Mozilla rolled out a new feature in Firefox 50 Nightly today that improves the page search functionality of the web browser.
Firefox users can tap on F3 to run searches for words or phrases on the active page. The first search results is highlighted by the browser once you start typing, and controls are provided to jump to the next in line or the previous one, or to highlight them all at once.
The highlighted term was sometimes hard to spot on the page, a fact first mentioned in a bug report dating back to the year 2007.
The user who reported the bug suggested to better highlight and/or dim the rest of the page, and that is exactly what is been implemented.
Page searches in Firefox 50 or newer dim the page slightly, and highlight the search term better so that it is easier to spot.
All search terms are highlighted automatically by search as well on the page which basically means that Mozilla changed the default state to highlight all.
Mozilla increased the number of search results that the find as you type search returns to 1000 from the previous limit of 100. You find the setting by loading about:preferences#advanced in the browser’s address bar and checking “search for text when I start typing” on the page that opens.
Classic Opera users may recognize this immediately as this is how Opera 12.x and previous versions of the browser displayed page search results in the browser.
Mozilla added two new preferences to Firefox 50 that allow you to change the behavior somewhat.
- Type about:config in the browser’s address bar and hit enter.
- Confirm you will be careful if the warning prompt appears.
- The parameter findbar.highlightAll determines whether highlight all is enabled or not when you search in Firefox. Set this option to false to restore the old behavior (don’t highlight all search terms on pages).
- The parameter findbar.modalHighlight defines whether the page is dimmed when you run searches. Set this option to false to disable the page dimming.
Mozilla plans to release the improvement in Firefox 50 if nothing major prevents that from happening. A couple of bugs need to be ironed out until the release, but there is plenty of time for that considering that Firefox Stable is currently at version 47. (via Sören Hentzschel)
Now You: What’s your take on the change?