Liam Delahunty: Home Tips Web Contact
Recommended laptop
under £500

Think I deserve a present? See my Amazon Wish List

Firefox Apostrophe Bug Opening Search On Page Solution

The firefox apostrophe bug is a problem that stops a user from entering an apostrophe or single quote in a text field in a form. It will bring up the firefox search feature ("Find As You Type Link") and take focus away from the form.

Other aspects of the bug can include stopping the arrow keys working in forms, the ctrl+home and the ctrl+end.

The problem is part of a clever feature in firefox. When a form doesn't have focus, pressing the single quote (apostrophe) will bring up the search box for "Find As You Type Link" whilst the forward slash "/" will "Find As You Type Text". The Link version finds text within a link, the text version finds any text within the page. See for more information.

Sometimes however we encounter the bug which stops one from entering those characters in input boxes within forms.

To clear the problem there are several solutions.

  1. Clear the cache.

    For some users, clearing the cache is enough to fix the bug.

  2. Change accessibility.typeaheadfind.autostart to false.
    • In a new tab (ctrl + t) enter about:config in the address bar.
    • Filter on accessibility.typeaheadfind.autostart and the change the Value to false by double clicking the value.
    • You should find this clears the problem and then, you can reset the value to true and the problem should remain fixed.
  3. Clear the user.js

If you've your own user.js, which will be located in your profile folder, you may need to backup the file, then delete it to see if it fixes the problem. You can then usually restore the file and the fix will still work. If you re-encounter problems you will need to analyse the changes made the the user.js and see where the conflict arises. These changes are normally extension or user preferences that the about:config can not ever change.

Share this!