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Search this site (and many others) directly from the Firefox address bar

Firefox's bookmark keyword feature is something that sets it apart from many other browsers. The classic Opera browser supported the feature as well (and called it nicknames) while Internet Explorer and Google Chrome never did.

It is interesting to note however that the new browser Vivaldi supports keywords while the new Opera browser does not.

The basic idea behind the feature is to open bookmarks quickly by using keywords that you associate with them. A keyword consists of one or multiple characters which you can type instead of the address to load the website in the browser.

That's however only part of the functionality. Keywords support parameters that you can pass along provided that the site in question supports them. And it is that feature that we are using to create a custom search option to search this site.

While I demonstrate how that is done using my own site, you can use the same method for other sites that offer similar options.

Lets get started

When you search here on this site and look at the url of the results page you will see something like this: http://www.ghacks.net/?s=firefox&submit=

The search term is firefox in this case and all results that match the term are displayed on the results page as a consequence.

You can use that address to search directly. Simply change the search term and you get a new results page.

ghacks search

While that is useful, it is possible to improve things further.

  1. Tap on the Alt-key to display the Firefox menu. Select Bookmarks > Show all bookmarks from the menu, or use the shortcut Ctrl-Shift-B instead to open it.
  2. Right-click on Bookmarks Menu, Unsorted Bookmarks or any other bookmark folder and select New Bookmark from the context menu.
  3. Add any descriptive name you want.
  4. Add http://www.ghacks.net/?s=%s&submit= as the location
  5. Add gh as the keyword (or any free key combination you want to use, e.g. ghacks or g).
  6. Click on add.

To search Ghacks, type gh followed by the search term in Firefox address bar, e.g. gh windows to search for Windows related articles or gh nirsoft freeware to find results for that search.

This lets you use the search engine here on this site without using Google or another search engine.

The same method applies to other sites as well. All you need to do is replace the search term with %s in the bookmark address. This is a placeholder and the term you enter after the keyword is used automatically in its place when you use the keyword search.

This article was first seen on ComTek's "TekBits" Technology News

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