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Here’s a freebie for all you Firefox lovers out there. Now you can search MakeUseOf from the Firefox search bar with our very own home-made plug-in.

Now since it hasn’t been officially submitted to the Mycroft plug-in directory yet, you will need to add this search plug-in to your Firefox browser the old fashioned way. Pay attention class, to the Five Step Guide To Adding A Search Plug-In :

1. Open up your Windows Explorer and find the Mozilla Firefox folder (normally under “Programmes” or “Program Files”)

2. Once you’ve found that, look for a sub-folder called “searchplugins”. This is where your search engine scripts should be sitting.

3. Download this folder and unzip it. Inside it are two files – a “src” file and a picture file of the MUO icon. You can delete the folder. All you need are those two files.

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4. Drag both files in the “searchplugins” folder. Do not alter the file names in any way, otherwise the plug-in won’t work.

5. Close and re-start Firefox. When Firefox opens again, check your drop-down list of search engines and MakeUseOf will now be there.

It only took fifteen minutes to write this script as search plug-ins are actually quite easy to do (compared to a Firefox extension which is extremely difficult in my opinion). If you want to see the script, just make a copy of that “src” file that you moved to the searchplugins folder and change the file type from “src” to “txt”. Then open it. You’ll see right away that all that’s required is to specify the search string that Firefox needs to perform and you can find that out by performing a normal search on the site in question and studying the URL bar. Grab the website icon, change the URL and you’ve pretty much written your own search plug-in.

Now if I can just master the art of writing a Firefox extension, I’ll be really chuffed with myself. Does anyone know of any good online tutorials for writing Firefox extensions? Preferably ones easy to understand for the technically challenged of us in the world?

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