Daily Tips & Tricks for Web Enthusiasts

Search for Text on Websites (Plus a Bonus Meta Tip!)

An oldie but a goodie: You can search for text on the current web page in any browser by hitting Command + F on Mac or iOS with an external keyboard, or Control + F on Windows or Linux. Just type what you’re looking for and the results will be displayed or highlighted.

Using an iOS device without an external keyboard? You can still search the current web page in Safari by simply typing what you’re looking for in the search/URL bar at the top. Matches on the current page will be shown at the bottom of the results list that appears when you start typing.

Bonus Meta Tip!

There are about 370,000 people born every day, and that number is constantly increasing. How many of them know how to search a web page? How many of them know how to copy and paste? How many of them know what the web is? Zero. They need to learn how to do these things, and in order to learn they need to be taught.

Some of them will teach themselves, some of them will be taught by others. Many will pick up the basics as they go, but many will not. I’ve shown many people, at all ages, things that were second nature to me that came as revelation to them. It’s easy to dismiss stuff like searching for text on a web page as something everyone knows, but not everyone does.

Everyone has their own unique life, and many lives do not include the same exposure or experiences you’ve had. The knowledge you take for granted, the skills you view as basic, innate facts are anything but to someone who doesn’t know them.

Assuming other people know something you take for granted is dangerous and irresponsible. It can lead to unintended negative feelings (no one likes to hear, “I thought everyone knew this!”), bad experiences, and other detrimental outcomes.

When I was trying to decide what to write about today I noticed that Past Justin jotted this down as a possible future tip:

Hit Command/Control + F to search the text of the current web page.

I almost deleted it, thinking it was too simple. Too obvious. Something everyone, everywhere, somehow had instinctual knowledge of. I’m glad I didn’t, and I’m sure everyone reading this who had no idea you could search for text on a web page is glad, too.