Firefox 3’s Awesome Bar is Awesome

February 26th, 2009 | Tags: , ,

I was reading this article about how when many Japanese Internet users want to visit a website, they type in the name of the website on Yahoo! Japan to do a search and click on the result rather than directly typing the domain name into their web browser’s address bar.  (This is based on Yahoo! Japan’s 2008 search ranking that the top keywords are to specific websites.)  This made me think about how I used to enter information into the address bar and how I do it now.

Since years ago when I was an Internet Explorer 6 user I would always have Yahoo as my home page.  In fact, I still do now since it does provide interesting news.  Whenever I would go to any specific website, I would type it in as a search term in Yahoo.  The reason I did this was because anything I typed directly into the address bar would stay in the drop-down list.  Why this bothered me was because I used the address bar as like a “super-favorites” menu of the top 10 or so websites I habitually visit everyday.  You know, like webmail, favorite forums, etc.  Yes, I know that’s not how you use it, but it was easier than digging through a long list of bookmarked favorites, and also I wasn’t a fan of the ‘Links’ toolbar either since it took up screen real estate. Since the address bar menu only displays the entries by most recently visited, by typing some other random website into that address bar pollutes the list with that address, and there was no easy way to delete that entry except to clear the whole browser’s history.

Then came the days when I switched to Firefox 2.  I was still following the same habits of doing a keyword search to get to a website.  However, Firefox 2 did have a method to remove entries, but it was cumbersome to often delete these entries.

Then came Firefox 3, with its heaven-sent “Awesome Bar,” as they call their address bar.  This made my search-to-get-to-a-website illness disappear.  The Awesome Bar literally, out of the package, displays your most visited websites, which, not surprisingly, are the websites I visit everyday!  Firefox keeps tabs on the count of how often you visit each website.  Since the Awesome Bar sorts by hits, I could free myself by typing any ol’ web address I’ve visited one or two times directly into the address bar and still not pollute what shows up in the address bar.  The Awesome Bar also searches your history urls and page titles with whatever you typed so that’s very helpful.  There are times where I’ve visited a website but had not bookmarked, and the history auto-search makes forgotten websites so easy to find.  Thank you Awesome Bar!

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