Searching for text on a webpage, using Control-F, text found, still can't see it.

Sometimes when I am on a web page that contains a lot of different elements, I’ll use control-f to quickly find what I am looking for.

On busy-looking websites, mere highlighting of the matched text is not enough to draw my eyes to it.

Is there some hidden browser feature I can use to make the matched text stand out? Ie, dim the rest of page? Force an animated circle to collapse on to the matched text? Etc…


Are you using Windows? (I don’t know for certain if ctl f is Windows specific). If so, have you tried changing the setting in the Windows colour scheme?
If you are not using Windows, or your browser is using it’s own colour settings, then you will have to specify what your OS is, and which browser you use.

Yeah, knowing which browser you use will help, because Firefox add-ons like this one may be the answer, but no good if you’re using Chrome or Safari or something.

Firefox has a “Highlight all” option without any addons. But when this happens, it seems that for whatever reason the select term is not on the screen, but a few lines about or maybe below.

Meanwhile - the OP is sitting at their computer repeatedly stabbing ctl f, while weeping and screaming,
‘Where’s my damn thread?! I can’t see it! For the love of Dogs, WHERE THE FUCK IS IT?!?!!’

I’ve noticed that sometimes CTRL-F “finds” search terms that simply are not visible on the web page at all. I don’t know if it’s because they are hidden in mouseover menus or pop-ups or what, but they’re certainly not visible on the screen.

One option is to use your browser’s View Source command to see the page’s HTML code, and search with Ctrl-F in that. You’ll see matches in text that may be hidden on the actual page, and the context may be enough to find it on the actual page even if you don’t know HTML. (For instance, if the search term appears on a line that mentions a “menuID”, it might be in a menu on the page.)

This method doesn’t always help though, because (among other things) a complicated page’s content may not come from the single HTML file View Source shows.

Like the OP, I have had this happen quite a lot recently in Firefox. Find apparently finds something, but I just can’t see any highlighted term anywhere. (I don’t think it ever used to happen until recently.)

I will give the add-on mentioned by GuanoLad a try, but it does not appear to be quite the solution I would wish for.

The Opera find function does grey the screen (or browser window), and highlights found items much more prominently than Firefox, so switching to Opera might be one (rather drastic) solution.

I see this all the time with text hidden in drop down menus and a bunch of other places. Really annoying.

As to Opera: It has the same issue as FF. Plus the recent “improvements” in search function and display are really awful. I don’t want the screen grayed out! I don’t want that persistent search bar at the top. Etc. Much better browser (it does tabs right!), but for searching a document, it isn’t going to do a better job.

After hitting the CTRL + F and entering a search string …

Q) How about doing a select all (CTRL + A)?

I might help you find that string in all of that text!

Drives me nuts. I usually don’t bother using Firefox’s search box; I just type the word and it goes there — EXCEPT WHEN IT DOESN’T. Then I have to use the find box.

I blame it on Mozilla’s sugar daddy, Google. Well, I try to blame everything on Google.

Sorry, what the difference between search box and find box? The only ones I know are Ctrl+F and / (quick search).

Sugar daddy? Google keeps trying to tell me about how Firefox is the devil and I should use Chrome.

If you’re using Windows, I’m guessing that under Options, click on General in the Advanced tab. You can check a box that says “Search for text when I start typing.” Doing so doesn’t prevent your using the search/find box with Ctrl+F.

Google bankrolls Mozilla. It started when Chrome was only a gleam in Google’s eye, and I’d say it puts Mozilla in a precarious position. But what do I know?

Here’s a Wikipedia take on Google’s financing of Mozilla — one sentence.

From Slashdot, December 2011: