Mozilla is working hard on Firefox 3.1 which is slated for release later this year, and with it will come several improvements. For starters it will include a Control+Tab replacement that makes switching between tabs a bit more fancy. It will also come packed with numerous improvements to the address bar to help please those of you who don’t like how it currently handles itself.

What they’ve added in the current nightly releases is a way to restrict what kind of results are shown in the address bar by using customizable characters. I’ve highlighted the corresponding options in the about:config that I’m about to talk about:

firefox 3 urlbar config.png

So what do these five new options do for you? I’ve got several screenshots below that show exactly how they work, but here is an overview of what each one does:

  • browser.urlbar.match.title: Returns results that match the text in the title.
  • browser.urlbar.match.url: Returns results that match the text in the URL.
  • browser.urlbar.restrict.bookmark: Returns only results that are from the bookmarks.
  • browser.urlbar.restrict.history: Returns only results that are from the browser’s history.
  • browser.urlbar.restrict.tag: Returns only results that have been tagged.

How do these work? It’s actually pretty simple. Just include the character anywhere in the address bar (separated by spaces) to have it restrict what results are displayed. Here’s an example of using the asterisk to only return results that are bookmarks:

firefox 3 restrict bookmarks.png

Including a pound sign in the address bar will only have it scan the titles of results, thereby ignoring the URL when searching:

firefox 3 restrict titles.png

Mix and match baby! This example will only search the titles of your bookmarks for matches since I’ve included both the pound sign and asterisk:

firefox 3 restrict title bookmark.png

How does all of this benefit those of you who hate bookmarks/tags showing up in the results? Hop on over to the about:config, find the browser.urlbar.restrict.history value, and delete the character that is assigned to the value. What that does is tell Firefox to only return history results when no special character is recognized. Then delete the browser.urlbar.match.url character while you’re at it if you don’t want the page titles being searched (meaning only URL’s will be scanned). You might have to give the browser time for the changes to take affect since some of your searches get cached due to performance reasons.

Hopefully this will make you a bit more fond of the address bar introduced in Firefox 3. Don’t forget to grab CyberSearch to supercharge the address bar even more, and the latest release of the extension adds Firefox 3.1 compatibility.

P.S. We’ve got a rather big update for CyberSearch coming up in the next few days. A HUGE thanks goes out to everyone that has been giving CyberSearch stellar reviews! Our extension currently has a 4.60/5.00 rating from 33 reviews. That’s awesome!