Browsers, Search Engines

& Sites



Browsers - Firefox


Customize Icon bar by adding a printing icon:

Hover the mouse over the icon bar and right click* on a PC or on a Mac hold down the mouse button. Then click on Customize. Drag the printer icon up to the Icon Bar.


Set a Home Page:

Go to the page you want as a home page. e.g. google

PC     Tools, Options, General, Use Current Page

Mac     Firefox, Preferences, General, Use Current Page


Tabbed browsing:

Over a link, right click* and click on Open Link in New Tab


Increase the Size of Text on a Page

If the page is too small to view, press CTRL + (Mac keys are Command + ), Hold down the Control key and hit the minus ( - ) key to make the text smaller.


Searching for selected text:

Highlight a word or two, Right Click* and choose Search Web For

A site that will give you answers to questions as opposed to links to sites.


Bookmarks:   (called Favorites in Internet Explorer)

Manage Bookmarks

File, New Folder

Drag bookmarks to a folder


Viewing Toolbars:

View, Toolbars, click on Bookmarks Toolbar

Drag the URL icon onto the Bookmarks Toolbar

Right click* and click on Preferences to modify the name that appears in the Bookmarks Toolbar

Rearrange the toolbar by dragging back and forth


The Search Engine search box:

    Common Cause, copyright free and royalty free content




Firefox extensions: (addons):

    Google Toolbar

    Google Preview

    Stumble Upon





for an extensive look at configuring and using Firefox.



The Google Search Engine


Google          the six Tabs


         Web           Cached

                           Similar Pages

                           Definiton (in blue, underlined )

         Images        Size, filtering

         Groups        user discussion groups, prone to spam

         News          News stories from around the world, groupd by subject

         Froogle         Search for best prices

         Local          Search in areas near you


Google Advanced Search

         Search for: All words, Exact phrase, At least one word, Without the word

         search in a language

         translate language


Google Preferences

         Search for pages only in a language

         Safe Search


Google Language Tools

         translate phrases or whole pages


Google More

         Directory    useful for “bearing down” on a subject, e.g. Hong Kong Museums


                           use Ctrl + or Ctrl – to increase/ decrease the size of the page

Google Labs

         Google Maps

         Google Video

         Google Scholar

         Google Sets







 The High School Library Page


Google Earth



These pages can be found at





Sites Used



Tips Page


* Right clicking with the mouse on a PC brings up a context sensitive menu. An equivalent action on a Mac is to hold down the mouse button for two seconds.



Increase the Size of Text on a Page


If the page is too small to view, press CTRL + (Mac keys are Command + ), which means hold down the Control key and press the + key, either on the keyboard or on the numeric pad. Every time you hit the plus ( + ) key the text will get larger. Hold down the Control key and hit the minus ( - ) key to make the text smaller.



To open a new tab, press Ctrl T. You might want a new tab to start a new search.



Ctrl Enter (Command Return on a Mac)

Entering a name in the address bar, such as mozilla and using Ctrl Enter (on the Mac use Command Return) will add the http://www. and .com to the beginning and end of the name. e.g.



Entering a search term in the address box (not the search box to the right) and clicking on the green Go button will do an "I'm Feeling Lucky" search and return the page of the top result.



Tip: to see how recently a page has been modified, click Tools, Page Info


Search Techniques



Put quotes around a phrase to search for the entire phrase, e. g. "martha's vineyard".  Works the same as Google's 'use exact phrase'


Use AND, OR and NOT for Boolean searches, e.g. apple recipe AND (pie OR tart). Google does not need the AND


Omit verbs and common words such as: a, an, the, of.


Use synonyms such as: "automobile emissions” OR "vehicle emissions" [also illustrates use of quotes and Boolean OR]


Try the same search on different engines. No search engine indexes all sites.


Some search engines use the asterisk ( * ) to stem a word. (but not Google) Stemming means use the root or stem of a word. If you search for something like teach math* it will find math teacher or teaching math. Google stems automatically.


Google also uses the tilde ( ~ ) to search for synonyms. ~car will also search for auto, autos, truck, trucks, etc.


Truncate the URL to move up in the file structure of a site.

e.g.  Change to




Read more about search engines at:



Searching the Internet




         Impediments to searching

limited vocabulary

limited knowledge of the subject

limited knowledge of how information is categorized



         Some solutions

Generate synonyms

encyclopedia or overview article

How is information organized? in general, on this site?


MVRHS 01/20/2006