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How can I search for expressions like 'foo|bar' on webpages using browsers like Google Chrome or Firefox?

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6 Answers 6

up vote 13 down vote accepted

For Google Chrome, you could install one of the following extensions:

  1. Regular Expression Searcher

    • To open the extension, press /.

    • To start searching, press Enter.

    • To jump to the next match, press N.

    • To jump to the next match, press Shift + N.

  2. Regex Search

    • To open the extension, press Alt + Shift + F.

    • To start searching, press Enter.

    • To jump to the next match, click Next.

    • To jump to the next match, click Prev.

After installing the extension, restart your browser. When testing the extension, note that extension are disabled by default on Chrome's "special" pages, such as New Tab or the Chrome Webstore.

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I tried both these and neither worked. –  Jason Oct 3 '12 at 17:07
Regular Expression Search works better for me, Regular Expression Searcher breaking the html code (specially in <pre> text) –  kenorb Mar 13 '13 at 11:57
Another extension in the Chrome Web Store is Regex Search. It is more highly rated than the other two, and it works for me. –  mernst Oct 25 '14 at 16:56
@mernst: I've replaced my second suggestion (which is horribly broken in the latest Chrome) with yours. If you could jump to the next match without using the mouse, it would be perfect. –  Dennis Oct 25 '14 at 17:15

Here's a bookmarklet that'll highlight regular expression searches. It doesn't have incremental search like the native find box but it does the job. Each new search is highlighted in a different color.


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Fastest Search Best text search on page/in all tabs: count/regex/visualize & list result/find-as-you-type. Optional Instant web/history search in URLBar. Best custom search, multi-tab preview for selected text, dnd image/lnk, autocopy.

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Another option is VIMIUM.

The point of this Chrome plugin is to get VIM navigation to your Chrome pages, so you can use keys like "j" and "k" to scroll down the page.

However, since it is VI based it has regular expression support so does VIMIUM.

Much like VIM, while looking at the page type "/ and it will start searching the page . . . I don't use it often (use ctl-f much more), but when I need it, it is there and works.

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-1: Doesn't do regex search, which is what OP asked for... –  mgalgs May 14 '13 at 20:37
Yeah it does by "/" and your RegExp –  Frank May 15 '13 at 22:22
Oh, looks you have to enable an option in the Vimium Advanced Options to turn on regex searching. Quite useful! Will upvote if you edit your answer to include mention of the fact that you have to enable it in the Vimium options. –  mgalgs May 16 '13 at 0:25

Checkout Fastest-Search Firefox Addon :


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I recently went looking for this very feature as I got tired of searching for a word and having to go through all the instances where the word I'm looking for is a sub-string of a larger word.

Regex Find is a nice lightweight extension which enhances the standard Firefox Find Bar by adding an option to treat the search term as a regular expression. It seems to be Open Source as it source code is available on GitHub.

I also like it because it works well with VimFx.

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