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Since I spend most of my working day in Firefox writing articles, the appearance of Firefox means a great deal to me. After all, since I am going to be looking at the browser all day long, it has to look and act the right way otherwise I would rapidly get annoyed with it.

dictccsearch.png One of the things that recently irritated me was the naming of some of the search plug-ins. For no explicable reason, Wikipedia would be named by the plug-in developer as “English Wikipedia” and my favourite English /German dictionary would be called “ En<>De”. These are the names that appear in the search box when you’re not using it (see screenshot). To me, these names looked messy and to an orderly mind like mine, it ticked me off no end.

So one day I decided to finally change the names and this is how you do it.

First you have to locate your Firefox profile in Windows Explorer. Mine is located under “Documents and Settings” then the Windows username then “Mozilla” then “Firefox” then “profiles”. But for some other people, the profile is located elsewhere. One person I know has his profile under the “Program Files” folder for example. You need to go hunting around for it.

searchpluginsfolder.png Once you have located the Firefox profile, you then need to find your “searchplugins” folder. Inside that folder are your search plugins in the form of XML files. An XML file is basically a plain text file so the first thing to do is to click on the plug-in you want to change and change the file format from XML to “txt”. Once you have done that, double-click and open the plain text file.

The text inside the file will probably be gibberish but not to worry. Just use the text file’s search function (under the “edit” drop down menu) and type in the name of the search plug-in that irritates you. So in my case, “English Wikipedia”. The search function will then take you directly to the section of the file that holds that name.


Next, delete the offending name and rename it with whatever you want. Save the text file and close it. Then re-name the file format back to XML (this part is VERY important otherwise the plug-in won’t work anymore).

Last of all, close and re-start Firefox. When it re-opens, check the search plug-in. It should now have the name you gave it.

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