How to Add Instant Search to the Address Bar in Firefox

A few weeks back Google announced their new Instant Search feature in Chrome that allows you to search in real-time while you’re typing a query. Today we show you how to get this feature in Firefox too.

1. If you haven’t tired Instant Search in Google Chrome, it’s a pretty cool feature that lets you type in real-time. You don’t need to hit enter or click the Search button. For example here we type Bill and showing different results.


2. Now when typing the letter “G” it brings Bill Gates up to the top of the search results. So essentially for each letter you type, it will show results based on what you’re typing in real-time.


3. You can easily add this feature in Firefox ass well. Head over to install the extension by clicking on Try InstantFirefox Now.


4. If you get a warning asking if you want to install the extension just click the Allow button.


5. Restart Firefox…


6. When it comes back, you’ll see the following message to start typing a search term in the Address Bar.


7. So in this example we want to search for Computer Security. The term “Computer s” gives a bunch of computer manufacturer sites…


8. But now that we have “Computer Sec” it instantly brings up results for what we’re looking for.


9. There are a couple of settings to look at however. Anytime you open a new tab it will default to InstantFirefox, so if you have Firefox set to a specific page when opening a new tab, it will be gone.


10. You can change that though by clicking on Settings in the lower right corner of the InstantFirefox search window.


11. Then under General Settings turn off Open InstantFirefox search by default on new tab, and make sure to click on Save General Settings after making the change.


12. You’ll also see the search results don’t look like a typical Google search page, but it is powered by Google. There are also website icon previews next to the results. Some may like this feature, but if not you can turn that off in General Settings too.


13. There are also some cool Keyword Helpers you can set to search favorite sites like Wikipedia, YouTube, IMDB, and others.


14. For example if you want to search YouTube, type “y search term” – search term being whatever you’re looking for. Like in this example we typed in “y windows 7”. Make sure you hit the spacebar after the Keyword Helper before the search term.


15. Then click the Play icon to preview the video without leaving the search page…another neat feature!


16. Another cool thing you can add your own Keyword Helpers. In this example we added “sh” to search…make sure you remember to save your new Search Helper.


17. Like in this example we typed in “sh blu ray” to get results from Simple Help.


What’s cool about this Add-on is not only does it add an instant search feature, but also lets you search in the Address Bar like you can in Chrome, Safari, and IE 9 Beta. With the other additional search customizations you can do, this might be an Add-on to consider.

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