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How-To Geek

Replace Internet Explorer’s ‘Accelerators’ with SmarterFox

If you’ve had to use Internet Explorer 8, you’ll have noticed a couple of things. It’s getting much easier to use due to its growing number of similarities to Firefox, and it uses a clever feature called the “Accelerator” to try and give it a leg up over its chief competitor.

SmarterFox adds the same functionality as the IE Accelerator to everyone’s favourite browser.

Install the extension by clicking Add to Firefox.

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Then simply follow the prompts.

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Once this is complete you’ll need to restart your browser. Then you’ll want to get some text on screen and highlight it to see the difference.

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Note the extra buttons. You get a few options for search engines, but unfortunately it’s not open ended. Even so, the ability to search phrases so easily is incredibly useful, as the program automatically opens each phrase in a new tab. To add or remove buttons, go to Tools, SmarterFox.

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Click the Popup bubble tab, and add or remove search engines by checking/unchecking the boxes.

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You’ll also have likely noticed the qLauncher tab. Change your qLauncher shortcut to something usable.

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Now click OK and then enter in your shortcut. Immediately, you are taken to this menu, where you can search.

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Here you can either type your search term into Google, in which case you’ll be presented with a list of options, or simply choose a website to navigate to. It’s a little like a quick shortcut. These also open in new tabs.

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One thing that is lacking from SmarterFox is the ability to search maps from the Popup Bubble. Where IE allows the user to search an address and even view an immediate thumbnail from LiveSearch Maps, SmarterFox lacks this entirely. Hopefully in time to come the ability to search Google Maps in the same way will become available. Until then, however, the extra features of SmarterFox will have to suffice for the avid Firefox user.

Download and Install SmarterFox

Daniel Gilbert is a geek from down under that really likes Firefox and audio recording.

  • Published 06/16/09

Comments (3)

  1. Oz

    I just use Ubiquity. It does more or less the same thing and a whole lot of other stuff besides. Including the features you mentioned as missing. You can also write your own commands for it in Javascript and Ajax.

  2. Ray

    Have you tried Kallout? It seems like a better implementation IMHO. At least out the box I think it is. I like the fact that it is a drop down menu and there is also text not just the little icon.

  3. Lori

    Hyperwords has these tools and more–over 100 of these. It’s one of those addons that are severely underutilized because there are so many features!

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