Structure Your FireFox Browsing History With FromWhereToWhere

Ann Smarty 09-05-2011

<firstimage=”//” />firefox history formatWe’ve seen quite a few interesting tools that could allow us to make the most of and get more productive with our browsing history: here are 4 Firefox addons to search and record browsing history 4 Firefox Extensions to Search & Record Browsing History Read More and here’s another guide on how to record and print out browsing history on Firefox and Internet Explorer How To Record and Print out Browsing History on Firefox and Internet Explorer Read More .


FromWhereToWhere is another way to dig into your browsing history and structure it in some way.

Similar to the no-longer-supported addon called “Referrer History”, this tool structures your FireFox history based on which page took you to the current URL and where you headed after that.

More Effective Search

Web search may be very addictive and hectic. You click through the search results, then you start clicking links on the target pages – and you ultimately forget where you actually started and how you got to the current page. With FromWhereToWhere addon you can always get a well-structured picture of what you’ve been doing.

It only shows the web history that is related to the currently active URL instead of displaying all the browsing history.

All you need to do is to click FromWhereToWhere item in your FireFox “Tools” menus when on the search results page and:

  • You’ll see the list of pages you clicked from the search results;
  • Each node can be expanded if there are URLs that you visited from the URL it stands for;
  • Each page has the exact date when you visited it for the last time;
  • You can open a URL by right click on the node -> “open in new tab”, or simple double click.

firefox history format

Note: the addon does NOT collect browsing history, Firefox does when you let it. FromWhereToWhere only search through the history data kept by Firefox. This means that you are not allowing any third-party tool to access your history. Instead, the tool is using the database which already exists within your browser and moreover the tool is analyzing the information locally.

You can control what the tool has access to by tweaking your FireFox browsing history settings:

Go to: Tools -> Options -> Privacy and there select “Use custom history for settings”. Now you have more freedom with tweaking what is being saved:

  • Remember your browsing history or your download history;
  • Remember your search and form history;
  • Clear history when you browse the history:

firefox history display

Domain Browsing History

The tool offers a clearly structured domain history: which links you clicked off from any domain or website. The search result proximity can be somehow controlled:

  • Search terms that are not quoted are considered optional. A page will show up in search results if its title has any (at least one) of the optional terms;
  • If you need an exact match, you’ll have to use the phrase in quotes;
  • You can also exclude any word with help of – operator: -word:

firefox history display

Easy Note Taking

The addon has a useful note-taking feature inside that lets you quickly save some URLs for further reference:

  • Hold CTRL to select multiple links;
  • Right-click and select “Save to local notes”
  • A note will be created named after the top selected URL:

firefox history format

Additional fun feature: Scrapbook support – if a link had been captured by the add-on Scrapbook, it’ll be highlighted in Italic font – which makes this addon even more note-taking-friendly.

What are your thoughts? Does this look like a promising addon!

Related topics: Browsing History, Mozilla Firefox, Web Search.

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  1. Xuan Wu
    May 10, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    First, thanks so much for this great post about my addon. I'd appreciate even more if you could give some feedback about the 'link suggestion' feature as well. The reason that I put the feature in the same addon is because the suggestion is totally based on the structured browsing history (without querying online search engines).

    Tip about searching in a domain:

    if you add "site:searchenginejournal" (without quote) in the search terms, it'll only list the pages that have url containing 'searchenginejournal'.

    Also you can add time filter.

    • Ann Smarty
      May 12, 2011 at 7:14 pm

      Xuan, t
      hanks for coming here to explain the fun features of the tool. Could you describe in more detail how
      'link suggestion' works? I haven't used it so far

      • Xuan Wu
        May 13, 2011 at 3:34 am

        @annsmarty:disqus Glad to see you are interested. Simply put, it highlights the links that
        may interest you, purely based on your personal browsing history.
        For example, I just opened msnbc main page with this feature turned on,
        and in the float panel (yucks! I know) it takes
        less than 1 second to list about 19% of the links from this main page,
        the 7th of which is "Cloud music service battle: Google vs. Amazon", and
        the reason is the title has the keywords "vs, service, music, google,
        amazon" (yes you can see the keywords yourself). These keywords are
        extracted from the titles from my personal structured browsing history
        (if you REALLY want to know the details of how the keywords are picked
        there's some in the end).
            What's distinguish this feature from other recommendation tools for web browsing that I know of is (at least) three folds:
        1. it's purely based on your personal browsing history, well, and also
        the local notes that you saved actually. Therefore I consider it a most
        personalized tool (yes the big sites make similar personalized
        suggestion when you browse through their web sites, with or without
        having to log into your account. Anyway they can only track where you've
        been on their sites and make suggestion based on that. On the other
        hand your browser has ALL your history across sites).
            2. as it
        doesn't rely on any online services typically provided by search
        engines, you don't need to worry that the tool sends some query words to
        the online services, with or without your knowledge. In an extreme case
        you can even use this feature offline on an opened page (I know it may
        sound ridiculous but sometimes it does help).
            3. it gives some
        clue about WHY the suggestion is given. As for now it shows the keywords
        in the titles. I find it very important to myself as I sometimes just
        can't help wondering why the **** some tool suggests a link or site to
        me, is it because some random people like it, or the tool likes it, or
        the tool really knows I would like it 'somehow', and if so what that
        'somehow' is?
            Sorry for this tedious introduction, and if you are
        not bored yet here's some dirty details about how the keywords are
        picked: first pick out the 'meaningful' words from the title of the
        current page (throw away word like 'to', 'the'); second search these
        words in the history like introduced in the post above, and get the
        structured history; third pick out the 'meaningful' words from those
        trees (for now only two levels), and use these words as 'keywords' for
        suggestion. The assumption is that the linked pages are related or shows
        your interest. In case you have little browsing history or local notes,
        it may give naive suggestion based on the current title only.
        Finally hope everyone enjoys it. If so please leave some replies or
        reviews, if not there's more reason to do so, although take it easy on
        the stars :)

        • Ann Smarty
          May 15, 2011 at 11:42 am

          Thanks for the awesome and detailed new feature introduction. I hope our readers will try it and share their thoughts!