Custom search shortcuts in Chrome
Posted by David Chandler on July 25, 2011
One of my favorite Chrome features is the “one box” which serves as both address bar and search box. Press Ctrl+L and away you go. It’s also the handiest way to access bookmarks. Press Ctrl+L and start typing the name of one of your bookmarks, and you’ll see it appear as one of the starred items. Just arrow down and press Enter to go to the bookmark. Some Chrome extensions contribute shortcuts to the one box, and you can also create your own.
For example, let’s create a shortcut to search dictionary.com. Right-click in the Chrome onebox and click Edit search providers. You’ll see many defined already. Scroll to the bottom and click in the box that says Add a new search engine. Type “Dictionary.com”, then tab to the next box, where you’ll enter a shortcut. Type the letter “d”, then tab to the next box and enter this URL: “http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/%s”. To save the shortcut, click anywhere on the page.
Now try it out: press Ctrl+L and type “d blogger” then press Enter. As soon as you type the space after “d”, you’ll see that you’re searching Dictionary.com, and when you press Enter, your results appear.
Here are some other useful shortcuts:
- Weatherbug.com (“wx”) http://weather.weatherbug.com/Common/SearchResults.html?loc=%s
- Wikipedia (“w”) http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Search&search=%s
- Amazon.com (“a”) http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=%s
In most cases, you can determine the correct URL by doing a search at the target Web site (like weatherbug.com) and observing the URL in the address bar after the search. Simply replace your search words in the URL with “%s” as in the examples above.