Help Topics

How to use the Editor

  1. Click the editor icon: The Editor Button
  2. Select the search engine you want to change/delete. At the bottom you see the information that is specific for that search engine.
    • Name stands for the label it uses in the drop down
    • Url means the URL, with all the sent parameters. If you have any knowledge about HTML and form posts, you could try to alter this by hand. Press safe when you are done.
    • Encoding shows the encoding type used for the post. This is very important for posting "special characters"
    • Method shows the Method: POST or GET.
    • Check the Default option (or the localized name for this) if you want this option to be active whenever you open a new browser window
    • Check the context menu option if you want this search engine to show up in the browser context menu as well
  3. If you want to delete an option, select the option in the editor and choose "remove item"

  4. Just for visually grouping your search engines I alo added the option: "add separator". It will add a dotted line in the listbox.

How to get to the preferences window

  1. Mozilla: Edit > Preferences > Advanced > NeedleSearch
  2. Mozilla Firebird: Tools > Options > Extensions > (Select) NeedleSearch Toolbar > (Press button) Settings

How to change the language of the toolbar

  1. Look at the page: to see if a language pack exists for your browser. Install it, if you don't have it
  2. Open the profile manager (start mozilla or Firefox/Firebird with the argument -P)
  3. Create a new profile
  4. Select as a region the language pack you installed
  5. If NeedleSearch exists in your language it will change language

When trying to install the latest version, I get a message saying I have the classic NeedleSearch installed (before version 2.5)

If you do have the classic version of NeedleSearch installed, please reinstall Mozilla or Firefox.

If you reinstalled Mozilla or Firefox over the old files, your browser will not show NeedleSearch, but the installer will detect the old files. Just remove these files by doing the following:

  1. Go to the directory where you installed Mozilla (i.e. C:\Program files\\Mozilla)
  2. Go to the directory: chrome
  3. You should see a directory called needlesearch, rename it to something else. You should be able to install the latest version of NeedleSearch now.

For Mozilla & NeedleSearch 2.5rc1+:
  1. Open the preferences window (Edit > Preferences...)
  2. Select Appearance
  3. Now swap to the option you would like under "Show Toolbar as" to either Text only, Pictures only or Text & Pictures (Or change it to another option and back to get the Toolbar in sync with the browser)

How to change the images of the toolbar in text or otherwise (text, icons or text & icons)

After a clean install of NeedleSearch 2.5rc1 you might see text & icons/pictures on the toolbar. Here is a description of how you can change this to text only, pictures/icons only or text & pictures:
For Firefox 0.9 & NeedleSearch 2.5rc1+:
  1. Right click on the Navigation Toolbar or Menu Toolbar. (Apple key + click for Apple users)
  2. A context menu should appear with the option: Customize... Click on it.
  3. Now a window should drop down at the bottom of this window with the option Show : and a pulldown
  4. Change this to the option you want or change it to another option and back to the same to have the toolbar in sync with Firefox

For Mozilla & NeedleSearch 2.5rc1+:
  1. Open the preferences window (Edit > Preferences...)
  2. Select Appearance
  3. Now swap to the option you would like under "Show Toolbar as" to either Text only, Pictures only or Text & Pictures (Or change it to another option and back to get the Toolbar in sync with the browser)

How to bookmark a search engine and you can't fill in ‘NeedleSearch’

If you want to bookmark a search engine but you can't fill in the word NeedleSearch, the best thing you can do is to fill in another value that you can recognize easily, i.e.: 9999 or aaaa, etc.
Switch on the Auto-Adder (it should start blinking in green) and submit the form. You will get a message saying: "The word NeedleSearch could not be found therefore nothing will be added". Click OK.
Now copy the information in the addressbar and open the Editor, create a new entry, give it a name and in the URL field put the information you just copied from the addressbar.
Now the most important thing: the easy-to-remember-value should be changed to NeedleSearch and you are done.

How to backup or reuse your search engine bookmarks

If you have NeedleSearch version 2.5 or higher you can import or export the bookmarks file in the editor under the File menu.

If you have NeedleSearch Classic (version 2.2.7 or lower), please do the following:
  1. Go to the directory where you installed Firefox or Mozilla
  2. Go to the subdirectory: ‘chrome’, then ‘needlesearch’ and then ‘content’
  3. This directory contains a file called: NeedleSearchData.rdf, these are your bookmarks
If you want to use it with another browser or with a newly installed browser, then first install NeedleSearch, go to the same directory as described above and put the file there over the present one.

Keyboard shortcuts

  1. Ctrl + Enter opens search result in a new tab
  2. Shift + Enter opens search result in a new window
  3. Right click on the toolbar to get the NeedleSearch Context menu. You can show and hide buttons on the toolbar by checking or unchecking the options
  4. Ctrl + F9 shows or hides the toolbar

How to uninstall NeedleSearch

For Firebird users just use the uninstall feature for extensions at: Tools -> Extensions -> Uninstall

Mozilla users cannot uninstall NeedleSearch since Mozilla doesn't support this. If you decided to install it in your profile directry, you will uninstall NeedleSearch by removing the complete profile with the Profile Manager. (Tools -> Switch Profile...). But it is better to just hide it by doing Ctrl(Strg) + F9 or View -> Toolbars -> Needlesearch Toolbar


  1. I don't see the Toolbar
    You can toggle the visibility of the toolbar for Mozilla under: View > Show/hide > NeedleSearch Toolbar and for Phoenix under: View > Toolbars
  2. When trying to add a search engine I keep getting the message:"Could not find the word NeedleSearch in the variables you posted....."
    Did you enter the word NeedleSearch case-sensitive? If so: unfortunately the auto-add function is powerful, though not invincible. The reasons for this are very different. I can say however that about 99% of all search engines can be added. If you find out why, tell me, because it gives me a good testcase for newer versions and I am running out.....! ;-)
  3. So all you do is replace the word "NeedleSearch" with the string entered in the textbox on the toolbar?
    Yep! That's all it does. So if you have a little HTML knowledge, you can probably think of other possibilities to use the bar then just searching in search engines. I myself for example have added with the link:
    Whenever I enter an HTML command, the toolbar directs the browser directly to the page concerning that command on devguru. The disadvantage is a 404 (Page not found) error when I type a command that doesn't exist.
    (If you try this example, type i.e. the word: 'area' in the textbox)
  4. I made a great list of search engines and now I want to use it at i.e. work or give it to a friend. Is there a faster way of getting the same list on another computer than editing it with the NeedleSearch Editor from the Preferences menu?
    Yes, there is. Go to the directory where you installed Mozilla. On Windows this would typically be in: Program files\\Mozilla and on Linux: /usr/local/mozilla.
    Go to the directory called chrome, go to the directory needlesearch, go to the directory content. There is a file called: NeedleSearchData.rdf. Copy this file to the same directory on the computer where you want to have the same list. YOU MUST ALREADY HAVE NEEDLESEARCH INSTALLED ON THAT MACHINE!!! Replace the existing NeedleSearchData.rdf. Restart you browser, et voilá, there it is.
  5. What's next?
    A lot... I want to be able to add some searchengines to the context menu as well. Then to write something that adds search engines easier, etc., etc..... Have a look at the issue list!

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