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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.


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?

  1. Atomstom
    July 14, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Thank you Mark for that very nice tool. It works great.

  2. Madhav
    May 7, 2008 at 8:10 am

    It was very easy to install MUO plug ins to fire fox tool bar and one other amazing thing till now I did not know use of other search bar that was beside main search bar. I was taking it only a fashion.

  3. preisvergleicher
    May 7, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Thank you Mark for that nice script. It was really easy to adapt for my purposes. "specify the search string ... Grab the website icon, change the URL..." - easy like that. Now I have pretty much my own search plugin ;) Further I recommend mycroft.mozdev. org with plenty of search-plugins and this ff toolbar tutorial:

  4. Alan Bellwos
    November 15, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    A much easier way for user to install your OpenSearch is to add an autodiscover tag to your page, as described here. Then all your users must do is click the search box drop-down while on your site, and there'll be an option to add your search to their browser.

    To see it in action, just go to or and click the search-engine selector in your Firefox search bar.

    • Aibek
      November 18, 2007 at 9:27 pm

      True, it definitely looks easier. We will be implementing it shortly. ;)

  5. Georg Semjen
    October 15, 2007 at 5:54 am
  6. truestarr
    October 15, 2007 at 5:46 am

    That was REALLY easy to install, and it works! ThankYou.

  7. Aibek
    October 14, 2007 at 5:43 pm

    Awesome ... MakeUseOf loves you!

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