Internet Explorer 8 has Instant Search box that supports several search providers. When you type a keyword or phrase into the Instant Search box and press Enter key or click the Search button, Internet Explorer will open search results from selected search provider in currently active Tab. If you want to open search results in a new Tab, use Alt+Enter instead.
You can still open Find Bar for quickly searching in currently open page by pressing Ctrl+F. Find Bar now searches right away for any characters that you type in the Find box and it highlights all matches on the page. This makes finding information really easy.
Relevance of search results depends heavily on how you use keywords or phrases and how you limit search criteria.
The most basic search would include one word only. Let's use windows as an example. This will return a huge number of search results from many fields of operation - window replacement companies, Microsoft Windows pages, etc. In short - this is not very efficient.
Many people try to limit their searches by adding keywords, for example: windows xp. This will actually widen search results, because now search engines are looking for pages that include windows or xp or both.
The better way is to search for exact matches by enclosing the words in double quotes: "windows xp". You can go further by adding other keywords before or after enclosed words - "windows xp" ballmer or sales "windows xp".
If you want to exclude a word or words from search results, use minus sign. For example, "windows xp" ballmer -error would search for pages that include exactly windows xp and ballmer, but not error. You can specify several exclusions by separating them with spaces: -error -presentation. Note that there is no space after the minus sign!
When you need to limit search results to a certain web site, use site: criteria. For example, to search for "windows xp" ballmer -error in Microsoft pages only, use: "windows xp" ballmer -error site:microsoft.com. This will return results from all web sites under microsoft.com domain - www.microsoft.com, downloads.microsoft.com, office.microsoft.com, etc.
You can use exact web site in site criteria to further narrow down the search results, for example: site:www.microsoft.com.
Sometimes you need to search by top-level domains, such as ".ee" for sites in Estonia or ".uk" for sites in United Kingdom, ".biz" for business sites, ".tv" for television-related sites, etc. In that case use site:.ee, site:.uk, site:.biz or site:.tv for criteria, for example: "windows xp" sales -drop site:.uk
Again, you can specify multiple criterias by separating them with spaces (site:.uk site:.ee) and you can exclude specific domains or websites (-site:.ee -site:.microsoft.com).
Please note again that there is no space after the colon!
Another good criteria is "filetype:". If you want to search for Acrobat Reader files, specify filetype:pdf, if you want to search for Microsoft Word documents, use filetype:doc. Some other useful file types are "xls" for Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, "ppt" for Microsoft PowerPoint presentations and "txt" for text files.
Why not create a search: "sales report" site:microsoft.com filetype:doc
Instant Search box is in the top right corner of Internet Explorer. You can activate it by pressing Ctrl+E on your keyboard or by clicking on it. Under the search box appears a list of defined Search Providers - their icons, to be exact. You can select a Search Provider by clicking on its icon. To the right of Search Providers list is Find... button, this opens Find Bar that searches in contents of currently open page only.
If you have not customized the list of Search Providers, you probably have only one of these - Live Search or Bing.
To the right of the box is Search button (magnifying glass), click on it to execute a search. There is a down arrow button on the right, this lists Search Providers and common activities related to Instant Search. You can use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Down arrow key to open it.
When you enter characters into Instant Search box, you will see autocomplete matches (suggestions) provided by the selected Search Provider (if the providers supports suggestions) and from previously visited web sites (History). If there is a match you need, just click on it to start searching right away. If there is not, continue typing.
In case you have multiple Search Providers installed, you can click on an icon at the bottom of the list to see suggestions from other providers.
To start a search after entering keywords or phrases, press Enter on your keyboard or click the Search button. This will open search results in currently active Tab.
If you want to see search results in a new Tab, press Alt+Enter instead.
Some web sites have added special code to their pages that allows Internet Explorer 8 to detect a usable Search Provider. In that case the down arrow part of Search button turns orange.
www.winhelp.us also has Search Provider support.
When you click on the down arrow part or press Ctrl+Down arrow key on your keyboard, you will see the detected Search Provider with yellow star mark before its name. Click on it to enable searching within this site's contents (not only the current page!).
There will be a magnifying glass icon instead of Search Provider icon to indicate that this Search Provider is not yet installed, but usable until closing Internet Explorer. There will also be no search suggestions from this provider.
If you want to install the Search Provider, click the down arrow of Search button, select Add Search Providers and click on the provider name.
In the Add Search Provider dialog, activate the Use search suggestions from this provider, if possible. In case you want this provider to be the default, select Make this my default search provider, too.
Click Add to confirm.
If a search engine or site has not added special code to their web pages, you can try finding the Search Provider manually.
For example, to add Google, click down arrow part of Search button or press Ctrl+Down arrow key and select Find More Providers....
This will open a Microsoft web page (iegallery.com) with available and approved Search Providers. Find "Google Search Suggestions" and click Add to Internet Explorer button.
Add Search Provider dialog opens. If you want to use Google as your default Search Provider, select Make this my default search provider. Always check the Use search suggestions from this provider box, if possible.
Click Add to confirm.
If you want to reorder or delete Search Providers, press Ctrl+Down arrow key or click the down arrow part of Search button and select Manage Search Providers.
In the Manage Add-ons window, Search Providers tab, there is a list of all installed search engines. Below the list there are links named Move up, Move down and Alphabetic sort. You can also enable or disable search suggestions of selected provider.
To remove a Search Provider, select it and click Remove. Please remember that Internet Explorer will not confirm this, the Search Provider will be deleted right away.
You cannot delete default Search Provider. Mark some other Search Provider as a default first by clicking on the provider name and then clicking Set as Default button.
Click Close to end managing Search Providers.
If you want to search for something in currently open web page, use Find Bar. You can open it by pressing Ctrl+F on your keyboard, clicking Find... button to the right of Search Providers list of Instant Search box, or by clicking the down arrow part of Search button and clicking Find on this Page....
Blueish Find Bar appears right under Tab bar and Menu bar.
Type something in the Find: box and all matches will be automatically highlighted. You can turn highlighting on and off by clicking the Highlight All Matches button.
Use Previous and Next buttons to move to the previous or next match on the page. The total number of matches is displayed on the right of Options button.
By default, Find Bar searches for any matches, not whole words and it is not case-sensitive:
- office matches "office", "office-ready", "Microsoft Office" and "libreoffice"
- present matches "present", "Present", "presentation" and "Represent"
To find only whole words, click Options button and select Match Whole Word Only.
To make search case-sensitive, click Options and select Match Case.
Close the Find Bar by clicking the X mark on the left.