If part of Web 2.0 is about customizing software to make your life easier, then Firefox add-ons fit the bill.
If you’re not familiar with add-ons, they’re light-weight software applications you can download to customize your copy of Firefox. Types of add-ons include Extensions (to modify or add features) and Themes (to change the visual appearance of Firefox. ) Everything you need to know about add-ons is at Mozilla’s Customizing Firefox With Add-ons page.
A category of extension add-ons is Search, which lets you customize the Firefox search box (see screenshot at right.)
If you look in the upper right hand corner of Firefox you’ll see a small G that’s a symbol for Google (the default search in Firefox.) Click on it, and you’ll see a list of other search engines that are pre-loaded in Firefox.
You can choose from other search engines by clicking on “Manage Search Engines”, and find and install them from there. But what if the search add-on you need isn’t available there or at the Mycroft search engine plugins?
Good news — with the Add to Search Bar add-on you can add the search functionality into Firefox from any web site!
- Go to the add-on’s page at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3682
- Click the “Add to Firefox” button
- Click the “Install Now” button.
- After the installation is complete, you’ll need to close & restart Firefox to start using the new add-on. You can click the “Restart Firefox” box that appears after installation is finished.
- Go to a web site with a search box, like The New York Times web site.
- Put your mouse pointer in the search box.
- Right-click to see the menu, and click “Add to Search Bar”.
- You’ll see a small popup window that will let you rename the search engine & customize the icon. Make any changes, and click the “OK” button.
- Voilà! You have a quick way to check search the New York Times web site.
- Any time you want to switch which search you use, click the icon next to the Firefox search box, and choose the one you want to use.
So far I’ve added a search to Firefox for Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, Google News Archive Search, and (ironically), Firefox Search Add-ons.
If you want to delete or re-arrange the Firefox search engines, you can do that by clicking the icon next to the Firefox search box, and click “Manage Search Engines” on the menu.
Here’s hoping this Firefox add-on helps make your life easier!Tags: add-ons, Firefox, search