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Using the Search Bar

The Search bar is also located on the navigation toolbar. Google seems to be the search engine of choice for many Firefox users, and by default it is the search engine used by Firefox. However, you are not restricted to Google, or any other specific search engine, and switching search engines involves a quick click on the Search bar icon.

A default installation of Firefox includes definitions for Google, Yahoo!, Amazon.com, Creative Commons, Dictionary.com, and eBay. You may add search engines to this list as well (see Figure 3.1). The default search engines in Firefox are

Figure 3.1. For many users, Firefox’s default group of search engines, displayed when you click the Change Engine button, is sufficient.


  • Amazon.com— You might wonder why some of these are considered search engines. For example, Amazon is a bookseller. Searching on Amazon enables you to find books and other products it sells that match your search criteria. A good extension for Amazon is called MAB. With this extension, you get a greatly improved search capability.

  • Answers.com— A search engine similar to Google. Answers.com has a toolbar for Firefox, and there is a supporting utility named 1-Click to allow the user to get information by pressing Alt and clicking text.

  • Creative Commons— This is an innovative, nonprofit, alternative to traditional copyrights and can be found at http://creativecommons.org. Anything written, created (as in an artistic creation), and so on is protected automatically by a copyright. The author need do nothing and is always protected by international convention. This is an implied copyright, which allows the holder to enjoin (or prohibit) an infringer from using the copyrighted work. The holder cannot, however, recover damages with an implicit copyright. An artist (author, performer, and so forth) can also apply for an explicit copyright, which allows the holder to recover damages from an infringer in addition to preventing an infringer from copying his work.

  • eBay.com— eBay is the largest, best-known online auction site on the Internet. (eBay says it’s not an auction house, but a place where people can auction items.) If you want to buy something, new, used, or whatever, you can probably find it on eBay. Of course, if you’re selling something, eBay offers an international audience of millions of potential buyers.

Firefox saves a history of searches, which can be cleared in the Saved Forms tab in the Privacy section of the Options dialog box. In addition, Firefox has a feature called Sanitize that clears certain information, such as history, forms, cache, and so on, when Firefox closes. Sanitize is available as a command in the Tools menu, in addition to being called when Firefox exits.

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