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I usually have to type Ctrl+F, type the search string, and then Alt+A to toggle "Highlight all", because only one match is highlighted by default. I want the "Highlight all" button to be always on, and I don't think I'll ever need to turn it off.

Currently:

  • "Highlight all" has to be re-enabled by the user for every page.

  • "Match case" stays toggled when you switch between pages.

Which is the wrong way around from a usability perspective.

Searching for some time did not yield any good results. This thread http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2077733 addresses the problem, but the solution there (Find Toolbar Tweaks plugin) doesn't work with newer versions of Firefox. The plug-in's page doesn't list any recent updates.

Is there a plug-in or a setting to get this standard behaviour in Firefox? (Chrome, Opera, and even IE all behave sensibly in this regard.)

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Sadly, Mozilla intentionally does not do this. See bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=266538 –  Gabriel Jun 23 at 18:12
    
@Gabriel The argument being that if "Highlight All" is on and a single letter like 'e' is typed, the contract of the functionality is that every letter 'e' on the page will be highlighted as you type, which will cause a major slow-down for large web pages. (This behaviour is highly annoying in Chrome.) The obvious solution there is to make the search-and-highlighting process asynchronous and low-priority, so that it won't block further user actions and will progressively highlight more and more matches, given time. Appropriate feedback that it's not finished yet can be given in the findbar. –  Evgeni Sergeev Jun 24 at 2:37
    
Yes, that insight is also in the Bugzilla ticket and was apparently ignored. –  Gabriel Jun 24 at 12:33
1  
@Gabriel It seems to be ignored because nobody wants to work on it. Probably a tricky thing to implement for what may be seen as a small gain. However, thinking about the number of users of Firefox who all use this feature every day, and remembering all those multi-million dollar scrapped projects with much more impressive functionality, except that they are sort of impressive in a vacuum, having zero users now, I think the utility/effort ratio for this feature is actually quite high. –  Evgeni Sergeev Jun 26 at 23:18

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

You could try the latest version 1.3.4 of FindBar Tweak. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/findbar-tweak/versions/

The "Highlight All" checkbox can be found in the extension's "Highlight" preferences panel.

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It works. I was already wondering if it's possible to write a Firefox add-on to do this, in a few minutes. But I can't see it taking less than an entire evening, in which case it wouldn't be worth it. It's surprising that Google didn't show any up-to-date solutions on the first page of results — I assumed it means there isn't one. –  Evgeni Sergeev Sep 9 '13 at 13:23

The extension Highlight all will highlight all occurrences of a work by double clicking on a word. I don't know if that will help you with what you want.

I couldn't find a way of toggling the highlight all button in about:config, but the case-senstive toggle is listed there, so it's probably not directly configurable.

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Yes, I've seen "HighlightAll" too, but I think that means I'll need to double-click a word every time, which is not better than having to click "Highlight all" or typing Alt+A. –  Evgeni Sergeev Sep 9 '13 at 4:01

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