I am looking for a way to add a Chrome/Chromium-like behavior to Firefox. Using Chrome you can press Tab when opening a web page using the location bar, and then search the site-specific search engine using OpenSearch. Is there a way to do that in Firefox? It should also be able to automatically add the search engines without the need for manual interaction.

  • 1
    Site-specific search? Do you mean OpenSearch? (As described in Chromium's Tab to Search?)
    – manatwork
    Oct 15, 2013 at 14:46
  • @manatwork Yes. Sorry, I didn't know the term up to now.
    – dirkk
    Oct 15, 2013 at 16:03
  • No problem. Actually the OpenSearch extension only provides the base functionality and you are asking for a specific way to access it. (So not sure if your edit was really needed.) Firefox supports OpenSearch, but personally I never met such thing like changing the search provider according to current URL.
    – manatwork
    Oct 15, 2013 at 16:15
  • 1
    Unfortunately, all of this is not really solving my issue. My point is that I'd like to press tab to search the specific site. For example when using Chrome i simply type in i+<tab> to search imdb. Even when adding imdb to FF I have to type "imdb <search term>". Right now, I am using DuckDuckGo as my default search engine and by using the provided bang syntax search site-specific (most keywords are rather short, e.g. !w for wikipedia)
    – dirkk
    Nov 20, 2013 at 14:43
  • 1
    @minopret Your comment is not really helpful, as you don't explain how this should be doable using such a product. I don't think it is, because it is not a simply keybinding issue. Also, this software seems to be Windows-specific and I use Linux.
    – dirkk
    Nov 9, 2014 at 11:52

4 Answers 4


There are 2 possible solutions to add this functionality to Firefox.

  1. Smart Keyword - Built-in Firefox functionality to define a keyword for the search function on a specific site, and execute search in the location bar using keyword search_string then pressing Enter. Steps below (modified from link).

    1. Visit the page on the target website that has the search field that you wish to set as a keyword (e.g. http://imdb.com).
    2. Right-click on the search field and select Add a Keyword for this Search....
    3. In the New Bookmark dialog, enter an appropriate name for the bookmark (e.g. "IMDB Search"), and create a keyword (e.g. "imdb" or "imdb.com").
    4. Select any bookmark folder to contain the smart keyword. Click OK.
    5. To use the created smart bookmark, open a new tab, and enter the keyword and the search string in the Location bar and then press Enter (e.g. imdb William Shatner).
  2. InstantFox Quick Search Add-on - An add-on to customize search shortcuts and autocomplete while typing. Manually define a search shortcut, then execute search in the location bar using shortcut search_string then pressing Enter (e.g. imdb William Shatner). More information here.

  • 2
    This doesn't really answer my question as it doesn't add the search engines automatically and also doesn't comply to my restrictions explained in my comment superuser.com/questions/660516/opensearch-in-firefox/….
    – dirkk
    Feb 10, 2016 at 9:11
  • seems like smart keyword is the best functionality for now...
    – qwr
    Oct 31, 2020 at 9:52

Edit-- I read your above comment, to do this in as few keystrokes as possible could very well be a job for auto-hot-key. Press ctrl+k then you type in what you want to search, then create an autohotkey script to down arrow(x Number of times) and press enter. If you want an arbitrary search term to also be added you can have AHK send site:"custom.url", down arrow, enter, upon a bound key press. (It is perfectly acceptable to have the site:sampleurl.com after the search query in the cases I tried)

The functionality isn't in the location/url bar though. It is one box to the right of that. To search a common site the routine is easier. (These are customizable in about:preferences#search or with the magnifying glass, for example I just added superuser to the options so that I'll be able to now search superuser instead of typing site:superuser.com). Just type the query and press the bound keystroke so that the autohotkey script will:

  • send down arrow the appropriate number of times and
  • enter.

https://www.autohotkey.com/docs/commands/Send.htm should get you on the right path and sailing smoothly in no time.

Repeat this with a different number of down arrows and now you have auto searches based on an engine with customizable keystrokes.


This feature is now available in Firefox 83.

Firefox support: how to add search engines if the defaults aren't enough.

From the release notes:

When Firefox autocompletes the URL of one of your search engines, you can now search with that engine directly in the address bar by selecting the shortcut in the address bar results.

Also mentioned in Nightly news:

Search Mode and Tab-to-search were just released in Firefox 83!


What I did to get something like the Chromium/Chrome search behaviour was to set up duckduckgo.com as the default search engine and use its "bang!" syntax.

For example, to search for cat videos in youtube type !yt cat videos. To search in google you would have to type !g. Here are a few more shortcuts: duckduckgo.com bang shortcuts


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