Forum steals CNTL-f hot key!

At least on this page:
the CNTL-f hot key does not allow searching of text within the given page like is normally expected in web pages. Rather it selects the forum-wide search text area which is also opened via the magnifying glass icon located in the upper right of the page. This page is extremely long. How is one supposed to search for something in it? My only solution was to copy to entire contents into microsoft word and then search there.


I agree with you that this is annoying.
Fortunately, the browser’s menu Edit - Find still works (at least in my old version of Firefox).


That works! Thanks! I wonder if this should be considered a bug though.

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if you click the URL bar before pressing Ctrl+F, that will allow you to search the page. i don’t think it’s a bug. it’s a feature that someone thought would please more people than it didn’t.


I find if you press ctl+F twice it’ll close the forum/Discourse search and open the default browser search


For what it’s worth - the reason this isn’t a bug and an intentional choice on Discourse’s part is because on very long forum threads the forum will not load all posts at once. Rather the posts will load in dynamically as you scroll. On these long pages Discourse will hijack find so you can search across all posts in the thread, not just those that have loaded. So keep that in mind when using ctrl+f - you may not be searching the entire thread, just the posts you have scrolled enough to load


I ran into this just yesterday with Safari and command-F, and was surprised, but then realized the value and was glad that it worked this way. And for what it’s worth, I am the person who implemented Find on Page in Safari. :smile:


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When I’m trying to use ctrl-f in a search thread, sometimes (with no pattern thats clear to me) it pulls up the normal system ctrl-f dialogue, and sometimes it pulls up discourse’s search function. Dicourse’s search function shows the excerpt where the word appears in the corner of the page, but only takes me to the top of the post if I click that. Thats fine for short posts, but for exceedingly long posts like the search url tutorials ( and it is totally unhelpful because I already know which post I am looking for. When it does come up, the system ctrl-f takes me to the actual word, which is essentially always more useful behavior.

Is there a way to change this setting, or a more efficient way in discourse to search within a long post?

I’m not entirely sure why you don’t always get the discourse search first (probably you have something else in focus, like the URL bar?), but if you do get it, a second ctrl-f will give you the regular search – more details in the posts above.

As @pleary explained earlier in this thread, Discourse ONLY hijacks crtl-f on topics that have many (more than about 10) responses, under the assumption that the user wants to search the whole topic, not just the few responses that are currently loaded on the page.

Not sure what you mean here. When I do a search on a long topic, the search dialog shows a list of all the items in the topic that match the search, and clicking on an item takes me straight to it:

What I click:

Where it takes me:

Where the system ctrl-f takes me using the ctrl-f-f tip above to override the discourse one:

But the ctrl-f-f tip does solve the issue, although I don’t understand why discourse would think a version of that is not the behavior I wanted to be the default

Because both my post and this original one were about the same specific post, perhaps the first paragraph of that post could be edited to include the ctrl-f-f tip :man_shrugging:

OK, I think I understand your complaint now. When you use the discourse search function, it takes you only to an individual post, but not to the search term within that post. I agree that for long posts that is inconvenient, as you then need to scroll through the post and look for the search term, which is not even highlighted.

Ctrl-f-f helps in some cases, but doesn’t really solve the problem - for long topics, it will only return a subset of the “hits” for that term. To revise your example, say you go to, but instead of searching for “term_id” (which occurs only in the first post in the topic), instead search for “habitat”. Using the default (ctrl-f) behavior of the Discourse search bar, you will find that the term occurs twice in post #1 and three times in post #24:

In contrast, if you use ctrl-f-f, you will usually see only the first two occurrences (in post #1) because post #24 is not yet loaded in the browser. To find those other occurrences, you would need to scroll down the topic until post #24 loads, and use ctrl-f-f again.

I hope this explains a bit why Discourse uses this non-intuitive search default – they assume that users want to search within the entire topic, not just in whatever portion of the topic is currently visible to the browser-based search. There is certainly room for improvement, but that would be a topic for the Discourse forum, not iNaturalist.

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