Opera tips and tricks: Activating the integrated search feature

By default in Opera, Ctrl+F will open the “Find” dialog, as in any program, with which you can search the text of a webpage. This Find dialog gives you the most control over your search but it can be clumsy to use. If you would prefer a less cumbersome interface, while maintaining a certain efficiency in text searching you can use “Integrated Search”.

There’s a good chance that you’ve never seen the “integrated search” in question. Go to the search box on your address bar and click on the down arrow. At the bottom (usually) you have a magnifying glass with “Find in page” beside it. That’s the integrated search.

What we’re going to do is make “Ctrl+F” activate integrated search:

-Type “opera:config” in the address bar and hit “Enter”
-Click on “User Prefs
-Find “Use Integrated Search” and then check its box
-Scroll down and click “Save“, then “OK” in the confirmation dialog

Now, when you use Ctrl+F Opera will activate the integrated search box. The advantage is that the integrated search is done as you type, allowing you to see in real time where the wanted text is in the page. The first occurrence will be in green and the following occurrences (if there are any) in yellow. You can scroll through them by tapping the ‘Enter’ key. The disadvantage to integrated search is that you don’t have easy access to the search refinement choices that are present on the Find popup dialog: “Match whole word only”, “Match case” “Search up” and “Search down”. However I don’t think most of us will miss these things, and if you do, you can always re-inactivate integrated search by simply going back and unchecking it in the config menu. Or even better, keep integrated search activated, and instead of hitting Ctrl+f, hit Ctrl+G.

Making the in-page search remember what you typed in when changing tabs

In Opera, anything “below the tab” is tab-specific. Integrated search is below the tab and thus when you change tabs it will not remember what you typed in for the previous tab. If you want it to remember, we need to get it out from below the tab.

This can indeed be done because the “Find in page” tool exist as a separate entity as well.

Go to Tools>Appearance>Buttons>Search and drag the “Find in page” tool to the status bar or the personal bar (be aware that putting a search on the personal bar may disturb the order of your bookmark icons). Ctrl+F will now activate this tool instead of the tool in the address bar search function. The behavior is the same except for one thing: the word you typed in will not disappear when you change tabs. Ctrl+F+Enter will relaunch the word search on the new tab; no need to retype the word in the search box!

Some prefer using the period key

Another way to search the text in a web page is to hit the period key (“.” – you’ll see a small box slide up from the bottom) and start typing the word you’re looking for. However, I find this method less practical, because the next time you call it up, even on the same tab, it won’t remember what you typed in and scrolling through occurrences requires more complex keystrokes. Not to speak of the fact that “Ctrl+F” is the universal shortcut for text searching.

Anyhoo, to each his/her own, but I for one find the integrated search function really handy.

Enjoy!

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