Table of Contents

Search Icons

The Categorize search-bar is not enabled in the default installation. You may have to enable it via the Tools menu. To enable it, open the Tools menu and choose the Show Categorize Searchbar menu item.

Categorize displays icons for frequently used search-engines as an icon-set on the right of the search-bar. It treats the first (left-most) search-engine in the search-engine icon-set as the default search-engine. The search-engine icons are accessible via the keyboard. You can tab to them if the autocomplete popup is not showing. If the autocomplete popup happens to be showing, you can either press <Space> until the autocomplete popup closes and then tab to the correct search icon or you can press <Shift+Space> to quickly select a search engine.

Categorize Search-Bar

Tabbing to a search icon when the search toolbar does not contain a query recalls the last used query. This behavior in combination with the <Shift+Enter> shortcut to open new tabs is useful for quickly repeating searches via multiple search engines.

The search icons are usable via the mouse as well. Searches performed by clicking icons via the mouse always open new tabs to display search results. This behavior is another option for easily repeating a search with several search-engines.

The search icons can be rearranged via drag and drop operations. You can also move alternate search-engines to the search-engine drop down menu by dragging them onto the drop down menu caret at the right end of the search-bar. Additionally, you can do the same via the search-bar context menu.

Categorize search-bar context menu

The Default Search-Engine

You can perform a search with the default search-engine by entering the search terms in the search-bar textbox and pressing <Enter>. Pressing <Shift+Enter> opens a new tab for search results.

The default search-engine can be changed by dragging and dropping the icon of the desired search-engine to the left of the existing default search-engine icon.

Search-engine drop down menu

The search-engine icon-set allows you to put as many search engines as you like right in the search-bar but this can lead to clutter. To avoid clutter the Categorize search-bar allows you to place less used search-engines in the search-bar search-engine drop down menu.

The search-engine drop down menu is accessible via a drop down menu caret at the right-end of the search-bar. You can perform a search with a search-engine in the search-engine drop down menu by typing the search terms in the search textbox, opening the search-engine drop down menu, and selecting the appropriate search-engine from the menu.

Categorize search-bar drop down menu

The search-engine drop down menu is for infrequently used domain specific search-engines. For instance, you can place search-engines for image/video searches, and acronym lookups lookups in that menu.

Menu items in the search-engine menu are draggable and you can use drag and drop to rearrange them. You can also drop items between the search-engine icon-set to add them there. You can also display a context menu for search-engine drop down menu items and use them to remove items or to move items to the search-engine icon-set.

Adding Search-Engines

You can add new search-engines by dragging and dropping bookmarks to the search-bar. A good place to find additional search-engines is the Groups Sidebar. If you added predefined bookmarks then there should be several dedicated search groups listed in the Groups Sidebar. You can move items from any of those groups to the search-bar.

Groups Sidebar with some search groups showing

Of course, you can create new bookmarks, add appropriate search url information to the bookmarks and add them to the search-bar.

Adding a custom search url to a bookmark

Removing Search-Engines

To remove a search-engine open the appropriate context menu and choose remove from the context menu.

Removing search-engines is inadvisable. It is best to move a search-engine to the search-engine drop down menu if you do not use it much.

You can switch to the Firefox search-bar by selecting Show Firefox Searchbar from the Firefox Tools Menu. You can switch back to the Categorize Searchbar via the same menu.

Switching to Firefox Search-Bar

Search Auto-Completion

The Categorize search-bar maintains a search history. This allows it to make suggestions and auto-complete the user’s queries while the user is typing. This comes in handy when the user wants to repeat a recently performed search.

You can recall a list of recently typed searches by clearing the search-bar textbox and typing a space. You will get a list of matching searches ordered by recency in case there is text in the search-bar textbox.
Search-Bar Auto-Complete

Entries in the search history can be deleted by tabbing to the appropriate entry in the autocomplete popup and pressing <Delete> or by pressing the Delete button at the end of an entry. Entries can also be deleted via the Search History Sidebar. The user can also clear the search history via the Search History Sidebar.


The Categorize search-bar supports the use of bookmark keywords. When a user enters a keyword search in the search-bar, the search-engine icon-set is hidden and replaced with a button for the keyword. The user can also use keywords without entering a query.

Search-bar with a keyword query


The Categorize search-bar automatically clears the search-bar after performing a search. The latest search can be repeated in a new tab by tabbing to any of the search-engine buttons and hitting <Shift+Enter>.

Additionally, by clicking the search history button (at the left of the search bar) recently used queries can be recalled. The same button clears any typed text from the search-bar when the search-bar is not empty.

Search History Button

Recent searches can also be recalled by typing a space in the search bar when no other text is present.

Firefox has its search toolbar positioned at a rather inaccessible spot. The unfortunate positioning of the search toolbar negatively impacts the usability of the toolbar and many users prefer not to use the search toolbar at all.

Categorize has a solution for the problem. It duplicates the search toolbar at the bottom of the browser window and allows the user to quickly hide and unhide it by pressing the ? key in a document window. Categorize calls this toolbar the Quick Search toolbar.

The Quick Search Toolbar

This toolbar functions in a similar fashion to the Firefox Quick Find toolbar. The Quick Find toolbar is accessed by pressing the / key in a document window. The shortcut for the Quick Search toolbar is ?, which as a key combination is the / key pressed along with the <Shift> key, so it is easy to remember.

The Quick Find Toolbar

Some users tend to search the web more than they search documents loaded in the browser. If you happen to be such a user or you happen to make heavy use of keywords, you can easily swap the two shortcuts so that the / key opens quick search and the ? key opens quick find. To swap the shortcuts, open the Quick Find toolbar options menu and choose the appropriate option.

The Quick Find Options Menu

The Quick Search toolbar automatically closed after a search. It can also be closed by clicking outside the toolbar, pressing <Escape>, or pressing <Enter> when the toolbar textbox contains no text.