Highlight matches in the Firefox search bar

Mozilla Firefox has a search bar that can be used to locate something on a web page, a PFD or any other text file. Firefox also offers a live search because as you type a letter, it updates the matches it has found. Once you have written a complete word or phrase in the Firefox search, you can press the Enter key and it will highlight the first instance of what you have found.

If you continue pressing Enter, you will highlight the next word that matches. Now, if you want to highlight all matches at once, there is a keyboard shortcut that can do the job.

Highlight matches in the Firefox search bar

First, open Firefox and navigate to the page you want to search. You can use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + F to open the search bar. Now, type what you want to look for and the search bar will show you how many matches it has found.

To highlight all matches on the page, use the keyboard shortcut ALT + A. Once highlighted, you can use the Enter key to cycle through them all. The words are highlighted in pink and the word you are currently in is highlighted in green. Now, if you want to disable highlighting of all matches, you have to press ALT + A again.

Similarly, Chrome does this by default. That is, when you search for a word or phrase in the search bar, it highlights all matches. Instead of just the one you have selected. Firefox needs to be forced to do this through the keyboard shortcut that we already mentioned above.

Even so, there is some logic behind why Firefox does things this way. If you are dealing with a particularly large or long page. Or a page that loads as you scroll down can slow down the search function. And since the search is in real time, that is, it is updated as you type, you will have to scan the entire page after each letter you enter.

Settings in Mozilla Firefox

If you prefer that all matches be highlighted by default, you can change their behavior. To do so, open a new tab in Firefox and enter the following in the URL bar:

about: config

Accept the warning on the screen to go to the preferences page. Now, look for the following preference, double click and change its value to "True".


Also, when you search a web page after changing this preference, all matches will be highlighted by default. You can still use the keyboard shortcut ALT + A to disable the results. Similarly, preference simply changes the default behavior of the search bar.