Saturday, January 23, 2010

Video: Finding needle in a haystack with Find In Page

These two videos show how Find In Page for iPhone Safari can be used to quickly find text in long Web pages.

In this first video, I am reading a blog post that has very many comments, and I would like to know if a software library I am interested in (named "Sequel") is mentioned anywhere in the blog post or in the comments that follow. Without Find In Page, I would have to read the entire page, looking for the word "Sequel". Find In Page makes this tedious task a snap.

In this second video, I am looking at the official HTTP specification document - a VERY long page indeed (think book-sized!). In this case, reading the entire page in search of a single word or phrase is downright impossible. But not with Find In Page! I look up every occurrence of the text "200 OK" in this document in mere moments.

Video: How to install the Find In Page bookmarklet into mobile Safari on iPhone and iPod Touch

Installing Find In Page on your iPhone or iPod touch can be tricky if you are not familiar with the bookmarking features of mobile Safari. Follow along with this video, and you should have no problems getting Find In Page to work in your mobile browser.

iPad Update: Here is how to install it on the iPad (same basic idea, different look):

Friday, January 15, 2010


Find In Page has been accepted into the App Store! Here is the iTunes link.

It was actually approved on January 14, in just 4 days - that must be some kind of record!

Now that Find In Page has passed trial-by-Apple (I had serious doubts about my bookmarklet-based app getting accepted - it is the first of its kind on the App Store, I think), I am planning to (as time permits):
  1. Release better videos explaining installation and usage.
  2. Make a series of posts on the making of Find In Page:
    • I discovered a bug (so far undocumented as far as I can tell) in the JavaScript Regular Expressions implementation that I would like to share.
    • Developed a technique for quoting/escaping user input for use in JavaScript Regular Expressions, which I think others may find useful.
    • (Maybe) elaborate on the use of the HTML 5 Canvas tag for building the UI of the Find In Page bar, and generally on faking a fixed-size UI element in mobile Safari.
Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why did I make Find In Page? (and for whom?)

Page search is one of the most important productivity tools for doing research on the Web. For example, it significantly reduces the amount of time required to review search engine results - instead of scanning and reading each page for relevance, you can use Find In Page to look for relevant keywords, saving time and frustration. Ability to search for text in long Web pages and text files online is simply awesome. I cannot do without it, so I created Find In Page because I got tired of waiting for this feature to be added to Safari on the iPhone, and none of the many variations on the same Find In Page bookmarklet really did it for me (see this post as to why).

What makes this Find In Page bookmarklet different from similar, free bookmarklets floating around on the Web?

1. For one, it has an actual User Interface for moving forward and backward through search results, as well as providing information about your current query on demand (such as the search terms used, the number of results, and where you stand in navigating through these results). Making subsequent queries, as well as cleanly removing the toolbar and highlighted search results are also functions of the UI.

2. It does not break the content of the page as a side-effect of its search-and-highlight action, so multiple searches can be performed, one after another, without reloading the page.

3. It does not naively interpret your search terms as Regular Expressions, and it works only on the content of text nodes in the HTML document, so it is safe and perfectly valid to have both Regular Expressions and HTML keywords in your search terms.

4. It deliberately filters out search results that are contained in hidden, invisible elements on the page (these are more common than one might think, especially in Web 2.0 and designed-for-mobile Web pages).

5. It strikes the delicate balance between search speed and search correctness and relevance.
Finally - the ability to search for text inside web pages on mobile Safari!

No jail-breaking required - Find In Page is a bookmarklet that adds this missing feature to the browser on iPhone and iPod Touch.

See it in action in this video:

Find In Page app is currently awaiting approval in the App Store. Please stay tuned for updates!

In the meantime, here are some screenshots:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Questions and Answers

Please feel free to post your questions and support requests regarding Find In Page in the form of comments below, or email directly to at gmail.