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David Chandler's Journal of Java Web and Mobile Development

  • David M. Chandler


    Web app developer since 1994 and former Developer Advocate with Google now residing in Peru. I am currently offering public and private developer training courses in the US and Latin America as well as working on Android, GWT, and App Engine projects.

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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:

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.

Happy shortcutting!

3 Responses to “Custom search shortcuts in Chrome”

  1. F6 also gets you to the “one box”. That is the key I always use.

    I didn’t know about the other way to search, that is really cool. Thanks!

  2. As well as performing searches using amazon, wikipedia, wordreference and many others, I use several Google services, like maps, images, youtube, code, and the web search from different countries (quite a different results!). Here you have almost all the URLs to set up your preferred engines:

    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Chrome/thread?tid=09c53e58f251c8c3&hl=en

  3. perwiklander said

    I have several times tried using Safari (it got even nicer now in OSX 10.7 and they both use webkit any way). Typing searches into the “address bar” has become so natural for me that when I am using Safari my search work flow is:

    1. Type search into address bar
    2. Wait until Safari says that it can’t find the server and the URL changes into “file:///Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Resources/”
    3. Type the search again into the small search box to the right of the address bar (since the address has changed)
    4. Curse at Safari

    So back to Chrome it is :-)

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