Chapter 8: Searching the web with Firefox
Web Browsing with Mozilla Firefox
A frequent task you are likely to do when using the Internet is to perform a web search. You can search for all sorts of things including weather forecasts, news and sport articles, company contact details, products to buy, videos to watch, upcoming events, social media posts, troubleshooting tips and even tutorials on browsing the web with SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader.
To search the Internet requires you to use a search engine like Google, Bing, Yahoo or DuckDuckGo. Each search engine applies its own algorithms to optimise its search capabilities, has its own policies for use and shows its results in its own webpage layout.
In this tutorial we'll be assuming you are using Google as your search engine. Google is one of the most popular search engine providers and is the default search engine when using Firefox.
So let's give it a go.
To be able to review the steps on this page and then perform a search will require you to have two browsing sessions open.
To do this, either open the "File" menu by pressing ALT + F and select "new window" from the available options or press the hotkey CONTROL + N. Once done, you can press ALT + TAB to switch between your open windows.
If switching between windows is a new experience for you, then please spend a couple of minutes becoming familiar with the procedure. It is important to ensure you are comfortable performing this task before you proceed.
Now, if you are ready, let's do a search.
Performing a search
In the steps outlined below you'll be taking advantage of the search capabilities of the Firefox Address bar. One big advantage of using the Address bar to perform your search is that it means you do not need to return to the Google webpage each time you want to perform a search. Instead you just need to go to the Address bar, enter your search query and away you go again.
To perform a search, please read the following instructions and then switch to your second window to carry them out. Once done, switch back to this page to learn about ways you can navigate the search results webpage.
To perform a search using the Address bar:
- Press ALT + D (or CONTROL + L) to move focus to the Address bar.
- Type "chocolate cake recipe" and press ENTER.
Your search results will appear in a fraction of a second later on a new Google webpage. Once this page loads, the Dolphin Cursor turns on and is positioned at the top of the page ready for you to review the webpage content.
How to review your results webpage?
Throughout this tutorial, you've learned ways you can navigate a webpage using the Dolphin Cursor. Often the best method to adopt depends upon the way the webpage is structured, and it is often only through a bit of trial and error that a suitable approach can become recognisable.
It is also important to remember that websites can change overnight making step-by-step instructions difficult to provide. For example, Google could launch a new website tomorrow, making any instructions today obsolete. For this reason it is important to remain dynamic in your approach towards browsing webpages with the Dolphin Cursor.
So, the question is really…
"Can you find an approach that enables you to navigate the Google search results webpage in a way you consider effective with the Dolphin Cursor?"
If you are not sure, then the following tips may be of help:
- Google makes extensive use of Headings on its results webpage. You will often find main sections are marked at Heading level 1, subsections at Heading level 2 and results at Heading level 3. This enables you to use H, 1, 2 and 3 Quick Navigation Keys to move the Dolphin Cursor through the webpage.
- Google makes use of ARIA Landmarks, using Search, Navigation, Main and Content regions to split up its results webpage. This enables you to use the SEMI COLON Quick Navigation Key to move the Dolphin Cursor through the webpage.
- Google provides consistent heading text on its search results webpage, which enables you to use the Dolphin Cursor F3 Find option to search for the text you require on the webpage, for example, a search for "Web results" will jump you directly to this section of the webpage. Also, remember you can also use F2 to find a previous match and F4 to find the next match of your search term.
- The SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader Item Finder enables you to view, select and navigate to parts of a webpage. You can view a list of Headings on the webpage, list of ARIA Landmarks and list of Links in an easy to navigate form. You can open the Item Finder by pressing CAPS LOCK + TAB.
The above suggestions give alternative ways to quickly navigate the Dolphin Cursor through the webpage to help you reach the section you require. But, for some that can be disorientating so please remember there is also simply using the Arrow Keys to move the Dolphin Cursor through the webpage line-by-line. The approach you choose should be one that works for you.