If you're one of the brave testers who dove into the first beta of Firefox 3.1 released yesterday, you already know about the Ctrl+Tab goodness and other neat features it offers. But there are two more features especially useful for keyboard lovers with a thick bookmarks and history file: Firefox 3.1 offers several special characters that filter the smart address bar's drop-down suggestions to page titles, your history, your bookmarks, or your tags. You can also preview any keyword searches you have set up as you type. Here's how it works.
With the Firefox 3.1 Beta installed, you can start typing keywords into the "AwesomeBar" as usual to get a drop-down of suggested destinations culled from your history and bookmarks. But several special characters can filter those results as you type. Blogger Edward Lee runs them down:
You can restrict the search to your history by typing
^, or bookmarks with
*, or tagged pages with
+. To make what you've typed match only in the URL type
@, and for title/tags only use
For example, to find a page with the word "life" in the title or URL in your bookmarks, type
life *, and you'll get any page with life in the title as well as lifehacker.com.au pages (assuming you've got lifehacker.com.au bookmarked). You can mix and match operators, too. For just bookmarks with life in the URL, enter
life * @.
If you use Firefox keyword searches like we do, now you can see what query your keyword matches as you type. For example, I use
w as my keyword to search Wikipedia, so when I type
w into my address bar, the first suggestion looks like this:
Similarly, I use a
?lh keyword to do a Google search of just the lifehacker.com domain. Here's what that looks like as I type:
You can also roll up your sleeves and make some changes inside Firefox 3.1's
about:config area to tweak what shows up in the address bar's drop-down. Check out Ed's full post for details, or see our previously posted useful Firefox 3 configuration tweaks for more.
Firefox 3.1 testers, what do you think so far? Let us know how it's going in the comments.