Is there a way to search for otherwise-unsearchable text elements on a webpage?
October 23, 2006 10:41 AM   Subscribe

Is there a firefox plugin that will allow me to search ALL text on a webpage including dropdown menus and otherwise unsearchable fields?

My employer has recently switched to a new java-based CMS. One problem (among many) is that I need to deal with assigning categories to files - often up to 128 at a time. Each category appears on its own line and has its own dropdown menu, but the categories go in no particular order as you scroll down and there is no way to sort them, either alphabetically or in any other way. An alphabetical sort feature is on our wishlist for the next build, but in the meantime we have to make do. What would be great is if there was a way to search EVERYTHING displayed on the page so that I could quickly find the categories I need to deal with/assign, but the control-f feature in firefox (obviously) only brings up searchable text. Is there a plugin of some kind that can search all text elements displayed on a page, including the dropdown menus? That would make my life way easier. Any workarounds/suggestions would be much appreciated.
posted by hypocritical ross to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
 
Somebody knowledgable in Greasemonkey could fix this for you.

I can't understand if you to move the "focus" to your particular categories or to items in their dropdowns.

A greasemonkey script could even sort the categories in a way you would like.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 11:17 AM on October 23, 2006


the categories in this case are already correctly selected by default from the dropdown menus. What I then have to do is go through them and check/uncheck assign boxes on each line. The problem is that the order is random, so to find the appropriate category lines I have to scan through it one line at a time visually to find the right lines to edit. Since the categories are displayed from a dropdown menu I can't do control-f to find them. As a result this takes about 10x as long as it should and leaves me crosseyed by the end of it.
posted by hypocritical ross at 11:24 AM on October 23, 2006


2nd the Greasemonkey idea...it fixes a multitude of sins and this one sounds very doable.
posted by mmascolino at 11:30 AM on October 23, 2006


You could always just do a view source of the page (View -> Source or use Ctrl+U). This opens a new Firefox window with the raw page source, which has the searchable Ctrl+F option exposed as with any Firefox window. You'd then still need to find it in the drop down menu, although with drop down menus, you can usually start typing if you know the item name and it'll auto find it.
posted by hincandenza at 2:23 PM on October 23, 2006


hincandenza: i thought about this and tried it, but with all the hidden data and variables in the JS the source files are huge.

i've been screwing around (not "monkeying" around - pun intentionally avoided) with a greasemonkey script called Table Sort - it allows you to sort any table by clicking on the column headers. it works like a charm on small lists (3 or 4 items), but when I try to use the same script on the more common 128+ line lists, the script stops responding. so close, and yet so far. bah.

i've also messed around with a regular extension called TableTools, but it won't allow me to sort by a column populated by dropdown menus.

this is driving me nuts.
posted by hypocritical ross at 2:50 PM on October 23, 2006


I still have little idea of what you are trying to do. Maybe if you put some screen-caps up on ImageShack it would help.

You say: Table Sort - it allows you to sort any table by clicking on the column headers. it works like a charm on small lists (3 or 4 items), but when I try to use the same script on the more common 128+ line lists, the script stops responding.

If a script stops responding, you need to look in the JavaScript Consol (found under Tools). That is where any error messages will appear.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 3:24 PM on October 23, 2006


I looked at Table Sort. It contains some code that is no-longer valid greasmonkey. E.g. a line starting with
cell.innerHTML = '
(MeFi blocks me from posting the whole line).

To know why it isn't valid see: Avoid Common Pitfalls in Greasemonkey
How the History of Greasemonkey Security Affects You Now

posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 3:38 PM on October 23, 2006


How bout using a regex to strip all the HTML tags out and searching that page?

Should be quick with PHP and just pass the url to the script.
posted by mphuie at 5:22 PM on October 23, 2006


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