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firefox findbarThe ability to quickly scroll down to any word on a page is enormously helpful: I for one use FireFox Findbar almost every time I land on a page from search results to quickly find my search terms (something that also can be automated with term highlighting tools 3 Tools To Highlight Google Search Terms On The Target Page 3 Tools To Highlight Google Search Terms On The Target Page Read More ). And yes, I so miss the feature when I happen to read “real” books!

While the option in itself is awesome, there’s always some room for improvements. This post lists 3 tools that will let you have even more fun with FireFox CTRL+F command: (1) visualize search term occurrence in the scrollbar; (2) create the page summary and (3) find “similar” words while controlling the proximity). Enjoy!

1. Scrollbar Search Highlighter

Scrollbar Search Highlighter imitates default Google Chrome behavior: it visualizes all instances of the word you are searching on the current page. It works in conjunction with “Highlight All” feature that causes all the matches to be highlighted on the page – with this addon enabled, the matches are additionally highlighted in a small bar alongside the scrollbar:

firefox findbar

Unfortunately, unlike Chrome default feature, this addon doesn’t scroll down to the term occurrence if you click a tiny color mark in the scroll bar.

The options allow you to set the color and hide the highlights after you close the Findbar:

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find bar addon

2. Find All

Find All is another addon to easier find the term instances on a page. In essence, it creates the summary of the page text containing all your search term together with its immediate context:

  • A new button “Find all” is added to your Findbar (it can optionally substitute “Highlight all” button)
  • When clicked, a new field appears with your search term occurrences and its context in plain text;
  • Clicking the rows will scroll the actual page up / down to the term occurrence on the page.

findbar basics

The addon options let you:

  • Change the font size of the results list;
  • Change the background color of rows in results list;
  • Select matches on the page instead of highlighting them.

You are also able to show the “Highlight all” button (which is hidden by default) together with “Find All” one:

findbar basics

3. Smart Find

Smart Find is a bit different addon. It lets you find a word occurrence even if you have slightly misspelled the word (or just can’t remember how to spell a complex word):

  • Just have it installed and notice a new “Similar” option added to your Findbar;
  • Whenever that option is checked, you’ll be able to find “Similar” term occurrences on the current page;
  • The misspelled word will first be marked as red (“un-found”), but clicking up / down arrows (or using CTRL+G or ENTER keyboard shortcuts), will switch between “similar” terms:

findbar basics

You can also set the similarity level in Edit -> Find Similar Level -> Low/Medium/High (which is supposed to set how similar the term should be to be found). However I haven’t noticed considerably different behavior when switching between similarity levels:

firefox findbar

Note: Smart Find is not compatible with “Find All” addon, so you’ll have to choose either.

Are you aware of any other cool FireFox Findbar trick? Please share them in the comments!

Image Credit: Endless Origami

  1. Saikat Basu
    May 4, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Another add-on that could be useful is the Hind Find Bar. It gives the find bar the same behaviour as the Find As You Type feature in Firefox, when activity in the find bar has been idle for a certain interval it will automatically disappear.

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