Tweak in July which offered an option to search in all open tabs in Firefox, and while that worked rather well, the implementation had its shortcomings, like no option to jump to a result straight away.

Hugo for Firefoxfirefox search all tabs

Hugo is a new extension that improves "search in all tabs" significantly. The extension integrates well into Firefox, and you can access it with a click on the Hugo link in the Find Bar when it is open in the browser.

When you do, you will notice that it will open a sidebar in Firefox that lists all occurrences of the selected phrase in all open tab of the browser. The scan may take a couple of seconds or more, depending on a number of factors including the number of tabs open in the browser.

You can right-click the sidebar to move the results to the bottom, which may work better for you depending on the window size of the browser.

The extension separates results by tab, and displays up to 250 words of context for each search result. You can modify the word count with a click on 250 in the interface, so that it can display between 20 and 2000 words of context for each result. The developer notes that a context increase may slow down the rendering significantly.

A double-click on a result jumps straight to it. If the tab is not active, it will be made the active tab. You can alternatively click on the page title to jump to it as well.

That's not all though. You can change the listing of results to titles only. This displays only the page titles at least one occurrence of the phrase has been found on, but not the results in context.

Hugo ships with a set of filters that enable you to search only select tabs and to add domain names to the ignore list. The ignore list ships with several that include Bing, Yahoo, Google and Wikipedia, and an option to add custom domain filters as well. The filters are not selected by default, and if you want to use them, need to be activated.

The tabs filter works similar, but only for tabs. You can block select tabs from being searched, or select tabs that you want included.

firefox global search

Another set of filters is listed in the middle of the main toolbar. Here you can switch to display results found on the current tab, display results only on domains that are not on the ignore list, or display an inverted domain list (domains that do not contain the phrase).

The extension ships with a speed search keyboard shortcut - Alt-9 - that initiates search for text that you have highlighted on the active website. The option needs to be enabled before the shortcut becomes available.

If you notice performance drops during scans, you may want to throttle the rendering of the results listing in the options as well.


Hugo is an excellent extension for Firefox users who use the browser for research. It does not really matter what kind of research, it works well for all kinds. The filtering options help you limit the search to reduce the time it takes to display the list of results, and to avoid results from pages or domains that you do not want included in the search.

software image
Author Rating
2.5 based on 30 votes
Software Name
Hugo Search All Tabs
Software Category

Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Allasso Travesser said on July 20, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    I would like to add that since this review, Hugo has undergone some significant changes in the way it searches tabs. It returns results *much* faster, and context length no longer has an affect on the speed.

    There is also the ability to search within a set of results.

  2. Allasso Travesser said on November 15, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Dear Martin,

    You obviously spent some time with Hugo and gave it a thorough examination, and thus are able to give your readers a clear and informed introduction.

    I truly appreciate this.

    Allasso Travesser, author of Hugo

  3. Get Smart said on August 23, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Select Preferences > Advanced > Tabs and check Open windows instead of tabs. To open a new window, select Tabs and Windows > New Window or New Private Window.

  4. mma173 said on August 21, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Is anyone aware of an extension that gives the matches count as in chrome e.g. (3 of 50)?

  5. supercuek said on August 21, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    which extension can search multiple words?

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