How to Supercharge Firefox’s URL Bar

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Firefox’s URL bar is undoubtedly the browser’s most essential tool. Although the browser’s toolbar has a separate search box, you can search for pages with the address bar that also includes autocomplete drop-down lists. In addition, there are a few extensions you can add to Firefox to beef up the Awesome Bar, otherwise the URL bar, to make it even more awesome.

Add Search Engine Keyboard Shortcuts to URL Bar

Even though you can already search for pages with the Firefox URL bar, InstantFox Quick Search removes the separate search box from the toolbar and expands the address bar. This add-on also gives you a number of handy shortcuts so you can select to find pages with a specific search engine by entering a hotkey in the URL bar. When you’ve added it to Firefox from this Mozilla page, it will expand your location bar as below.

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Click the magnifying glass button right of the URL bar to open the list of search shortcuts shown directly below. Now you can enter any of those shortcut keys in the address bar followed by a keyword to find the pages. For example, to search Amazon enter ‘a’ followed by a keyword in the URL bar. When you press Enter, you’ll find Amazon pages that match the search query.

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Click the Style tab to further customize the URL’s bar drop-down list. There you can adjust the text size of the address bar’s suggestion drop-down list by entering a value in the Fontsize of suggestion popup text box. The tab also includes a Opacity of suggestion popup bar you can drag to increase or decrease the transparency of the URL bar’s drop-down list as below. Click the OK button to apply any settings.

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Add a Breadcrumb Trail to Firefox’s URL Address Bar

Location Bar Enhancer is an extension that adds a breadcrumb trail display to the URL bar comparable to the folder breadcrumbs in File Explorer. As such, the URL is effectively broken down into breadcrumb tags. Click the Download Now button on this Mozilla page to install the add-on, and then your URL bar should be like the one in the snapshot directly below.

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So in the shot above the page URL is broken down into a breadcrumb trail on the address bar. This means you can now click a breadcrumb in the URL to open its page in the browser. Furthermore, clicking an arrow beside a breadcrumb opens the menu directly below.

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The menu includes a list of hyperlinks on the page currently open in your browser. As such, you can click hyperlinks there to open the pages. Furthermore, you can also select Copy, Copy All, Edit, Delete and Add options. By selecting Copy All or Copy, you can copy all or a part of the URL to the Clipboard.

If you need to restore the plain text URL, press and hold the Ctrl key. Then move the cursor over the breadcrumb trail. That will display the plain text URL in the address bar without any breadcrumbs.

The breadcrumb trail URL bar also has a page loading progress bar when you open a new page. You can customize the colors of this bar by pressing the Location Bar Enhancer button on the toolbar and clicking Progress Bar. Then press the Custom button and select a color from the palette.

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The extension also has four alternative breadcrumb trail themes. Click Breadcrumb Styles on the Location Bar Enhancer window and then select a theme from the drop-down menu there. Click OK to apply the new settings.

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Add New Options to the URL Bar

The UrlbarExt add-on expands the URL bar with a new set of buttons. It gives you up to 10 options to select from on the right of the address bar. To get the extension up and running, add it to Firefox from this website page. Then you’ll find some extra new options on the address bar as shown directly below.

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Some of these options can come in handy. For example, you can copy full URLs to the Clipboard. Click the Copy URL button and then paste the address into text editor by pressing Ctrl + V.

There’s a Search site button you can press to search a specific website. Open a site to search and press that button to open a Google search page as below. Then add a keyword into the text box there and press Enter to find pages on the site.

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You can also select a tag option to add tags to site pages. Click the Tags button to open the menu below. Then choose a tag for the page. This enables you to open a page by typing its tag into the URL bar.

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Those are just a few of the extra URL bar options the extension gives you. To further configure it, type ‘about:addons’ in the address bar and press the UrlbarExt Options button to open the window directly below. There you can assign hotkeys to the options by selecting Shortcuts and choosing one of the commands from the drop-down menu. Then enter a keyboard shortcut for it in the Keys text box, click Insert and select OK.

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Fix URL Typos

A URL typo will certainly ensure the page doesn’t load in Firefox. You can fix typos in URLs with the URL Fixer extension, which Firefox users can add to the browser from this page. That automatically fixes minor typos in URLs entered in the address bar.

After you’ve added the extension to the browser, try it out by entering ‘’ in the URL bar. That URL will get a quick fix and still open in a page tab. It will correct typos in most mainstream top-level domains and in the http part of the site address. There is, of course, a limit to what typos it can fix; but so long as the domain name is reasonably clear it will fix the URL.

You can also configure the extension to fix specific typos. To do so, open the URL Fixer – Options window from the about:addons page as shown below. Click the Find & Replace tab and type a typo to fix in the left text box. Then enter the correct URL for it in the right text box, press the Add Correction button and click OK to close window.

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Those are four extensions that will certainly give Firefox’s URL bar a boost. They add lots of handy new search and customization options to the browser’s address bar.

Posted by Matthew on September 3, 2016

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