Super Nerdy Cool

My (technical) adventures through the professional world…
June 12, 2009

Firefox: find as you type

Back in the days when I used Kubuntu, I used konqueror because if I hit the CTRL key, all the links would light up with a yellow tag by its side with either a letter or a number (or some character). If I typed that character then konqueror would go to that link’s page. I love this feature because I can be efficient surfing the web with the keyboard (mouse / trackpad is slow!).

Anywho, I always wanted Firefox to have this feature. I just discovered that Firefox has a similar feature. Check this page for a description. To turn on the feature, go to preferences > Advance and check “Search text as i start typing”. Firefox just got better.

The following is taken from the previous link to remind myself of some features.

  • Type several characters into the active browser window to navigate to any link with that text in it
  • If you repeat the same character, it will start to cycle through all the links that begin with that character. However, if it can find a match with the exact string you’ve typed, such as “oo” in “woods” it will go there first. Typing “o” more times will then cycle through the links that start with “o”.
  • Use the backspace key to undo the last character typed
  • Type a ‘ before your string to search only links. Type / before your string to search all text.
  • You can use the text search field to get to buttons, text boxes and other form controls. Just search for the text right before it, and then press Tab when to move from there.
  • To cancel a find, change focus or scroll, press Escape, or wait for the timeout
  • Press Accel+G or F3 to use “find next”. Press Accel+Shift+G or Shift+F3 to find previous, with the current string you’ve typed. This respects the current “linksonly” setting. Note: ‘accel’ means Ctrl on Windows, and Cmd on Mac. On Unix, ‘accel’ usually means Ctrl, but it can be set to Alt.
  • Works with any Gecko HTML content window – embedded clients, IM conversation window, help, etc.
  • works with IME for input of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc.
  • When focused on a link, the following keys will work:
    • Enter – activate the link
    • Shift+Enter – save the page that the link points to
    • Ctrl+Enter (Cmd+Enter on Mac) – open the link in a new window
    • Insert – open the link in a new foreground or background tab, depending on the “Load links in the background” pref. under Preferences – Navigator – Tabbed Browsing.
    • Shift+Insert – same as Insert, but does the opposite of the foreground/background pref

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