Sunday, April 09, 2006

Firefox Search bar Tweaks

I was following a trail of linkage and ended up finding a handy Firefox tweak. So I thought I would toss in a few more to round out this post.

You know that little bar in Firefox where you can type a search in and then it shows you the Google results? Well with a few tweaks, you can make it much more powerful and useful!

Tweak 1: Add more search engines.

This is a no-brainer. Don't limit yourself to the default search choices (accessible by clicking the little down-arrow under the icon listed in the bar.) Go to the bottom choice and select "Add engines." It will take you to this page that lists a number of popular ones to add in. Or, dive a bit deeper and you will find this Mycroft page that categorizes hundreds of additional search engines to add in, depending on what your needs are. When you find the one(s) you want, just click the offered link and confirm the installation into your searchbar list.

Tweak 2: Remove a search engine.

Get the SearchPluginHacks extension for Firefox and you can easily remove ones you don't want.

Tweak 3: Give your search bar curves!

Get the WellRounded extension for Firefox and add some curves to the ends of the address and search bars.

Tweak 4: Stretch out the length of the search bar.

--UPDATE (12/16/06) for Firefox 2.0 versions! There is a code change needed to stretch the search bar for this version for Firefox. Follow the steps below,but use the code found in this link instead.

It's been a constant aggravation to me that I never seem to be able to see all the text I type in the search bar. It's just too darn short! However, it is pretty simple to adjust.

1) Get the code - Change the width of the Search Bar
2) Select all the text/code in the box at that link and copy it.
3) For Windows Windows XP/2000, browse to your profile folder in the path something like C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\[random name]\ and the rest should be obvious (more info here).
4) Go deeper and find and open the chrome folder (more here).
5) Find a file called userChrome-example.css and make a copy of it into the same directory.
6) Rename your copy to userChrome.css
7) Using something like WordPad to open the file (my Notepad made it look funky).
8) Go to the last line of the file's contents and paste the text/code you copied from step 2 above. (Don't add any of those "*" symbols like you see listed in the file. Just leave it like you paste it.)
9) Now, decide how wide you want the search bar to be. The default "400" value is too long for my taste. I have mine set at a value of "250". Just change the numbers to whatever you want it to be in both places you see the number in the text you pasted.
10) Save the file.
11) Close Firefox and re-launch.

If you did it correctly, your bar should be longer!

If you don't like what you did, just go back and modify the pixel size value in the file, save and relaunch Firefox. If you get tired, just delete the userChrome.css file you made.

Hope you find this helpful,

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