A search sidebar is a browser feature that displays search results within a side panel. Search sidebars aren’t exactly a universal feature in web browsers. However, developers are beginning to recognize the merits of having side panels to search.
Edge was one of the first browsers to incorporate a search sidebar in 2020. You can also enable a similar feature in Google Chrome and Firefox. This is how you can search in the sidebars with Microsoft Edge, Chrome, and Firefox browsers.
Since Edge already has a fully integrated sidebar for searching, you don’t need to turn on any experimental settings or add an extension to enable that feature in that browser. Edge’s side panel includes a Search button. However, you won’t be able to access it from there if that panel is disabled within Edge Settings.
You can enable that sidebar and open your search tool as follows:
- Press Edge’s alternative + F keyboard shortcut to see its menu.
- Click on the Settings tab option.
- Select Appearance on the left side of Settings.
- turn on the show sidebar option.
- Then click on the Search option in the side panel. The search sidebar will open without having entered any keywords.
You can always open the search sidebar from the Edge context menu. Simply select some text on a page to search the web within Edge. Next, right-click on the highlighted text phrase and select the Search in the sidebar for… option.
A search sidebar will then appear on the right side of Edge showing the matching page results for the selected keyword text. The original page from which you selected the keyword text will remain visible to the left of the sidebar.
If you scroll down and click on a search result, the page will open within the sidebar. clicking X at the top of the pages displayed in the sidebar will return you to the search results.
However, you can open pages in new tabs instead of the sidebar. Right click on a search result and select the Open link in a new tab option. Then select the new page that opens in the tab bar to see its content along with the search sidebar.
You can enter different keywords in the search box inside the sidebar. Delete the current search phrase in the text box, and then enter an alternative keyword there. The sidebar will display all matching pages found with the Bing search engine (you can’t change it to any alternative).
Google Chrome has an experimental search sidebar feature that you’ll need to enable first. That feature can be activated by enabling a side search flag in chrome experiments tab. Here are the steps to enable and open Chrome search sidebar:
- Write chrome://flags/ in the website address bar within Google Chrome and press Return to bring out the experiments tab.
- Input side search in the experiments tab search box.
- Select Activated about him side search flag dropdown.
- Click Relaunch to apply the new flag settings and restart the browser.
- Open Google in Chrome and enter a keyword in its search box to find pages.
- Then click on a search result to bring up your page.
Now you will see a GRAM (Open search in the side panel) on the left side of the Chrome address bar. click on that GRAM to open the sidebar, which will include the search phrase and the results with which you found the open page.
That side panel isn’t quite the same as Edge’s. For starters, it might not surprise you to learn that Chrome’s search sidebar only works with Google right now. Also, you can’t open pages within that side panel. All search results that you click on in the sidebar will open pages in the active tab on the right.
Please note that Chrome’s experimental sidebar for searching is not a feature available in all versions of the browser. You probably need to update Chrome if you can’t find the side search fit in the experiments tab. Select the Aid Y About Google Chrome options in the main menu of that browser to check for updates. The browser will automatically download an available update.
In addition to a search sidebar, you can enable a bookmarks sidebar in Chrome with very similar experimental setup. You can also enable other hidden features in Chrome with experimental settings.
Firefox does not have any built-in or experimental sidebar search features. However, you can add such functionality to that browser with the Search in Sidebar plugin. That extension allows you to search for selected text in a sidebar, just like in Microsoft Edge. You can also select to use different search engines within that sidebar.
To add Find in Sidebar to Firefox, click the link below. Click Add to Firefox on that page press the Add button to confirm and install the extension.
Then open a web page and select some text to search on it. Right-click to bring up the context menu, which will now include a Search in the sidebar option. Click on the Search in the sidebar submenu to select one of four search engines (Bing, Google, DuckDuckGo or Yahoo).
The sidebar will open and the matching search results will be displayed. Clicking search links in Bing and Yahoo opens web pages in new page tabs to the right of the sidebar. However, selecting the search results in Google opens the pages within the sidebar. That’s a curious inconsistency, but the plugin still works fine.
You can configure the extension to always use a specific search engine. Right click on the Search in the sidebar in the URL toolbar and select Manage extensions > Options. Then select a Always use search engine option.
The Find in Sidebar extension integrates with the Firefox sidebar. So you can view and open your bookmarked pages and history from the same sidebar. Click the dropdown menu at the top of the sidebar to select Markers either History options You can also select a Move sidebar to the right option from the same menu to change the position of the side panel.
Discharge: Search in the sidebar (free)
Search Sidebars give Edge, Chrome, and Firefox users a new way to search the web. Those handy sidebars allow you to keep search engines and their results visible on the sides of browsers. You won’t need to use your browser’s back button to return to search results when using those side panels.