After you’ve found a promising page in your search results, you’ll need to find the information you want on that page. Firefox has some great short-cuts for that end of the job!
- Use the / key quick find. If you press the ‘/’ key on any page, and start typing a word, Firefox will take you directly to the first occurrence of that word as you type!
- Press F3 to go to the next result. The F3 is the standard ‘go to next’ key on Windows, but handily it also works on OS X, since the usual Mac alternative is the less convenient Command+G. Hold down shift to move backwards.
- Use the ‘ key link finder. If you’re looking for a link, and know part of the address, pressing the ‘ key works just like the text quick find, but goes to the first link containing the words you type.
- Highlight all occurrences. Sometimes it’s easier to highlight all the places in the page a term exists, and then scroll through and do an eyeball search looking for the right one. There isn’t an instant key combo for this, but if you press Ctrl/Command+F to bring up the search bar, you can select the ‘Highlight all’ checkbox.
- Work on pages in parallel. Rather than sitting waiting for pages to load, try opening up several promising ones in different tabs, by holding down Command or Control when you click on the links. By the time you’ve searched through one, another should be loaded. PeteSearch lets you open up all ten results in tabs with Ctrl+’=’.
- Move through those tabs using the keyboard. Press Ctrl/Command+Page Up/Down to go to the next or previous tab.
- Case-sensitive searching. If you’re looking for a coding term you know has to be all upper case, or a name that starts with a capital, click on the ‘Case sensitive’ checkbox in the find bar. Alex from Lifespy has a neat tip for turning it on by default, and MozillaLinks has this hack to get the checkbox in the type-ahead find box too.
- Select some text to restrict your search to the bottom of a page. This one may be a bug, but it’s useful: if you select some text half-way down a page before you search, then only results at or below that selection are found in the type-ahead find. This can be very useful for sites like experts-exchange, that pad the top of their pages out with a lot of ads.
- Tweak the typeahead find options. Mozilla.org shows how to customize a couple of options that can be handy, whether the link finding matches any part of the address or just the start, and how much of a pause between letters you can have before it decides you’re done typing.
- Give PeteSearch a try! It automatically highlights all of the search terms in the split-screen preview of a page, no typing needed, and Control+Down Arrow moves you through them.
More Search Tips…