Smart and lightning fast; this is how InstantFox is described. There are legions of browser add-ons which get classified as search enablers, smart searchers, or something similar. The Firefox address bar is not bad as a productivity tool as such. Then there is the search box by its side. You can pretty much do a Google search from there. You can also add search engines on the fly to the search box and set up keywords for your bookmarks too. But what if you wanted to do more just with the address bar and remove the search box altogether?
InstantFox lives up to its name by enhancing the Firefox address bar and turning it into a launch pad for your instant search and browsing needs. It combines the best of the address bar and the search box and acts as a timesaver for all your searches. It does so in three simple ways:
InstantFox allows you to search smartly by giving suggestions as you type the keyword.
Finally, InstantFox also allows you to search faster by displaying search results even as you type.
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Search from the Address Bar With Custom Shortcuts
You can manage your search engines natively in Firefox by assigning them keywords. For instance, t for Twitter. And you can natively search with the shortcut from the address bar too. So, what pluses does another add-on like InstantFox bring in? The one advantage is that the user does not have to set up the search engines and shortcuts manually as InstantFox has a set of shortcuts covering all common search engines. For newbies and users who are not that tech-savvy, this is a definite plus. You can of course, keep on manually adding your search engines too.
Another smaller but potentially powerful advantage is that you can tweak the search URL and add custom parameters to fine-tune your search. For instance, if you are searching with a constant keyword, you can enter that into the search URL or create a new custom search engine for that specific search.
Search Smarter with Auto-suggestions
As the screen above shows, InstantFox auto-suggests search keywords even as you type. This can be enabled for all search engines or you can be selective about it by activating-deactivating the suggestions from the individual search engines.
Search Faster with Auto-updating Search Results
InstantFox gives you the search results as you type and it can change the results on the fly as you change the query. This makes for a much speedier search. A press on the Enter key instantly takes you to the page for the suggested result (enable from Options-Advanced tab). The look of the suggestions can also be tweaked from the add-on’s options.
Users also might appreciate the right-click search function which is far quicker than from the search engines in the original search box as you don’t have to change the default search engine in the search box to use it from the right-click menu.
InstantFox is a small change in our search behavior on Firefox. But the seconds saved could add-up over a day and make for better productivity. What do you think? Which search enabling add-on would you recommend?