Tip: CTRL/CMD + F for Find in Page [link]

Do you know what CTRL + F on Windows does (or CMD + F on Macs)? In many programs, it allows you to “Find in Page.” This is immensely useful, particularly in browsers and word processors.

If you don’t know it, join the club! Apparently most people don’t:

90 percent of people in their studies don’t know how to use CTRL/Command + F to find a word in a document or web page! I probably use that trick 20 times per day and yet the vast majority of people don’t use it at all.

You should use “Find in Page.”

I use it all the time. Whenever I come across a long page and I’m looking for something in particular—either on a new page or on one where I’ve been before—an in-page search can help me find it quickly.

Here’s an example of how I used this today on a very long page (just look at the scrollbar’s size):

Diagram of "Find in Page" feature in Chrome

  1. I hit CTRL + F.
  2. I searched for “sourcemap” on a very long page of documentation. (You don’t need to—or want to—know what that is.)
  3. I can advance through my find results with ENTER or that little down arrow next to my search.
  4. Chrome not only highlights all the results for me in the page, but it shows where they are on the page in the scrollbar. (I still remember the joy I experienced from when I first saw that genius interface element.)

So the next time you’re looking for something on a text-heavy page, search for it! It’s a great feature that will save you time and frustration every time you use it!

Read “Crazy: 90 Percent of People Don’t Know How to Use CTRL+F” in The Atlantic

Bonus Tip: Help People Find Text!

The “Find in Page” features becomes more useful on sites that follow accessibility and usability best practices:

  1. Sites that offer audio and video transcripts allow users to search them.
  2. Sites that hide content in accordions, tabs, and other compact interfaces are harder and less effective for use with Find in Page.

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