I remember the very first time that I actually discovered the usefulness of Firefox’s search bar. Up until just before that point, all of my web-searching antics started with navigating to Google, by URL, and then beginning my search. Being able to cut a step out of the process really has its perks, and especially when that process is as common of one as searching the web.
You all know what search bar I’m talking about. Assuming you’re on Firefox right now, glance a little upwards and then to the right. Chances are, you’re using Google (as you should be) to search from. You can change that to any search engine you’d like. Other than that, the search bar is pretty cut-and-dry. In this post, I’d like to show you two new and interesting ways that you can ramp up its functionality.
Searchbar Autosizer [No Longer Available]
Searchbar Autosizer is an add-on that works for the latest version of Firefox. But, why is it cool? Having lots of space across your bars and menus is pretty important, especially if you’re running a small resolution. Searchbar Autosizer ensures that the Firefox search bar only takes up as much space as it needs to.
It doesn’t make too much sense to have a bar like the search bar remain at a static width. No matter how much or how little you type, Searchbar Autoresizer will make the input box fit your text.
You’re able to configure it so that it sizes to your text incrementally, enlarges on the first strike, or remains the same width at all times. It’s an incredibly simple add-on but you’ll definitely notice its effectiveness if your bars are a little cluttered when using this browser. It’s very lightweight, also.
Search In a New Tab
This is one of my favorite and one of the most underrated tweaks available for Firefox. Go to your address bar, type in about:config, and hit the Enter key. If you’re presented with a warning message, feel free to proceed. You should see a little something like this:
In the Search bar in that screenshot, type in the following: browser.search.openintab. It should be a boolean set as false. Let’s go ahead and toggle that.
After the boolean is changed to true, you’ll need to restart your browser to feel the effects. Go ahead and type something in your search bar, hit Enter, and you’ll notice that your search results will automatically be opened in a brand new tab, rather than disturbing your already-opened tab.
Be advised that this tweak can take a little bit of getting used to. It’s been months since I’ve made the change and I am still catching myself opening a new tab and then using my search bar (which results in an extra, unused tab).
There you have it. Two simple changes that offer two noticeable and worthwhile effects. Both will be thrown onto any new Firefox installation of mine and I hope you’re able to enjoy them as much as I do! Let us know in the comments if you have any other tweaks you want to share with us.