Firefox Search Plugin: Post Updates to Twitter right from your Firefox Search Bar!

April 18th 2008:
This no longer works. Try an alternative instead.


“Post to Twitter” is a search plugin for Mozilla Firefox which allows you to quickly post statuses (or “tweets”) to your Twitter account from the Firefox search bar. It is not an extension — it is a Firefox Search Engine. This means you can activate and install it in about five seconds, and start using it straight away without having to restart Firefox.

Evan Williams, the co-founder of the company behind Twitter, described it as

wicked cool


Take a look at the button to the left of your Firefox Search Bar now. You’ll see that the button has a faint glow around it (Mac users, the arrow will be glowing). This indicates that the website you are viewing has a search engine available which you can install with just two clicks – in this case the search engine is not a search engine at all, but a Twitter updater.

Click the drop down menu and click Add “Post to Twitter”. The search engine will be downloaded and installed and you can start using it straight away.

How to use it

To post a status to your Twitter account, simply select “Post to Twitter” from the search engine drop down menu (if it isn’t selected already), type your status, and hit enter. If you are already logged into your account on your status will be posted straight away. If you’re not logged in, you’ll be prompted to do so and then your status will be posted right after you’ve logged in.

Very Important

Once you’ve posted your update, don’t forget to switch back to your default search engine straight away so you don’t accidentally post to Twitter the next time you go to search for something. Simply click the drop down box and click on Google (or whatever your favourite search engine is) then carry on about your normal business.


The only requirements for this plugin to work are that you have Firefox 2 (or later) and a account.

Geek Stuff

The “Post to Twitter” search engine plugin is written in OpenSearch formatted XML. You can find out more about writing your own OpenSearch search engine plugins at the Mozilla Developer Center: Creating OpenSearch plugins for Firefox. If you’re familiar with the OpenSearch format then you might be thinking to yourself, hang on, this plugin should work in Internet Explorer 7 too, but you’d be wrong. The plugin uses the POST method which is not supported by IE7. The POST method is required to post your status to, and using GET will not work. If IE7 one day does support POST then I see no reason for the plugin not to work in IE7 too.

Questionably Useful Thing: Really Big Source Text

Update (11th August 2007): We now have numbers!


View-source. You’ve gotta love it. But it’s a bit boring sometimes – line after line of hypertext, with the only highlight being nice indentation if you’re lucky. I thought I’d liven things up a bit by putting some nice messages into the source of my web pages. For example:

 _____   ______   _____   _       _____   ______   _____   _____   _____   _____
|  _  | |  __  | |  ___| | |     |  ___| |  __  | |  _  | |_   _| |  ___| |  _  |
| |_| | | |  | | | |__   | |     | |     | |  | | | |_| |   | |   | |__   | |_| |
|    _| | |  | | |  __|  | |     | |     | |  | | |  ___|   | |   |  __|  |    _|
| |\ \  | |__| | | |     | |___  | |___  | |__| | | |       | |   | |___  | |\ \
|_| \_\ |______| |_|     |_____| |_____| |______| |_|       |_|   |_____| |_| \_\

That would surely cheer up any source code haxor. So I decided to spread the love and create a really big source code text generator. Give it a go below.


You can use the generator below to create really big source code text for your own website. Type the text you want to show up really big in your source code into the box below. It will show up in the larger text area underneath. Numbers and several punctuation characters work too, you’ll have to try them.

What Now?

Copy and paste the text out of the big text area and whack it into your source! You can paste it into a JavaScript tag as long as you keep the /* and */ in place, but don’t forget to put it between <!-- and --> if you’re just going to whack it into your source. View-source this page if you want to see a huge source text message out in the wild.