Customise Your Firefox Search!

November 24, 2010, By Christian Cawley

Users of the Firefox browser will be well aware that they use a flexible and easy to use piece of software that is feature packed. If the features don’t exist already, there is every chance that there is a suitable plugin.

One of the areas in which Firefox succeeds over older versions of Internet Explorer (although IE 7 and later have resolved this shortcoming) is with the ability to not only search from the browser itself rather than a web page, but to select which search engine you wish to search with.

You might choose Google or Yahoo, or search through Wikipedia for information. You might also search Amazon for a particular item.

Add new search tools to FirefoxManaging and Finding Firefox Search Plugins

To add a search plugin to Firefox (noting that there are several included by default) you will need to go to the search box and click the down arrow. This is where you would normally choose a different search engine, but for this purpose you need to choose Manage Search Engines….

A new screen will appear – use this to change the order your search engine plugins appear by selecting the one you wish to change and using the Move Up and Move Down buttons to positioning it where you want it. You can also Remove the search engine.

Using the Get more search engines… button (or by visiting addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/search-tools), you can search through a huge selection of additional search engines, which can be added to Firefox as plugins. Many different search categories are available, so you might want to spend some time browsing the list – otherwise use the search tool to find the search engine you’re looking for.

Add a Firefox Search Plugin to Your Browser

When you have found a plugin that you’re interested in adding to Firefox, open the page that describes the item and check that it does what you want it to do. Also have a look at the ratings as these will give you a good idea as to whether this search tool is worth adding to your browser.

Use the Add to Firefox button to proceed – you will be asked if you wish to add the plugin to your list of search engines. Click Add to continue, as well as ticking the Start using it right away box if you’re ready to get started with the new search engine plugin.

Using a Firefox Search Plugin

With your Firefox search plugin installed, you can now select from a range of different search providers, allowing you to perform searches of different kinds.

For instance, with the IMDb plugin, you can search the popular movie database for films, TV shows, actors and production personnel, while with the eBay plugin you can quickly search the popular auction site.

All you have to do is use the drop-down menu to select your required search engine, and then enter the phrase you wish to search for – just as you would in a regular web search. The results will appear not in the search box but in the browser, and you can then proceed to visit the various links at your leisure!

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