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Firefox’s Awesome Bar – Some Must Known Tips and Tricks

Firefox’s Awesome Bar – Some Must Known Tips and Tricks

This is guest post by Zain Ali who blogs at TipsoTricks. If you like to write for Shoutmeloud, do read Shoutmeloud revenue sharing program.

Firefox has been most favorite of users because of its speed, reliability and most importantly customization. The address bar of any web browser  is used to enter web addresses directly you want to visit. But after Firefox 3 and above, that location bar is getting smarter by every release.

It doesn’t just open the entered URL but also guesses where you are TRYING to go, based on where you have been. This feature is known as the “Awesome Bar”. If you don’t remember the web address of a certain page, you can type a few words from its title instead and hit Enter, Firefox will take you to the closest possible result based on your keywords by matching the history and bookmarks saved. Over time, it adapts to your preferences and offers better matches, based on how frequently you visit each site and how recent those visits were.

firefox awesome bar screenshot

The Location bar can be used for both for opening the pages that are kept in history and searching any web page based on the entered keywords.

Now let’s get to the point, some tips that will be really helpful if you learn how to make the most of the awesomeness of the awesome bar!

1. Smart Searching

If you don’t know the complete URL of a site, just enter its title or any keyword you remember from its name and press enter.If the name is too unique Firefox will open you the page you want directly. Otherwise based on keywords, it will open the google’s result page keeping the pages on top having the keyword you searched for.

2.  Search within any site directly from address bar

If you want to search in a particular site, then enter the your keyword like this:

Like, such as you want to search for a video in you tube. Then instead opening first and then enter the video’s name in its search bar, you can enter all the keywords after putting in the address bar at once.

firefox direct serching address bar

This will open up Google with the closest matching videos top on the results page.

firefox results page direct search

Similarly you want to search for some Registry Cleaner but only from

Just type “ registry cleaner” and see the results.

3. Auto redirection to popular sites

Someone told you that Spyware Doctor is the best antispyware of all. You should try it. You open the browser to download it but don’t the website where it can be found. You immediately open and search for “Spyware Doctor” to get the website to download it from. Don’t you? But with awesome bar you don’t need to worry about this at all. Just enter the software’s name and hit enter, this will auto redirect you to the software’s official site (if you type complete name correctly).

Pause reading here, open a new tab and try it now if you’re on Firefox. This is really cool!

4. Access both history and bookmarks from one location bar

Awesome bar can also be used to directly access bookmarked pages and history. Type something into the Location bar, and the autocomplete drop-down will show matching sites from your browsing history, as well as sites you have bookmarked and tagged. Matched terms are highlighted, making the list of results easy to scan.

In the example below, typing “free hosting” into the Location bar brings up a list of visited and bookmarked pages for “free hosting”.

awesome bar history

The starred webpage is the one bookmarked while others are from history. To refine the results there are some special characters.
Like if you want to see only bookmarked pages containing my entered keyword. I would put a  * (asterik) after keyword.

awesome bar history bookmarked Here are the special characters that can be used:

*  Add ^ to search for matches in your browsing history
*  Add * to search for matches your bookmarks
*  Add + to search for matches in pages you’ve tagged
*  Add @ to search for pages that have web addresses (URLs) that match what you’ve typed
*  Add # to search for pages that have titles or tag names that match what you’ve typed

Do share which browser you are using these days? Is it Mozilla or Chrome or any other?

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Zain has written 3 articles.

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{ 13 comments… add one }

  • Zain

    Firefox Beta 4 is good & lightweight, but crashes often. I reverted back FF3.

    @ Hieu
    You’re welcome. Thanks for liking this.

    Seems like we have fans of Chrome here. Chrome is good lightweight, but still lacks tight security and so many features that FF offers.

  • Techsputter

    Good share mate, but i have to mention that Google Chrome is way better than Mozilla Firefox :-) :-) :-)

  • Sammy | Best Home Business

    I used to be a great fan of Firefox until I found out Chrome. Now I am a loyal Chrome user and I find it as useful and faster than Firefox.

    Might be some features and add ons are missing but for most purposes I have found similar add ons for Chrome also. I am a happy fan.

  • Hieu Martin@Blog Tips

    Zain Ali THanks for awesome post about firefox. I just upgrade to firefox 4.0b2^^

  • Aditya

    Thanks for the tip. I am a Firefox fan and Firefox has always impressed me. These 4 features are also very helpful. It will really save everyones time. The “Auto redirection to popular sites” this one I am already using in my Firefox.

  • Zain

    @ Crazy Man
    Yeahh. This is my most fav. Now I know so many keywords to directly access some popular sites.

    @ Technolic
    You’re welcome. Glad you found it helpful.

    I’ll be coming with more Firefox tips soon. So stay tuned. ;)

  • tabinda

    gud tips & grreatt job:D

  • Technolic

    Thanks for the tips,specially that * one :)

  • CrAzY mAn

    3rd one is really cool. I tried it and it works really well

  • Zain

    Thanks for the comments.

    Chrome has a smart search bar, but still not as smart as this one. Its learning abilities are way too good than chrome and support of special characters are also missing in Chrome.
    Infact Tip #3 doesn’t even work on Chrome.


    • Mani Viswanathan

      Yup..but is the Beta 4 lightweight or same like the 3, because I hav’nt tried it. If its lightweight then ll grab my hands soon on it.!

  • Tech Maish

    Zain thanks for these tips. I am big fan of Mozilla Firefox, these tips are really helpful.

  • Nabeel | Create Your First Website


    Great tips, but Chrome has most of these features too.



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