Keyword Search and Firefox 23

UPDATED: 1.0.2 adds support for POST search engines. You’ll have to install it manually if you have 1.0, since non approved add-ons don’t get updated automatically.

If you’ve been keeping up with the development of Firefox 23, you know that one of the big complaints is the change to keyword search. Starting with Firefox 23, searches in the URL bar will always use the search engine that is set in the search bar. So if you change your search bar to Wikipedia, and then do a search in the URL bar, it will use Wikipedia.

I’ve built an add-on that allows you to set the keyword search engine separately from the search bar. It can be any search engine you have installed. It’s called Keyword Search and it’s available from AMO.

Also note that this add-on includes DuckDuckGo as a recommended search engine. If you like the work I do, please consider trying it out and seeing if you like it.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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18 thoughts on “Keyword Search and Firefox 23

  1. I almost never search from the location bar but I’m impressed that someone who seems close to mozilla, like yourself, is willing to make the effort to reverse an unpopular change. It seems lately that every release mozilla makes is either a) mundane and featureless; and/or b) simply stripping/changing a feature someone liked. Maybe not everyone but a significant portion of people liked it.

    Mozilla really needs to be careful. I am very worried that Austalis is going to be an awful product killer. If I update one day and Firefox is not longer as customisable as it is now, perhaps due to scary changes I’ve heard are coming with Australis, then I’ve got no reason to stick with Firefox because the biggest thing I hate about Chrome is it’s lack of tweakability. Take that tweakability away from Firefox and dumb-down the default settings – as has been the trend (status bar, RSS, classic menu, tab groups) for a long time – and you’re really shooting yourselves in the foot just at the time when Firefox has started to get rid of it’s enormous memory and snappy problems. You could end up with a dumbed-down, high-perfoming but never-innovating product fewer people use. What a strange end for Firefox that would be. Three years ago it seemed like a lack of performance compared to Chrome was going to be the death knell!

    Oh, back on this topic: it’s possible that a cynic could suggest the move is simply a means to generate more search referral revenue when Mozilla’s seemingly spent a (too much?) of money on the mobile arena. Either that or the fore-runner to merging the search and location bars and thus mimicing the ‘feature’ of Chrome I hate the second most!

    Fingers crossed.

  2. Nice.
    Though unfortunately not working with the search from for me.
    Kind of inverting my search behavior in search and location bar therefore.

    Still can’t believe the new default behavior is supposed to be a feature.

  3. First I was confused. What’s wrong with the search?
    Then I was angry when I noticed this was the update’s doing..
    Then I found this and it works perfectly!
    Thanks a ton!

  4. Thanks! I had “URL bar for web search, Search bar for Wikipedia” in my brain for years. While I can see why they changed this (messing with people’s search settings is so, so common), it’s good to have an addon which can restore my old working practices.


  5. One of the reasons why i already switched Browsers. If i would be interested in a Chrome Lookalike and workalike i would be using Chrome already 😉

    Nothing beats small Browser Projects, that Devs do add customization and not remove it 🙂

  6. Thx for the tiny nice addon!
    But the built-in DuckDuckGo engine seems like doesn’t handle CJK language correctly.
    For example, a keyword “香川真司”, which is the name of a football player, is turned into “????” in the DuckDuckGo site.

  7. I am SO thankful! No, really. I’m a translator, which means I need to do a lot of searches in a lot of DBs, and I freelance, which means I usually need everything to work really fast. The “google in URL bar – quick lookup with just a click in the search bar” feature worked so well for me. When I saw what FF23 had done to my no-longer-all-that-awesome bar, I thought “oooh no you don’t!”… but without someone like you to develop a fix (I’ll call it a fix, because from my POV they “broke” the search feature), there wouldn’t have been much to do for the rest of us who barely know enough to change a parameter in about:config.
    And I love the DDG duckie, so… this bright new feature of FF23 should go QUACK itself. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  8. thanks very much for fixing some of mozilla’s stupidity.

    they’ve got age old bugs, like single threading and the browser falling over on it’s face if memory usage gets too high, but do they fix that?

    no, apparently that’s not as important as completely screwing up keyword search in the url bar.

  9. How on earth did the dev folks come up with this shit? Epic FAIL! OK, so keyword.URL could be haxxord and that would confuse noobs, but I can think of a dozen alternative ways to confront this issue. Instead, they come up with this “soln”!?

    Massive thanks to you, Mike. Its very nice of you to bugfix for Mozilla *rolleyes*