Mozilla plans to roll out a new feature in Firefox 53 that makes finding the right item in large select fields more comfortable by adding a search to the field.
Select fields provide you with a set list of items that you select one from. This works well if there are not too many items, but once scrolling is involved, it can become a nuisance.
While you can usually type the first two or three characters of the item you want to select rapidly, if you know its name, this only works if they are the beginning characters.
Having to scroll through a list of hundreds of items is not very comfortable. This happens for instance when a site's registration form asks you to pick a country.
Mozilla plans to integrate a search field for large select fields in Firefox 53 stable. Large select fields are any with 41 items or more.
This allows you to filter the selection based on the text or characters that you enter.
The search displays only matching items once you start typing. The main difference to typing the first couple of characters fast directly in the field, is that the search finds those characters no matter where they are, and not only in the beginning of items.
The feature landed in Firefox Nightly already, but it is not enabled by default.
A value of true enables the feature. The change is active immediately on any new page that you open, and on any page you reload after making it.
Note that the search is attached to to the top of the selection list. It does not scroll with the list, which means that it will not be visible anymore once you start scrolling the list of items manually.
To use it, simply activate it with a click and start typing. Results are filtered as you type, and you can select any item from the results to make it your selection.
The preference value will be flipped eventually to enable the feature by default. Current projections see that happen with the Firefox 53 Stable release, out April 18th, 2017 if the schedule holds. (via Sören Hentzschel)
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