Modify Firefox to do full keyword searches

Today’s tip comes from Steve Lacy of slacy.com, and helps you improve your Firefox keyword searches.

First, what’s a keyword search? In Firefox, you can type stuff in the location bar and press Enter. If you don’t type in a URL (such as “tivo.com”) and instead type in a keyword (such as “tivo”), Firefox figures you want to do a keyword search. By default, Firefox performs a Google “I’m feeling lucky” search, which isn’t that useful. However, you can change it to do a regular Google search instead.

Here’s how to change the configuration:

  1. In Firefox, press Ctrl+L to go to the location bar. Type “about:config” and press Enter.
  2. A warning appears that this might void your warranty. To press the “I’ll be careful, I promise!” button, hit the Space Bar. A list of configuration items appears.
  3. By default, your cursor is in the “Filter” bar. Type “keyword.url” and after a second, just that option is listed.
  4. Press Tab a couple of times until the option is highlighted. Then press Enter, and a dialog box labeled “Enter string value” appears.
  5. Now, type in the following value for keyword.url:
    http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&q=
    (The existing default string is pretty close to that — you’re basically just removing &gfns=1 from near the end of the default string.)

Now, press Ctrl+L and type in a keyword. Instead of just taking you to Google’s best guess of what you wanted to search for, you’ll now see a regular Google result page. Click the link you want.

Steve points out that one could easily change this option to any variety of other interesting URLs.

One thought on “Modify Firefox to do full keyword searches”

  1. This is really a good tips for Mozilla users. Thanks for it.
    I’d like to add a shortcut that Mozilla Firefox novice users would find helpful :
    The Ctrl+Shft+T key combination to open the closed tabs. If you press this key combination once it will open the last closed tab and so on.

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