CyberNotes
Web Browser Wednesday




cybersearch.pngYesterday we announced the new Firefox extension that we launched called CyberSearch (our homepage for CyberSearch). It is based on the original version of AwesomeSearch (now called Searchery), and the reason I decided to create the extension was because I saw how it could make me more productive. Hopefully what I’ve come up with can be useful for you as well.

What is CyberSearch? It lets you perform various types of Google searches right from the address bar in Firefox 3. As you’re typing the extension will send your query to Google, grab the results, and then display them along side the history results that Firefox normally shows.

To make the extension even better we’ve supercharged it with a completely customizable keyword system. If you’re familiar with the built-in Firefox keywords understanding how to use these will be second nature for you. The video demonstration below will help put these in perspective, and show just how powerful they make the extension!

–Video Demonstration–

The best way to demonstrate how CyberSearch works is using a video, and so that’s what we’ve got for you. There are also a bunch of screenshots after the video.

–Features–

  • Supports Multiple Google Services
    You can perform searches and assign keywords to any of the following Google services: Web, Local, Videos, Blogs, News, Books, Images, and Patents.
  • Customizable Keywords
    Pick and choose the keywords that you can remember! You can have one keyword for doing a Google Web search, another for Google News search, and so on. The possibilities are endless!
  • Restrict Searches to a Site
    Using the keyword system you’ll be able to restrict a particular search to a certain site. For example, you can create one keyword that will only return results from Wikipedia while a different keyword will only show results from CyberNet News. Want results from multiple sites using just one keyword? No problem, just separate them by commas!
    Note: This feature is only available for Google Web, Blog, and Image searches.
  • Custom Icons
    Assign any icon to be shown next to the search results for a keyword.
  • Change the Appearance
    You can choose a customized background color for results that are retrieved from Google. That way you’ll know at a glance what’s coming from your history, and what’s coming from the extension.
  • Retrieve Multiple Pages of Results
    A customizable “keyword” is available so that you can even retrieve multiple pages of search results. Checkout the video for more information on how this works.
  • Hide Results when Using a Keyword
    You can optionally have Firefox hide the history results from the address bar when it recognizes that you’ve entered in a keyword. That way you see only the search results when using a keyword.
  • Doesn’t Interfere with Existing Firefox Keywords
    If you already have existing Firefox keywords setup this extension will not interfere with them. Our keyword system is completely separate from the one that is built-in to Firefox.

Here are some screenshots from the configuration section of the extension:

(Click to Enlarge)
cybersearch options 1.png cybersearch options 2.png cybersearch options 3.png cybersearch options 4.png

One thing that we placed throughout the preferences are the small question marks, and you can hover over them at any point to have a feature explained to you.

–Supported Google Services–

Eight different Google services are supported in CyberSearch, and we’re sure you want to know what the results look like in the address bar for each of them. Here’s a screenshot for each of the different types of Google searches that we support:

  • Web Search – Your typical Google search. Opening a result will take you directly the site.
    cybersearch web.png
  • Local Search – Find the address and phone number for any business in seconds! Opening a result will take you to a Google Map that shows where the place is located.
    cybersearch local.png
  • Video Search – Search Google Video and Youtube. Opening a result will take you to that video.
    cybersearch video.png
  • Blog Search – Find blog articles that have been written. Opening a result will take you directly to the article.
    cybersearch blog.png
  • News Search – Pull up news items. Opening a result will take you directly to the article.
    cybersearch news.png
  • Book Search – Find books. Opening a result will take you to the Google Book page for that particular selection.
    cybersearch books.png
  • Image Search – Searches for images, but isn’t all that useful since there is no image preview. Opening a result will take you directly to the image.
    cybersearch image.png
  • Patent Search – Search for patents. Opening a result will take you to the Google Patent page for that particular selection.
    cybersearch patent.png

–Installing CyberSearch–

Like what you see? Then go ahead and download the CyberSearch extension from Mozilla. This extension is still experimental, which means you’ll need to login to the Mozilla site before being able to install it. If you don’t have a login you can use a generic one that I’ve created over at Mozilla:

  • Username: firefox@cybernetnews.com
  • Password: cybernetnews

Note: If someone decides to be funny and change the password just let us know. Since we have full control over the email address we can change the password back at anytime.

–Overview–

Hopefully this extension will be as useful to you as it has been for us over the last week. If you have any questions or recommendations feel free to drop them off in the comments, but as it stands right now this does just about everything we’d like it to. Our initial focus will be on fixing any bugs that people find.

Regarding CyberSearch for other countries: At this time CyberSearch only supports the use of Google.com. We are looking into expanding this extension to support Google services in other countries. We’ve researched this a little bit, and we don’t believe Google’s API permits the use of the varying country’s Google search engine (eg. google.co.uk).

Download the CyberSearch Extension