How to enable a Find function for the current Web page in iPhone's browser

How to enable a Find function for the current Web page in iPhone's browser

Ben Wilson
2 min read

Filling one of the most glaring functionality gaps in the iPhone's version of Safari, a developer has created a JavaScript bookmarklet that offers the ability to find text strings on the currently displayed Web page.

What's a bookmarklet you ask? It's a piece of code that is stored as a bookmark (see our previous article on using the data: URL scheme to store iPhone Web apps locally). Basically, you can store the code in the bookmark, then simply access the bookmark from within Safari on the iPhone whenever you want to access its functionality.

The find function bookmarklet we like best is called "Highlighter." It was developed by Slayer Office and you can activate/use it like this:

  1. Go to this page on your Mac or PC using Safari (you may want to open the link in a new browser window so you can continue following these instructions)
  2. Drag the link labeled "Highlight" to Safari's (for Mac OS X or Windows) bookmarks, and name it "Highlight," "Find," or whatever you would like to call it.
  3. Synchronize your Safari's bookmarks with your iPhone using iTunes.
  4. Now, on your iPhone, go to a Web page on which you'd like to search for a string of text.
  5. Tap the bookmarks icon in your iPhone's browser, then select your newly synced HIghlight bookmarklet.
  6. Enter a term in the text box and press "OK." All matching terms will be highlighted on the page, and you'll see a message indicating how many terms were found.

Unfortunatley, the function won't jump to the first found term on the page like the desktop versions of Safari and some other browsers, but it's a great start.

There are loads of other bookmarklets you can play with, and the blog LifeClever has an excellent collection of 17, including a different Find function.