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How do I search from the context menu with a search engine that isn't the default?

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In an older version of FF, I used to be able to go to the search bar, click to select a non-default search engine, and then use the context menu to search for selected text with that search engine. This was especially helpful when I would do multiple such searches in a row. Now I only have the option to search with the context menu for the default search engine, which I can only change by going into the settings. Is there a way to get that prior functionality back?

In an older version of FF, I used to be able to go to the search bar, click to select a non-default search engine, and then use the context menu to search for selected text with that search engine. This was especially helpful when I would do multiple such searches in a row. Now I only have the option to search with the context menu for the default search engine, which I can only change by going into the settings. Is there a way to get that prior functionality back?
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christ1
  • Top 25 Contributor
1809 solutions 13012 answers

Type your search string and pick the search engine of your choice. Pretty simple. https://support.mozilla.org/kb/use-search-bar-firefox

Type your search string and pick the search engine of your choice. Pretty simple. https://support.mozilla.org/kb/use-search-bar-firefox

Modified by christ1

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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
6918 solutions 56464 answers

Helpful Reply

There are two ways to change your default search engine on the search bar. This is based on Windows, but I suspect Linux is similar.

(1) Right-click the icon for the search site you want to make the default and choose Set As Default Search Engine

(2) To quickly switch between two search sites adjacent in the list, click in the bar and use either Ctrl+down arrow (for next) or Ctrl+up arrow (for previous). The drop-down will show the current default immediately below the text input area.

There are two ways to change your default search engine on the search bar. This is based on Windows, but I suspect Linux is similar. (1) Right-click the icon for the search site you want to make the default and choose Set As Default Search Engine (2) To quickly switch between two search sites adjacent in the list, click in the bar and use either Ctrl+down arrow (for next) or Ctrl+up arrow (for previous). The drop-down will show the current default immediately below the text input area.
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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
6918 solutions 56464 answers

By the way there are a few currently working extensions to add multiple search engines to the right-click context menu, but it appears they cannot be ported to the newer WebExtensions API that will is expected to be the sole way that extensions can interact with Firefox in Firefox 57 and later. So it may not be worth getting used to one of those at this point.

By the way there are a few currently working extensions to add multiple search engines to the right-click context menu, but it appears they cannot be ported to the newer WebExtensions API that will is expected to be the sole way that extensions can interact with Firefox in Firefox 57 and later. So it may not be worth getting used to one of those at this point.
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christ1 said

Type your search string

I'm not asking about typing.

jscher2000 said

(1) Right-click the icon for the search site you want to make the default and choose Set As Default Search Engine

This only works if there is some text in the search box. And I'd prefer the default search engine always be google when I start up the browser.

(2) To quickly switch between two search sites adjacent in the list, click in the bar and use either Ctrl+down arrow (for next) or Ctrl+up arrow (for previous). The drop-down will show the current default immediately below the text input area.

This works, though it's a bit less convenient than the old functionality. I have to cycle through all my search engines to get the right one, and it doesn't show me which one is selected by simply glancing at the search bar. Oh well. Close enough, I guess. Thank you.

''christ1 [[#answer-993845|said]]'' <blockquote> Type your search string </blockquote> I'm not asking about typing. ''jscher2000 [[#answer-993892|said]]'' <blockquote> (1) Right-click the icon for the search site you want to make the default and choose Set As Default Search Engine </blockquote> This only works if there is some text in the search box. And I'd prefer the default search engine always be google when I start up the browser. <blockquote> (2) To quickly switch between two search sites adjacent in the list, click in the bar and use either Ctrl+down arrow (for next) or Ctrl+up arrow (for previous). The drop-down will show the current default immediately below the text input area. </blockquote> This works, though it's a bit less convenient than the old functionality. I have to cycle through all my search engines to get the right one, and it doesn't show me which one is selected by simply glancing at the search bar. Oh well. Close enough, I guess. Thank you.
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cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
15848 solutions 143393 answers

You can use code in userChrome.css to have the drop marker visible all the time.

Add code to the userChrome.css file below the default @namespace line.


@namespace url("http://www.mozilla.org/keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.xul"); /* only needed once */

/* SEARCHBAR - autocomplete history */
#searchbar .autocomplete-history-dropmarker {
 -moz-binding: url("chrome://global/content/bindings/autocomplete.xml#history-dropmarker");
 -moz-appearance: toolbarbutton-dropdown !important;
 display:-moz-box !important;
 background-color: transparent !important;
 border-width: 0 !important;
}

  • create the chrome folder (lowercase) in the <xxxxxxxx>.default profile folder if this folder doesn't exist
  • use a plain text editor like Notepad to create a (new) userChrome.css file in the chrome folder (file name is case sensitive)
  • paste the code in the userChrome.css file in the editor window
  • make sure that the userChrome.css file starts with the default @namespace line
  • use "Save file as" in the text editor to save the file as userChrome.css.

You can use the button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the about:profiles page.

You can use code in userChrome.css to have the drop marker visible all the time. Add code to the <b>userChrome.css</b> file below the default @namespace line. *http://kb.mozillazine.org/userChrome.css <hr> <pre><nowiki>@namespace url("http://www.mozilla.org/keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.xul"); /* only needed once */ /* SEARCHBAR - autocomplete history */ #searchbar .autocomplete-history-dropmarker { -moz-binding: url("chrome://global/content/bindings/autocomplete.xml#history-dropmarker"); -moz-appearance: toolbarbutton-dropdown !important; display:-moz-box !important; background-color: transparent !important; border-width: 0 !important; } </nowiki></pre> <hr> *create the <b>chrome</b> folder (lowercase) in the <xxxxxxxx>.default profile folder if this folder doesn't exist *use a plain text editor like Notepad to create a (new) <b>userChrome.css</b> file in the chrome folder (file name is case sensitive) *paste the code in the userChrome.css file in the editor window *make sure that the userChrome.css file starts with the default <u>@namespace line</u> *use "Save file as" in the text editor to save the file as userChrome.css. You can use the button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the about:profiles page. *Help -> Troubleshooting Information -> Profile Directory:<br>Windows: Show Folder; Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder *http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Firefox
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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
6918 solutions 56464 answers

Air_Biscuit said

jscher2000 said
(1) Right-click the icon for the search site you want to make the default and choose Set As Default Search Engine

This only works if there is some text in the search box. And I'd prefer the default search engine always be google when I start up the browser.

On the first point, you can click the magnifying glass to drop the panel. On the second point, is that how it used to work?? I don't know if there is a way to do that.

''Air_Biscuit [[#answer-994023|said]]'' <blockquote> ''jscher2000 [[#answer-993892|said]]'' <blockquote> (1) Right-click the icon for the search site you want to make the default and choose Set As Default Search Engine </blockquote> This only works if there is some text in the search box. And I'd prefer the default search engine always be google when I start up the browser. </blockquote> On the first point, you can click the magnifying glass to drop the panel. On the second point, is that how it used to work?? I don't know if there is a way to do that.
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Happy112
  • Top 10 Contributor
442 solutions 4315 answers

Air_Biscuit said

christ1 said
Type your search string

I'm not asking about typing.

And the advice christ1 gave you is not about typing   -   it's a simple answer to your question. Have you tried it   ?

''Air_Biscuit [[#answer-994023|said]]'' <blockquote> ''christ1 [[#answer-993845|said]]'' <blockquote> Type your search string </blockquote> I'm not asking about typing. </blockquote> And the advice christ1 gave you is not about typing &nbsp; - &nbsp; it's a simple answer to your question. Have you tried it &nbsp; ?
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Question owner

Happy112 said

Air_Biscuit said
christ1 said
Type your search string

I'm not asking about typing.

And the advice christ1 gave you is not about typing   -   it's a simple answer to your question. Have you tried it   ?

christ1's response literally says to "type." No, I wouldn't try it, that's exactly what I'm trying not to do.

''Happy112 [[#answer-994037|said]]'' <blockquote> ''Air_Biscuit [[#answer-994023|said]]'' <blockquote> ''christ1 [[#answer-993845|said]]'' <blockquote> Type your search string </blockquote> I'm not asking about typing. </blockquote> And the advice christ1 gave you is not about typing &nbsp; - &nbsp; it's a simple answer to your question. Have you tried it &nbsp; ? </blockquote> christ1's response literally says to "type." No, I wouldn't try it, that's exactly what I'm trying not to do.
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zed_ma_dred 0 solutions 1 answers

What Air_Biscuit is descrying is the "old" search bar behavior. And by old i mean before the One-Click Search Engines. This old search bar would have an icon showing us which search engine was selected and if we were to change it, it would stay changed. As Air_Biscuit stated - "This was especially helpful when I would do multiple such searches in a row." and the reason is it reduced key presses and mouse movement. Now every time we need to search something on a not default search engine, we have the cumbersome task of moving the mouse to pick the desired search engine, use those key shortcuts to cycle among the multiple search engines, or make the desired search engine as the default one.

Initially we could solve this by changing the flag browser.search.showOneOffButtons in about:config, but this option was removed.

Before this update (57) there were some add-ons that could restore the old search bar behavior but now working (atm?).

Now, at the best of my knowledge, there is no option to make the search act as Air_Biscuit described making it very inconvenient to use, for users like me.

What Air_Biscuit is descrying is the "old" search bar behavior. And by old i mean before the '''One-Click Search Engines'''. This old search bar would have an icon showing us which search engine was selected and if we were to change it, it would stay changed. As Air_Biscuit stated - "This was especially helpful when I would do multiple such searches in a row." and the reason is it reduced key presses and mouse movement. Now every time we need to search something on a not default search engine, we have the cumbersome task of moving the mouse to pick the desired search engine, use those key shortcuts to cycle among the multiple search engines, or make the desired search engine as the default one. Initially we could solve this by changing the flag '''browser.search.showOneOffButtons''' in about:config, but this option was removed. Before this update (57) there were some add-ons that could restore the old search bar behavior but now working (atm?). Now, at the best of my knowledge, there is no option to make the search act as Air_Biscuit described making it very inconvenient to use, for users like me.
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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
6918 solutions 56464 answers

zed_ma_dred said

Now every time we need to search something on a not default search engine, we have the cumbersome task of moving the mouse to pick the desired search engine, use those key shortcuts to cycle among the multiple search engines, or make the desired search engine as the default one.

It is different, but not hugely different. As I see it:

Either there is an extra click:

OLD: Click icon, click new engine (sets as default)

NEW: Click icon, right-click new engine, click Set As Default Search Engine

Or there is an extra key to hold down:

OLD: Click in the bar, arrow down to preferred new default search engine (new default's icon appears in bar)

NEW: Click in the bar, Ctrl+arrow down to preferred new default search engine (new default's name appears at the top of the drop-down)


As far as I know, extensions cannot change those functional aspects of the bar.

You can alter the appearance of the bar to look more like the old one so the icons are better explained. And show "Search with Google" (or whatever is applicable) in the bar. Using custom style rules in a userChrome.css file.

''zed_ma_dred [[#answer-1031065|said]]'' <blockquote>Now every time we need to search something on a not default search engine, we have the cumbersome task of moving the mouse to pick the desired search engine, use those key shortcuts to cycle among the multiple search engines, or make the desired search engine as the default one.</blockquote> It is different, but not hugely different. As I see it: ''Either there is an extra click:'' OLD: Click icon, click new engine (sets as default) NEW: Click icon, right-click new engine, click Set As Default Search Engine ''Or there is an extra key to hold down:'' OLD: Click in the bar, arrow down to preferred new default search engine (new default's icon appears in bar) NEW: Click in the bar, Ctrl+arrow down to preferred new default search engine (new default's name appears at the top of the drop-down) ---- As far as I know, extensions cannot change those functional aspects of the bar. You can alter the ''appearance'' of the bar to look more like the old one so the icons are better explained. And show "Search with Google" (or whatever is applicable) in the bar. Using custom style rules in a userChrome.css file. * Rule generator: https://www.jeffersonscher.com/gm/search-bar-names.html * About userChrome.css: https://www.userchrome.org/
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