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Type CTRL-F and you can find the text on a button just fine. Type apostrophe and then type the text and you can find some links, and then hit Return to click on the link. The problem is that this does not seem to find some buttons.

Is there a way to do this so that it works consistently?

Alternatively, is there some accessibility extension that would force all such buttons to be clickable via simple keybindings (but preferably this would be behavior that is built into Firefox)?

EDIT: An example of where this exists is after you have logged into the Clipperz web site: You have to first have logged in, and then type apostrophe and then "account" and you should be able to then hit Return to open up the accounts page, but it does not work. I'm wondering that perhaps this is a bug in Firefox. Granted, if the "accounts" button were an image, then apostrophe searching should not work of course, but you can find the text via the CTRL-f sequence.

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Can you provide an example URL where CTRL+F works and ' does not? – nixda Dec 30 '12 at 19:20
Good point. See my EDIT above. – bgoodr Dec 30 '12 at 19:27
Do you have any examples of buttons that work? I'd say this functions only works for links (→ HTML a element), and never for buttons (→ HTML button/inputelement). Of course some links might look like buttons, but they are still links. – unor Dec 31 '12 at 23:38
I don't have examples for buttons; I'll search to find some examples and post them back if I find them. But, I think what you meant to say is "... some buttons might look like links, but they are still buttons". If you are right, and apostrophe searching does not work on buttons, but I can search and find the text on the button using CTRL-F searching, then I wonder why apostrophe searching does not also work on the button? – bgoodr Jan 1 '13 at 15:44
Because apostrophe searching is specifically for links (i.e. <a> tags). The browser is not "intelligent" enough to determine if the text not on an anchor tag is supposed to be a link or not. In any case, buttons aren't usually links anyway, so the apostrophe search is functioning as it should do. – Wk_of_Angmar Jan 2 '13 at 6:39

The feature is described at Find As You Type. Inside that page, it states in the To Be Done section:

Have it be able to search button text, as well as alt/title text on tooltips for images and objects -- the tooltip would popup with found text highlighted. This is bug 158757: Make type ahead find work with button and image labels.

So, I believe the comment left by @unor is correct in that it was not ever implemented for button text.

So unfortunately, the answer to my question has to be "no, you can't do that until bug 158757 is fixed".

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