Master your web browser’s search box


Posted in: Google chromeMozilla Firefox

The Search bar is located in the upper right corner of IE and Firefox while Chrome has this thing built into the address bar itself. The function is however the same – it gives you a convenient way to search using your favorite search engine.

Besides searching, there are also more interesting uses of the search bar.

1. Avoid spelling mistakes

If you’re writing an email in the browser and you’re not sure how to spell a word, you can just type that misspelled word into the search box.

Google will immediately offer you the correct spelling as a suggested query that you can copy and paste into your email message.

2. Clean up formatting from copied text

When you copy content from a web page to an email, you can paste that text into your browser’s search box first, and then copy it to the clipboard.

This will automatically convert the rich text to plain text removing any hyperlinks and other formatting that you don’t want to add to your email message.

3. Correct grammar errors

The search box can also help you correct grammatical errors in your sentences.

grammar errors

Suppose you are sometimes confused between words like “affect” and “effect” or between “advise” and “advise”. In that case, just type the entire sentence into the search box and it should save you from making that stupid grammatical error again.

4. Notepad search box

The search bar can be used as a notepad as it automatically stores all your search queries until you manually clear them.

This is very useful because you can easily save pieces of text in the search bar which you might need repeatedly in your browser later.

For example, I have an air waybill number for a package that I can store in the search box by performing a one-time search. Later when I’m on the shipping company website to track the status of the package, I can easily retrieve that number just by typing the first few characters in the search box – I don’t need to search for the e-mail containing this tracking number.

5. As your password manager

save password

Since my Gmail account got hacked, I switched to a very long and complex password. Now it can be hard for someone to guess this password, but it is just as hard for me to type this long string correctly, especially when everything in a password field is represented by asterisks.

So I store this ‘complex password’ in the search box. Whenever I need my Google account credentials, I just type the first few characters of the password in the search box, the string appears in the drop-down list from which I can copy and paste it in the password box. Here is a demo:

This method saves time, but obviously it is not recommended for people working on a shared computer.

See also: Send commands from the address bar

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