Do you ever find yourself needing to search things on a webpage? The find function (CTRL+F) is an awesome keyboard shortcut and feature in browsers – chances are you already know about it and use it. However, you’re limited to one word as boolean search functions have yet to be added to browsers – a shame really.
So what do you do whenever you want to search multiple words? Well, what you’re probably doing right now is typing one word, and scrolling through the results and then typing the next word. This is what I did too, until I thought that surely some developer out there has created something to address this problem. And sure enough, when I went looking I found four awesome browser extensions, three for Chrome and one for Firefox that solved this issue once and for all.
SearchWP [No Longer Available]
SearchWP, a Firefox addon, has been mentioned before on MakeUseOf. works by using the existing search field at the top of your browser. Each word will be given a different color. You can toggle SearchWP, but clicking the “highlighter” icon seen next to the search box in the image. If you want to jump to a specific word, just click it in the search box. If there’s multiple instances of the same word, you can continue to click it to jump to each one throughout the page.
SearchWP doesn’t have too many settings, but you can adjust the minimum length that words need to be for them to be highlighted, and group the words in a single menu (pictured below)
If you’re a keyboard shortcut fan, you can control SearchWP with the following shortcuts:
- F3 – repeat the last jump-to-word search.
- F8 – enable/disable the highlighting.
- SHIFT + Click/SHIFT + F3/middle-click/right-click – reverse search order.
- CTRL + Click/CTRL + F3 – search case-sensitive.
Pearls Extension [Chrome]
Pearls Extension gives you the ability for quick search results on any webpage. It’s unique in that you can dedicate specific queries for a single page or domain, and it will remember them the next time you visit the page or domain. You can also enter queries for any page. Don’t be overwhelmed by the three text fields, though if you’re just looking to search multiple words on a webpage here or there – any field will work.
You can use the Previous and Next buttons to jump to the words throughout the webpage. The Exact/Partial button controls whether you want to search the words in the exact order their typed, or all of them scattered through the page. Lastly, you can toggle Pearls Extension with the Pearl On/Off button in the top right corner.
Currently, Pearls Extension doesn’t work in websites with frames, such as Gmail.
MultiHighlighter is another Chrome extension that allows multi-word searching and highlighting. Like other search tools, each term is given its own color. You don’t need to separate the words with a comma, instead just put a space between each one. To the right of the text field, there’s a box that displays the count of the number of matched terms appearing on the page.
To display the Multihighlighter search bar, click the icon or use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+A. To close the bar, click the “X” or press the escape key [ESC]. This extension looks fairly simple, but it actually has some really impressive features, such as preserving the highlighting when printing the page onto paper or to PDF. MultiHighlighter is being actively developed and more unique features will be added soon
Below are some important notes taken from MultiHighlighter’s Chrome Web Store Page:
- Only words of 2 or more characters are searchable.
- Search is currently not case-sensitive.
- Redaction functionality is currently in-process.
- Doesn’t work when viewing PDF documents in Chrome.
efTwo (F2) [Chrome]
efTwo is another option for searching multiple words simultaneously on a webpage. It also has several more options, giving you more control over its features. These can be seen in the image below.
The first one on the list, means that if you type something in the Google search, it will automatically be copied into the efTwo search box. Another great feature is each search term can easily be found with arrows along the right side of the screen.
The ease of using efTwo is really in the keyboard shortcuts. As you can see in the image below, you can access it with four different shortcuts:
- Quickly hitting the ‘F’ key twice
You might also notice in the image above that there is an experimental setting that connects the keywords with lines. I’m not exactly sure what the benefit of this is yet, but it is certainly interesting.
Each of these tools have their different unique features. Unfortunately I was unable to find multiple extensions for Firefox, or any other browsers.
Which one(s) appeal the most to you? Feel free to provide us feedback on what you think after trying them and if there’s any others that we left out.
Image Credit: Search on keyboard via Shutterstock