A search sidebar is a browser feature that displays search results in a side panel. Search sidebars aren’t exactly a universal feature in web browsers. However, developers are beginning to recognize the merits of having side panels for performing searches.
Edge was among the first browsers to integrate a search sidebar in 2020. You can also enable a similar feature in Google Chrome and Firefox. This is how you can search sidebars with Microsoft Edge, Chrome and Firefox browsers.
Since Edge already has a fully integrated sidebar for search, you don’t need to enable an experimental setting or add an extension to enable such functionality in this browser. Edge’s side panel features a Look for button. However, you won’t be able to access it from there if this panel is disabled in Edge’s settings.
You can activate this sidebar and open its search tool as follows:
- Press Edge Other + F keyboard shortcut to display its menu.
- Click it Settings possibility of tab.
- Select Appearance on the left side of the settings.
- turn it on Show sidebar option.
- Then click on the Look for option on the side panel. The search sidebar will open without any keywords entered.
You can always bring up the search sidebar from Edge’s context menu. Simply select text on a page to search the web in Edge. Next, right-click on the highlighted text phrase and select the Search the sidebar for… option.
A search sidebar will then appear on the right side of Edge that displays matching page results for the selected keyword text. The original page from which you selected the keyword text will remain visible to the left of the sidebar.
Scroll down and click on a search result to open the page in the sidebar. By clicking X at the top of the pages displayed in the sidebar will take you back to the search results.
However, you can open pages in new tabs instead of the sidebar. Right-click on a search result and select it Open a link in a new tab option. Then select the new page that opens in the tab bar to display its contents alongside the search sidebar.
You can enter different keywords in the search field on the sidebar. Clear the current search phrase in the text box, then enter another keyword there. The sidebar will display all matching pages found with the Bing search engine (you cannot replace it with an alternative).
Google Chrome has an experimental search sidebar feature that you need to enable first. This function can be activated by activating a Lateral search flag in Chrome Experiences tongue. Here are the steps to enable and open the Chrome search sidebar:
- Type chrome://flags/ in the Google Chrome website address bar and press Come back to raise the Experiences tongue.
- To input lateral search in the Experiences the tab’s search box.
- Select Enabled on the Lateral search flag drop-down menu.
- Click on Revive to apply the new flag setting and restart the browser.
- Open Google in Chrome and enter a keyword in its search box to find pages.
- Then click on a search result to display its page.
Now you will see a g (Open search in side panel) on the left side of Chrome’s address bar. Click it g to display the sidebar, which will include the search phrase and results with which you found the open page.
This side panel is not quite the same as Edge’s. For starters, it’s perhaps no surprise to learn that Chrome’s search sidebar only works with Google at the moment. Also, you cannot open pages inside this side panel. Any search results you click on in the sidebar will open pages in the active tab to the right of it.
Note that the experimental Chrome sidebar for search is not a feature available in all versions of the browser. You’ll probably need to update Chrome if you can’t find the Lateral search setting in the Experiences tongue. Select the To help and About Google Chrome options in the main menu of this browser to check for updates. The browser will then automatically download an available update.
Besides a search sidebar, you can enable a bookmark sidebar in Chrome with much the same experimental setting. You can also enable other hidden features in Chrome with experimental settings.
Firefox does not have a built-in or experimental sidebar search feature. However, you can add such functionality to this browser with the Search sidebar add-on. This extension lets you search for selected text in a sidebar, like in Microsoft Edge. You can also choose to use different search engines in this sidebar.
To add sidebar search to Firefox, click the link below. Click on Add to Firefox on this page. press the To add to confirm and install the extension.
Then open a web page and select some text to search for. Right-click to bring up the context menu, which will now include a Search in the sidebar option. Click it Search in the sidebar sub-menu to select one of the four search engines (Bing, Google, DuckDuckGo or Yahoo).
The sidebar will then open with matching search results displayed. Clicking search links in Bing and Yahoo opens web pages in new page tabs to the right of the sidebar. However, selecting search results in Google opens the pages inside the sidebar. It’s a curious inconsistency, but the add-on still works fine.
You can configure the extension to always use a specific search engine. Right click on the Search in the sidebar in the URL toolbar and select Manage extensions > Choice. Then select a Always use search engine options.
The Search in Sidebar extension integrates with the Firefox sidebar. So you can view and open your bookmarked pages and history from the same sidebar. Click the drop-down menu at the top of the sidebar to select Bookmarks Where Story options. You can also select a Move sidebar right option in the same menu to change the position of the side panel.
To download: Search in the sidebar (Free)
Search Sidebars give Edge, Chrome, and Firefox users a new way to search the web. These handy sidebars allow you to keep search engines and their results visible on the sides of browsers. You will not need to use your browser’s back button to return to search results when using these side panels.