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.

2 thoughts 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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