Firefox’s ‘Awesome Bar’ is known to save you time on typing the URL: just start typing any part of the domain, URL path or page title and Firefox will ‘guess’ where you are heading. Someone may find the feature ‘too smart’ but it’s been working wonders for me for ages. I barely open my bookmarks now to find my saved pages or search Google to remember the page I once visited and forgot to save the URL.
FireFox’s Awesome Bar ‘Frecency’ (‘frequency’ + ‘recency’) algorithm has worked very well for quickly finding what I need and where I want to go:
Frecency is a score given to each unique URI in Places, encompassing bookmarks, history and tags. This score is determined by the amount of revisitation, the type of those visits, how recent they were, and whether the URI was bookmarked or tagged.
But even using it for ages, I wasn’t aware of the following Firefox Awesome Bar tips which make it even more awesome!
1. Three Awesome Awesome Bar Search Tips
Typing what you remember about the required URL is almost always enough to instantly find what you need but did you know that you can filter Awesome Bar suggestions by type?
Only Search Within Your Bookmarks
Type a single * and then your search term. Only bookmarked pages will be searched and, what’s more, the associated tags will be displayed and the tag names will also match your search (when possible):
Quick tip! Do you want to see the list of your most frequent and recent bookmarks? Just type a single * in the awesome bar and see the list!
Only Search Within Your History
Use ^ to filter search to your browser history (and exclude pages that have been given a star).
Quick tip! Use ^ ( without additional search terms) to find pages that you have visited frequently and recently to consider bookmarking and tagging them:
Only Search Within Your Tagged Pages
Use + that restricts the search to tagged pages (and search within tags as well).
2. Quickly Find Any Open Tab
If you are a fan of FireFox 4 ‘Switch to Tab’ functionality that lets you quickly jump to a currently open tab (instead of loading the same page again in a new tab), you will love this tip.
To see the list of all currently open tabs in your browser, just type % in your Awesome bar and you’ll see the list and, what’s more, will get an option to jump to any of those:
Quick Tip! If you have too many tabs open, you can quickly find the one you have in mind: just start typing a related word after the %:
In case you are looking forward to more FireFox URL bar tips, here’s an old post we did on how to enhance productivity with FireFox’s Address bar that lists some handy keyboard shortcuts to activate and browse the Awesome Bar as well as some other tips and addons.