Monday, May 5, 2008

Search Your Favorite Sites In the Address Bar (Firefox)

Firefox plugin Searchwords lets you easily and painlessly create what are called "search keywords." If you don't know what they are yet, prepare to be blown away.

Search keywords allow you to use a specific site's search engine (anyone from Google, to Google Maps, to GreasyPC's own search engine, to Lifehacker's, to YouTube), and assign a keyword to each of those search engines. For example, I've attached the keyword "LH" to Lifehacker.

Then, using Searchwords, all I have to do is go to the Firefox Address Bar (keyboard shortcut: CTRL-L), and enter LH Firefox and it'll search Lifehacker's site for anything Firefox-related.

Which means that you can search for YouTube videos or Wikipedia entries without having to go to or first!

Installing and configuring Searchwords is easy. Like all Firefox extensions, just go to the extension's home page and install. If you want to save some extra time installing your Firefox extensions, check out this article on how to remove the 3 second install buffer. You'll then be prompted to restart.

Once Searchwords is installed, you can go to any site you want that has a search engine, and right click on the search form. You'll get an option called "Add a Keyword for this Search..." Click on it, and you'll get a window that's basically like creating a bookmark for your search. Put it in the Quick Search folder, and assign it a short, memorable keyword.

I personally prefer using one or two letter keywords, so I'm not wasting time typing the keyboard in. Remember, we're doing this so we can streamline Firefox not having to use a separate search bar.

Once you fill out the necessary info, you're done! Just go to the address bar, type your keyword, then space, then the thing you're searching for.

The sites I use searchwords to search for are: Google, Youtube, IMDB, The Weather Channel, LA Citysearch (for restaurants), Wikipedia,, and Urban Dictionary. What are yours?

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...


This is default behaviour in Firefox -- you don't need a plugin for it. What this plugin does is allow you to manage those keywords with the search engine manager (See the search bar to the right of the address bar? Click on the down arrow next to the current engine (default: Google), and select "Manage Search Engines."

Try it -- remove the plugin, and then right-click a search field on a website and you'll still be able to "add a keyword for this search."

Another tip for you -- CTRL-L will hit the address bar, but frequently, F6 does the same thing with one key press instead of two. In Firefox, F6 toggles between the address bar and the web page — unless you’re viewing a web page with frames, in which case each press of F6 moves you to a different frame. But who uses frames any more?