Author Topic: Browser Search Keywords  (Read 26648 times)


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Browser Search Keywords
« on: March 13, 2009, 03:35:02 pm »
We had a tips & tricks section ages ago, but I deleted it when consolidating the boards due to limited posts.  But now I realize lately that there's been things I've wanted to post with no real category specifically for them, so the board was wisen fwalm its gwave etc.

After Yutz seemed interested in the notion of searching Wikipedia from his address bar, I figured I would post info on search keywords, since most of the major browsers seem to support it these days.  Search keywords, for lack of really a better term for it, is where you can type a letter or word into your address bar, followed by a search phrase, and it will then automatically go to that site searching under that phrase.  It saves you the step of waiting for the website itself to load before you can do a search.  Examples are like "g pants" to search Google, or "imdb Die Hard" for IMDB, "w brids" for Wikipedia, etc.  First I will give instructions on how to set them for each browser, then I will give a list of search addresses you might want to add.

Opera makes this easiest, and actually has a few built-in when you get it.  Go to Tools, Preferences, then the Search tab.  When creating a new one, "Name" is simply what shows up in the list of keywords.  "Keyword" is what you'll type in your address bar to use it, and "Address" is the custom URL which will specify how to use your keyword with that site (a list of them will be at the bottom of this post).  The other options, like for "Use POST", are usually not necessary.  You can however check either of the checkboxes below if you want to use that search engine as the default and/or on the speed dial page.

Firefox is not quite as straightforward, but it's easy once you realize how to do it.  Go into your bookmarks manager, and then find a folder that's probably called Quick Searches.  If you don't have one, you can create it, or with whatever related name you want (or don't even make a folder if you prefer, doesn't matter).  Create a new bookmark, call it whatever, but for "Location", use one of the special search URLs I'll list below.  Set the "Keyword" to whatever you want to use in the address bar to search this site with. 

Internet Explorer
NOTE:  These instructions are for XP.  There may be a way built-in to do this in Vista and/or Windows 7 for all I know.  Until I or somebody can either confirm that, or can confirm that the XP method works fine under Vista, then consider yourself warned.

This one isn't so immediately simple.  You can either dick around in the registry, or you can go get the TweakUI PowerToy from Microsoft.  Here's a direct download link if you'd rather.  TweakUI is pretty neat anyway.  But yeah, once you install and run it, go to the Internet Explorer section, then Search.  To add new ones, click Create, add in your keyword that you plan to use in the address bar to search with, and then put in the search address (based on ones I'll list below). 

Chrome / Safari
I think you're out of luck if you use one of these.

Search URLs
These are what you'll put in the address/location parts for your quick searches.  Usually getting one of these means finding the url that the site uses to search for stuff with, and replacing the search term with %s.  The browser then replaces %s with what you type.  For example, if I search Google for "lkdsfjksdf", it shows this in the address bar:

Notice "q=lkdsfjksdf", which is the important part.  That's the search query.  Replace that with q=%s, and this url would be good to go for using in a keyword search.  But in this case it can actually be shorted to just "".  You'll just have to play around with different sites to find the shortest url if you prefer.

Keep in mind though that some websites might need an url which you won't normally see in the address bar.  Sometimes this can be found by digging through the page source, if you want to go to the trouble.

I'll make a list though of the most popular ones that I use, at least, to save you the trouble (common keywords will be in parenthesis):

If there's one for a particular site that you want and can't figure out how to make, just post the site here and we'll see if I or someone else can figure it out for you.

« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 03:40:03 pm by FyberOptic »