Find text within a web page with Command F


Find text within a web page with Command F
Quick Mac Tip, 04 September 2011

You’ve searched the web and come up with a page that probably has the info you’re looking for. But the page is loooong. Now what? Scroll slowly and read it all? Or use Command (⌘) F to search inside the page?

The answer should be obvious (Command (⌘) F).

The Search box to find within a web page.

The Search box to find within a web page in Safari. I’m looking for one name within a list of around 136 episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess.

Find within a web page

Use these keystrokes:

  • Command (⌘) FFind
  • Command (⌘) GFind Again
  • Command (⌘) Shift (⇧) GFind Previous

Command (⌘) F opens a Search box at the top of the page

Type Command (⌘) F and a small search box appears at the top of the page in Safari. See the screenshot above.

Note that this search box appears inside the page. It is not the main search box in the Toolbar that lets you search the whole web.

Firefox puts the Search at the bottom of the page and selects the first match.

Firefox puts the Search at the bottom of the page.

Firefox puts the Search at the bottom of the page.

Google Chrome puts a slightly different Search Box at the top of the page.

Google Chrome search box.

Google Chrome search box.

Opera also puts a slightly different Search Box at the top of the page and selects the first match.

Opera search box.

Opera search box.

They look different but work the same

Although each web browser handles the search box a little differently, they all do the same job.

  1. Type the text you’re looking for within the web page. In my example I was looking for a writer named Good.
  2. If the web browser doesn’t automatically go to the first instance of that text press Return. The first match is selected and highlighted in some way — probably in yellow.
  3. If that match isn’t the one you’re looking for either press Command (⌘) G to find the next match or use the arrows or controls beside the search box to go to the next match.
  4. Repeat Step 3 until you either find the text you’re looking for or reach the end without finding. Mostly the search will simply start again from the beginning.

If you need to back up use Command (⌘) Shift (⇧) G to find backwards.

Safari found the writer I was looking for.

Safari found the writer I was looking for.

The screenshot above shows that I found the two mentions of the writer I was looking for: Melissa Good.

In the screenshot you can see that Safari highlighted the currently found selection in yellow. All possible matches are highlighted in white.

So next time you’re faced with a long web page and want to quickly find something specific within that page use Command (⌘) F.

I wrote this Tip because of this article: Crazy: 90 Percent of People Don’t Know How to Use CTRL+F – Alexis Madrigal – Technology – The Atlantic.

Take a Tip: use TextExpander to avoid spelling woes

TextExpander types text for you. I wrote about it in several places, but start here: Book Review: Take Control of TextExpander. The software’s inexpensive and saves all kinds of headaches and time. [If you buy the book or the software through my affiliate links on that page the extra income helps me make more and better Tips.]

Tell us in the comments how you’re doing with finding text inside a web page.

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