Firefox 3 location bar just became almighty

Or at least as mighty as it will get for final release.

So far, the most useful new feature I’ve found in Firefox 3 is the much improved location bar autocomplete that unlike Firefox 2 which only looked for web addresses in my history, this one looks on visited and bookmarked page titles and tags along with web addresses.

As expected, two more features have been added and will be available for Beta 2. The autocomplete list now shows page titles and addresses in two different lines and colors. According to studies on human cognition, it is easier for us to isolate elements on an image based on different coloring than any other attribute.

So, if the user knows she is entering part of a web address or a page title it will be easier for her to find what she’s looking for. Highlighting the match result also helps to direct the user’s attention.

Firefox 3 location bar with two lines

You may also notice that the Go button is overlaid on the location bar replacing the star button because the focus is on the location bar right now, so it is possible that the user may want to click on it. This is part of the working Firefox 3 visual refresh.

The round right cap is also gone, but I think this is temporary and in preparation for the new themes landing.

I have to mention that I don’t recall reading and hearing so much about usability and usability experimentation in previous Firefox releases development as in Firefox 3’s. It could just be me but I’d bet the change is really in the approach and the design process and I like it.

Update: For tweaks including ways to exclude bookmarks and history from the location bar, check these 9 tweaks for Firefox 3’s location bar.

463 thoughts on “Firefox 3 location bar just became almighty”


  2. The designers at Firefaux don’t give a rats ass that most people think some features suck more than a barrel full of ticks. Does everyone know that now Firefox tracks every website that you visit and sends the info back to firefox. They have guys there that do nothing but spy on your browsing habits. This version is going in the TRASH where it belongs.

  3. Awesome bar sucks large donkey balls. For fuck sake get rid of this shit and give us back a normal bar that doesn’t crawl though the bookmarks.

  4. The Awesome Bar has started redirecting me to yahoo search results once I updated Firefox. If I for example type in wikipedia instead of, I’ll get search results from yahoo for wikipedia.

  5. What is this? Seriously, what the hell is this?

    Even IE is an upgrade compared to this level of stupidity. Upgrading back to FF2 for now.

    Hopefully the retards are gonna fix this sometime.


  6. An EULA…. A “great” new feature that can’t easily be turned off…. browser bloat…. Firefox is so over.

  7. Yes, Very stupid Address bar.
    I reinstalled FF2.
    I don’t know why FF3 has a very good rating on all websites, FF3 is just not usable with that address bar.
    Internet Explorer is a lot better than FF3.
    I hope the developers open their eyes soon, and bring the good old Address bar back.
    The new Address bar is extremely Irritating.

  8. Tried FF3 and uninstalled it within 30 minutes upgrading back to FF2. On the 3 machines I use regularly I’ve told the annoying FF3 “upgrade” window I’ll never upgrade/install. Actually, I *might* consider it *IF* the “Awesome” (awful) Bar is changed to allow it to be completely disabled and work like FF2 *without* having to install an extension!

  9. Man, I put off upgrading to FF3 until they stopped supporting security on FF2. Now that I have to use this crap everyday I am done with using firefox. I will use IE or maybe Opera. Maybe Google is purposely making FF suck so everyone uses Chrome? Either way I am done with FF. It was cool back in the day when the Linux kernel was like 2.2 and 2.4 but it seems like FF isn’t trying to be better at usability it just seems like Yet Another Browser. Total Garbage.

  10. ……..lolwut.

    (1) How could Google purposely make Firefox suck?
    (2) In many ways Chrome is already better anyway. At least it doesn’t have the awesomebar, and it also doesn’t randomly freeze for 2 minutes for no reason.

  11. “and it also doesn’t randomly freeze for 2 minutes for no reason.”

    That’s your computer, if I can use a portable version without this problem (which I do).

  12. “That’s your computer”

    Nope, it doesn’t freeze my whole computer. Only firefox freezes while the other apps are working fine. I just have to drum my fingers for a couple of minutes until it gets un-stuck, and can then use it again.

  13. What is so “awesome” about having crap in the awesomebar pulldown menu even after you clear your history? Once a program starts thinking it knows better than me what I want, that program gets replaced by another one.

  14. does anyone know how to stop all the junk in the History bar. I changed my setting and it created 5 lines detailing every selection in the change. This piece of software is so bad, maybe not bad but stupid.

  15. I switched back to Firefox 2 almost immediately because, although you can tweak what the “awesome” bar does, I couldn’t get it to fix the bizarre order it puts things in. I prefer knowing exactly what’s going to pop up when I hit “w” because it saves time.

  16. this feature is useless and dumb. the people which used the oldbar behavior are getting crazy about the stupid results in the list and most others don’t even look at this list, not in Fx2 not now

  17. I think the “awesome bar” sucks. I hate it. I don’t use Firefox anymore because of it.

  18. I will continue to use FF2 or switch to another browser rather than using FF3+ with an ‘awesome bar’.

    It completely ruins the way I use my browser; E.g. for programming work I often need to switch between a development and a production environment which usually is a small change in the url. I need to type much more to get the correct url, while FF2 almost immediately filters the list down to 3 items or so.

    For some people this might be very handy, but why, why, WHY do I need to use about:config and the help of an add-on to _somewhat_ disable this… could we please get an ‘use Awesome location bar’ yes/no checkbox in the FF options? I don’t want to switch to Chrome, Opera or IE8

  19. @ Ethan
    90% of humans find it irritating.
    was a very stupid Idea, or at lease they should have given the option to bring back FF2 bar back.
    Now every one is stuck with FF2.
    FF3 is worse than IE, so every one will eventually throw away FF thing and go for other browsers.
    That will be the end of Firefox !

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