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Swift Selection Search: run quick searches in Firefox

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Swift Selection Search is a browser extension for the Firefox web browser to run quick searches for Firefox from any web page that is open in the browser.

Firefox users have quite a few options when it comes to running searches. They can select text, right-click on the selection, and select the "search" option from the context menu to search for the selected text on the default search engine.

It is furthermore possible to search from the address bar or search bar, if displayed, or from the New Tab page, or to load any search engine in a tab to run searches.

Swift Selection Search

Swift Selection Search adds direct search capabilities to any web page that is open in Firefox (besides internal pages by default).

The extension displays a small popup menu with search engine icons and other functions. The default set of icons includes the search engines Google Search, YouTube, IMDB and the English version of Wikipedia. You find options to copy the text to the operating system's clipboard and an "open as link" function as well in the default menu.

You need to open the options of the extension to manage search engines and the order of items in the main menu. One of the first things you may want to do is load the list of local search engines known to Firefox. The WebExtension can't do that on its own; when you select the option, all search engines that Firefox knows about are added to the list of available engines.

Note that you need to navigate to the profile folder manually and select the file search.json.mozlz4 for that.


Swift Selection Search supports adding new search engines and other services manually next to that. Just click on the "add engine" option to create a new entry. You need to select a name and add search and icon links to the available fields to configure it. Use the variable {searchTerms} in the URL. The extension replaces it with the selected text automatically when you select the engine from the list of available options.

Examples of what you can add to the menu:

  • A translation service such as Google Translate or Bing Translate.
  • Shopping sites like eBay or Amazon.
  • Encyclopedias, Wikis or other sites to look up "things".
  • Search engines.

You may add separators to create groups of actions but there is no option to add titles to groups for better distinction.

The extension supports a large number of customization options. To name a few:

  • Define when the popup opens. The default option opens it on test selection. You may change that to add keyboard modifiers to the process or map it to middle-mouse clicks instead.
  • Change where the popup opens and what happens when you activate a search engine or function.
  • Enable automatic copy to Clipboard.
  • Change icon size.
  • Switch from single row to grid view.
  • Change popup colors, padding and other parameters.
  • Show or hide the context menu.

Swift Selection Search adds a context menu entry to run searches to the right-click menu by default in Firefox. You may hide the option, or hide the popup and use only the context menu search option if you prefer that.

Closing words

Swift Selection Search is a powerful search extension for the Firefox browser. You may use it to run searches with just a single click after selecting text and use extra functionality such as the handy copy to Clipboard or open as link option that it supports.

The extension supports custom search engines and gives you full control over the order of services in the popup menu.

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