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Change address bar on-click behavior (April 2020, Firefox 75)

  • 6 replies
  • 2 have this problem
  • 8 views
  • Last reply by urlbar

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Can I change whether all text in the address bar is selected on focus / single click?

This question was asked before, but the answer no longer works because the about:config preference does not exist and when creating it, it doesn't change anything: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1128139

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No, I think this changed recently and now the initial click always selects the URL. A second click is needed to deselect (or an arrow key, Home, or End if you are using the keyboard).

Is that not the most convenient behavior? Are you more often clicking there to make a small edit to the current address rather than replacing it with something new, or trying to copy only a portion of it?

I don't know that the old option would be brought back, but it would be helpful to get an understanding of how peoples' workflow is impacted.

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Thanks @jscher2000 for the response.

I realize I'm (as usual) in a tiny minority of power users and as a developer / security person I edit URLs more than the average person. I think my workflow must have been the same as with all one-line input boxes: dragging up selects all contents from the mouse pointer to the beginning of the string, or down to get to the end but I don't think I used that. It still works actually, at least on a fairly standard Debian with Cinnamon it works for me: mouse button down at the end of the address, move up and see it get selected once your pointer moves out of the box. The change is when you release the mouse button without selecting: that previously, I think, did not select anything. So there was a way to select all using only the mouse in one fluid motion without needing the new select-all behaviour.

With Ctrl+L, I think it always selected the whole bar, but then my right (mouse) hand is already on the keyboard and home/end/left/right is less far away. Then again, I guess editing URLs is virtually always done by keyboard, so after putting down the cursor I'd have to move to the keyboard anyway.

It's a bit hard to say what it was like since it's like manual breathing: I don't know how I was doing it, I just know that whatever it was, it's different now and my head throws a mental exception, if you will, when trying to use the old flow :)

Anyway, I get that this is not something most people want and I'll get used to the new behaviour soon enough. For example I just noticed that selecting a part works fine, double clicking works to select a word, and double click + dragging selects multiple words nicely (without then selecting the whole thing afterwards), so that probably replaces most of the use cases already. Was just wondering if there is a new configuration value or other way to override it. Thanks again for confirming it changed (at least it's not my imagination!) and asking after my workflow.

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See also:

  • Bug 1621570 - browser.urlbar.clickSelectsAll=false has no effect since 75b1
  • Bug 333714 - browser.urlbar.clickSelectsAll should default to true on all platforms

(please do not comment in bug reports
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/page.cgi?id=etiquette.html
)

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I'm using firefox on linux and the change affected my workflow greatly. It's even worse than on windows because of the way linux handles copy & paste with the middle mouse button.

I'm used to firefox' standard settings getting worse and worse over the years, but usually the option to change it to a more usable setting is somewhere to be found. In this case however, browser.urlbar.clickSelectsAll and browser.urlbar.doubleClickSelectsAll have been removed for some reason!?

I know that most people don't care one way or the other, but please bring back the option to make firefox a better tool for power-users.

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I think that you need to use a triple click on Linux for the middle-click clipboard buffer (there are two clipboard buffers on Linux). A single click on the location bar selects normally, a double-click selects the word like is standard in a text editor and a triple click selects the full location bar line (paragraph in an editor).

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Yeah, figured that out after a while. This is inconsistent with normal linux behaviour, the single-click selection should already put it into the primary buffer. But then single-click selection is inconsistent with (almost) all other textboxes in linux and even firefox itself. I tested it with the search box on the very page and a single click puts the cursor on that spot, as expected. I have no clue why mozilla thought it a good idea to make the textbox for the url behave differently. That will confuse and annoy a lot of people. And yes, it's a textbox. You write into it, press enter and the website changes. Like a search-box. Sure, there are underlying technical differences, but they should not lead to completely different behaviour. The fact that the url bar acts as a search box makes the differences even more opaque.

This inconsistency is what bothers me the most. I can get used to a different behaviour and having to click more might be annoying (I even hate double-clicks), but doable. The big problem is that I have to change my behaviour with each textbox. First I have to think what kind of textbox it is and how it will react.

So I want to rephrase my request: Please implement an option so that all textboxes behave the same, no matter what that behaviour is, though preferably consistent with the rest of the operating system.

Modified by urlbar

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