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Enable Partial Match AutoComplete in the Firefox Address Bar

Have you ever remembered the name of a page that you viewed recently but couldn’t remember the full link? Usually you’d end up searching through your browser history or just end up Googling for it again. So how do we power up the address bar search functionality to make this simpler?

The answer is the Autocomplete Manager extension, which gives you a ton of better functionality such as partial matching against either the link or title of a bookmark or history entry.

You can search for a keyword in the URL itself, which will match against either history or bookmarks:

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Or you can even search for a word in the title of the page, which I find particularly useful:

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There’s loads of options, for instance you can turn off the matching anywhere or tell it to show bookmarks first in the completion:

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Here’s the one oddity… this extension stores it’s own history database, so to clear the address bar history you’ll have to open up the History Manager tab, click the Retrieve button and then remove all. Even once you do that you still have to restart Firefox before the address bar will stop returning results.

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I’m not the type of person that ever needs to clear my history, so this extension works quite well for me.

Download Autocomplete Manager from Mozilla Add-ons

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/3/07

Comments (10)

  1. Lisaweb

    I thought I knew all the best extensions, but leave it to the Geek to find yet another one that escaped my notice! This extension is awesome, I’ve already installed it and made use of it! No more cramming my brain trying to remember what website I found that important subject or product on. I actually like the fact that it keeps it’s own separate history, as I sometimes accidentally erase my Firefox history, so this makes a nice backup. Way to go, Geek!

  2. Enigma

    It does use a hell of a lot more memory some times twice the memory before the plugin, so be warned.

  3. bigminisachin1231

    So I heard that this extension’s features are going to be automatically included in Firefox 3. Is that true, judging by 3.0b1? (I haven’t tested it; I’m not really a beta tester type of guy, but I was wondering if anyone knows anything about this).

  4. Nikitas Liogkas

    Hi everyone, I’m the author of the extension at hand. Sorry to disappoint you, but the extension does not keep its own history. It just reads the Firefox history file, and caches the entries for performance reasons (that’s why the memory consumption is higher). If you delete history entries via Firefox though, they won’t be shown by the extension too.

    Regarding the address Autocomplete in Firefox 3, yes, some of the extension features, but not all, will be included, notably matching against bookmarks and page titles, and showing favicons on the popup. They are also going to be changing the default sorting criterion quite a bit.

    Good stuff! :)

    nikitas

  5. The Geek

    Nikitas:

    Thanks for the note! I assumed it kept it’s own history because when I tried to erase the history it didn’t work… Even restarted Firefox, but the address bar still returned items from the history.

    I’ll look into it a little further.

  6. Ibrahim

    Cool, I tried Firefox 3 betas and nightlies but because my favorite extension for RSS feeds (liveclick) doesn’t work I don’t use it often. This will help tide me over until liveclick is fixed to work on Minefield. Thanks a lot.

  7. Alex

    My Firefox 3 address bar is broken. It doesn’t auto-complete URL’s the way FF2 did, or for that matter, the way IE, Safari and Opera do. Instead, it seems my bookmarks, search results and other stray pages I’ve visited are leaking into the address bar. Is there a way to fix this or do I have to upgrade to Netscape Navigator Gold?

  8. The Geek
  9. Alex

    Thanks TG. I was worried I might be stuck. Quick question though… Why would FF3 be set up this way? I’m trying not to judge here, but isn’t the more “natural” way for auto-complete to work is the way it has in the past?

  10. The Geek

    @Alex

    I assume they were trying to innovate… sadly they did so without giving the ability to make it go back to normal via an easy setting.

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