I happily upgraded my machines to Firefox 34, and found the new search bar to be very frustrating! There seemed to be no way to change the default search engine unless you entered the Preferences menu to make the change.
Turns out that if you have nothing in the search bar, you don’t get the option of choosing your search engine, as seen below:
In the above, the only way to change search engines is to click the Change Search Settings button presented, and then choose your desired search engine.
It was by chance that I figured out that if you actually have your search term in the bar, then and only then are you presented with a menu of available search engines:
Frankly, the old way they did it was much handier, and I really wish they would stop fixing things that are not broken!
Most of my searches are done from highlighted text in a web page, and this makes it a rough go. I was able to solve this irritation by installing the Firefox Add-On called Quick Context Search
This lets me choose the search engine directly from the Right Click context menu after I have highlighted the search term.
We love Firefox here on the farm, but gosh guys, it it works, don’t change it!