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Search Features,

Operators [2] [3]
  [Tips(pdf)] [map]
+, -, ~, .., *, OR, |
images (parameters)
blog related

to:, cc:, bcc:

Google Groups



host: [machine.]
domain: [com]

Bing & Yahoo

Yahoo [about]
preferences [H][R]
Tips, Shortcuts [Basics]


Most Firefox questions asked in newsgroups could have been answered by simply searching Firefox resources for previously answered questions, specifically, and the newsgroup

Search Mozilla and other Firefox Searches -- SEARCH and Substitution Shortcuts

   Google site search for 
Home page:
[View without Frames]

It is important to learn to use Google and Google Groups, and one should look at the advanced search features of search engines.

Looking up Error Messages (#errmsgs)

Looking up messages returned in a dialog box.

When looking up an error message, it is important to search on the wording exactly as you find it in the message and enclosed in double quotes so it is recognized as words in specific order (as a phrase).

A Google search for "This object has been blocked." should take you to a MozillaZine knowledge base article at Object has been blocked - MozillaZine Knowledge Base" [-- --] and other helpful pages.

Examples, searching for a specific error message

If you follow the suggestions on this page then you might do a web search from the locationa bar with:
    g: firefox "This object has been blocked."

or for a groups search from the location bar limited to firefox groups, possibly
    ggff: "This object has been blocked."

Note you might not have noticed, but I include colons in my keywords, and the last thing I want is an accidental search initiated from the location bar.

At the left is a Cheatsheet that can be bookmarked to locate itself in the sidebar.  The parentips link at the top will display the titles (unless it is in the sidebar).  The (more) link at the bottom will open the cheatsheet in a new tab (target="_blank" is actually a new window).

Keyword with load in sidebar using a keyword does not work as reported 2003-08-05 13:01 PDT by Mike Connor (Bug: 215175 - bookmark keyword cannot be used to open bookmark in sidebar), so this is how you then had to get search into sidebar in Fx2.
1) invoke "cheatsheet:" keyword shortcut that has [x] Load this bookmark in the sidebar
2) click on "cheatsheet" link at top of
3) hit BACK button to return where you were

In Fx3 Mozilla broke target="_search" so you will have to click on a cataloged entry such as "cheatsheet:" entry in a folder such as "K" in your Personal Toolbar.

Since the table on the left was created, I thought what used to I really wanted to use was relatedsite:[url] if additional search parameters are to be used as link:[ulr] must stand alone. But all that did was look for words "related" "site" in addition to the other words. dolphin

So I got completely different results: dolphin dolphin dolphin

Google Web Search (#websearch) [*]

If you want to limit to and closely affiliated sites like the MozillaZine kb (knowledge base) you can use firefox "This object has been blocked." OR

Creating a search keyword, or adding search engine from a webpage's search form   (#searchform)

You can use the search form on a webpage to generated a Keyword Shortcut or a Search Engine.

Keyword Shortcuts for a web search

Keyword shortcuts are explained on another page, the following is one more suggested keyword shortcut to help you find Firefox documented materials with a web search.
keywordname / location
g:g: Google web search +-training.available
gff:gff: Search OR +%28inurl%3Afirefox +OR+inurl%3Akb +OR+inurl%3Adoc +OR+inurl%3Awiki%29 +-inurl%3Asearch.php+-inurl%3Aqa
gg:Google Groups search (see kws.htm)
ggff:Google Group;s search of (see kws.htm for code)
bug:Bring up a specific Mozilla Bug - not a search (see kws.htm
bugs:sSearch Mozilla Bugzilla (see kws.htm)
bugs:advBugzilla Advanced search form (not a search, see kws.htm)
ext:sext:s Search for Firefox Extensions (also see kws.htm for addons, addons2, etc)
kb:Search Microsoft knowledge base (see kws.htm)
kb_:Search Mozilla knowledge base, can be aliased to a simple colon (":"), if it will be your most common search,(see kws.htm)
Search for solutions to problems, The Mozilla kb is where to find solutions, and the articles there can solve most problems.
link:Articles that link to this page using AltaVista search (see kws.htm) for this AltaVista is much better than Google
linked:Articles that link to this page using Google search (see kws.htm)

hint: after invoking a bookmarklet from a keyword you no longer see the URL on the location bar, but the JavaScript.  By reselecting the location bar (Ctrl+L), you can then use Ctrl+Z (Undo) which first gives you back what you entered (keyword and operands), the next Ctrl+Z gives you back the url.  So you have the means of a modified reentry, similar to the ease of using the a search engine that leaves the last entry showing for modification and reentry.

The advantage of the search bar plug-in is that you can modify the search arguments easier because they remain on the search bar.

The advantage of the keyword shortcut is that it is faster to type out the keyword and search arguments than to use the search dropdown.  But to reenter you have to start over or Ctrl+Z (Undo) at the location bar.

Google Search with a keyword shortcut [*]

The Google Search ("g:") above contains some negative keywords to help eliminate some obvious content spammers from initial results.  You need to filter after Google Search because Google limits you to 32 words in a search.
  Google Help : Search Features (various search engines/features)
  Basics of Search
  Google Help Advanced Search (overview)
  Advanced Google Search Operators (all operators)
  Preferences, be sure to set results to 100 (max), and results on a new page.  (New page should go to a New Tab with the proper Firefox settings).
  Search Results Page

Search for Firefox Documentation:

In the gff: will search at and at some directories or nodes will be required:  firefox OR doc OR wiki and some directories are to be ignored:  qa (quality assurance), search.php (searches).  note:  talk is developer discussions not of what is available, wikis may be for current or for future development, addons (extensions) have not been suppressed but suggest you use a separate search when looking for extensions.

Search for Firefox Extensions:

The ext:s shortcut will will search at as a Google web search.  It cannot limit items to Windows and it will not provide the descriptions as you can get from the Customized Search Engine.

Search Engine to search addons [*] instead of using a keyword shortcut

Search for Firefox extensions:  suggest you set up a Search Engine tailored to search for Firefox Extensions that will provide a near complete description of each found extension.  For instance my choice is to find Firefox extensions that will run on Windows and return up to 50 at a time, sorted by name.  This is not a Google search and can't find the rules but the name of the extension or a few words works best.

Navigating the Addons Search Results:  Complaints of the listing being too verbose can be alleviated by installing the Document Map extension, then from the View menu, click on sidebar and then Document Map.  The sidebar will list a line for each HTML Header. 

  Using the SpaceBar to navigate down is the same as using the PageDn key. 

Advanced Search features for Google web search

You can find more the Google search tags among the following:

Search from Context Menu (#contextmenu)

Context menu is what comes up when you “Right-click” and derives it's name from the fact that the menu items and content change based on what you click on and what is selected.

Google Groups Search (#groupssearch)

Keyword Shortcuts for groups search [*]

keywordname / location
ggff:ggff: Google Groups search for Firefox groups*firefox*&num=100&as_q=%S

The ggff: keyword shortcut is specifically for searching but is not limited at this time and will search any group containing firefox in it's name.

More information on Firefox Bookmark keyword shortcuts (onsite), or Using keywod Searches - MozillaZine Knowledge Base  {Simplified directions also available at Mozilla:  Smart keywords}

Advanced Search features for Goggle Groups

You can find more information on Google Groups search tags among the following:

Don't use default search from address bar (#nodefault)

about:config     filter:  keyword

default settings in Firefox

Preference NameStatusTypeValue (Default)

If you want to get search results from Google rather than having a best choice selected for by by an "I'm Feeling Lucky" search then remove the "&gfns=1" from the keyword.URL and be aware that you can make other modifications or even change the default search from the Location bar.

If you don't like being whisked off to a Google search because of a malformed URL typed into the location bar and want to avoid some of the risks of those that prey on mistyped urls then you might consider the following changes to Firefox configuration variables.


Preference NameStatusTypeValue (suggested)
keyword.URLuser setstringhttp://
keyword.enableduser setbooleanfalse
Setting keyword.URL to False prevents an automatic Google (or alternative engine) search. 
Also setting the keyword.URL to local computer further guarantees that search will not be effective from the location bar. (original setting of can be restored with Reset)
The ie and oe stand for Input Encoding and Output Encoding

about:config     filter:  fixup

Preference NameStatusTypeSuggested Value Default Value
browser.fixup.alternate.prefixuser setstringadblock..wwwwww
browser.fixup.alternate.enableduser setbooleanfalsetrue
Setting browser.fixup.alternate.enabled to false will prevent automatically generating for an entry of IBM on the location bar; nevertheless, I prefer to also purposely change browser.fixup.alternate.prefix so that an invalid url would be generated and bring up an ADBLOCK message by blocking on "*adblock..www*".  If I type in a search without using a keyword or type in site improperly then I come up instantly with an Alert message with a triangular warning:   Firefox can't find the server at xxxxxx , which is preferable to further delay and getting a page full of advertising and "helpful" hints from my ISP.

Google Groups Search Orientation   (#ggorientation)

Google Groups has changed a simple and effective results presentation into a very confused and complicated results presentation, confusing everyone, and is apparently designed for use only with a full width window and a minimum resolution of 1024 x 768.  The gg:fix bookmarklet described later can remove the space hogging third column but does not work in Internet Explorer (IE6).  [the real Google motto: 'If it ain't broke, break it.']

Bookmarklets for fixing Google Groups search (#ggfix)

The following bookmarklet (gg:fix) will remove the third column of the Google Groups Search page.  I normally invoke this one from the bookmarks toolbar.  This version only works in Firefox and I don't know of comparable bookmarklets for other browsers. 
gg:fix is a bookmarklet, drag it to your personal bookmarks bar or to a folder within, right click on bookmarklet to give it a Firefox keyword of "gg:fix", then you are set up to remove the space hogging 3rd column of a Google Groups search by invoking gg:fix

Google Preferences not sticking (#preferences)

Search Settings,   Gmail Settings

Adblock blocks


About the time that article came out, somebody told me to delete all my cookies (always bad advice, unless they tell you to delete specific cookies).

Cure appears to to be turn off Adblock, change preferences, recheck preferences and test, then if okay, enable Adblock again, and SiteAdvisor even reports once more beyond the 100 hit limit in Google preferences. [2007-09-26 same day as started section]

Speaking of cookies:  (2007-10-29) My own cookies are for session-only with the following exceptions to allow cookies:,,, exceptions to block cookies: [block]

browser. search. openintab Boolean
  True: When performing a search from the Search Bar, open the results in a new tab.
  False (default): Open search results in the current tab/window. Note: Firefox nightly trunk builds only.

Plus in Google you might want to set
    max returns to 100
    open in new window
      (which of course you have FF options,
      tabs, new windows should open in a new tab)
      setting preferences requires cookies to be enabled for

Note: Google uses target="_blank" not target="_blank" so you might want to use Ctrl+Shift+click or Ctrl+click so that you don't keep looking at each search item in the same new tab/window that Google started.

McAfee Site Advisor (not for Firefox 3)

Search Mozilla and other Firefox Searches

keywords you might want to create and use -- g:, gg:, ggff:, ggfix:, ss:,

Google Search no longer best search engine (#crap)

Wonder why your searches at Google are not longer working here are two examples look at the cache view:

These search terms are highlighted: background image background repeat backgroundrepeat repeat  

But this is what I searched for: background-image background-repeat: repeat stipple

Here's an even more ridiculous hit, who cares if a word is in a linked from article:

Search Engines in other browsers (#browsers)

See MyCroft earlier for adding search engines to Firefox. The information in this section if for other browsers.

Change Default Search Engine (#changesearch)

You can choose a different default search engine from what you have.
Click on the search icon (Google) then choose "Manage Search Engines", then move the one you want to the top.  The default will be highlighted with boldface.

You can create a keyword shortcut by right-clicking within a search box on a web page then "Add a keyword for this Search...".

to use:
  mysearch: firefox google search alternative

You can create a search engine by right-clicking within a search box on web page then "Add to Search Bar..." -- provided you have installed the "Add to Search Bar" extension

To set the default search that you get from the location bar, you will have to obtain the search url and then substitute that into about:config variable keyword.URL

More extensions on my Firefox home page.

More related links

This page was introduced on September 28, 2006.
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