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Firefox - Quick Searches If you use the internet every day like we here at “Make Use Of” do, then you’ll know that there is a set of favourite websites that you visit countless times a day. Whether it is Digg or Big Jugs Monthly (one of my favourites!), you can access information on these sites quicker by enabling Firefox Quick Searches.

A Quick Search is where you enter your search term in the Firefox address bar along with a keyword which tells Firefox which site to go to. So instead of typing say http://www.digg.com and then searching for Google stories, you can instead set up a one-off Firefox Quick Search for Digg and then type in the address bar : digg google. You will then be taken to the Digg site where all the stories matching the word Google will be presented to you. Much faster and easier.

Once again, the problem I have is that I have a German language computer so screenshots are pretty much useless for all you non-German speakers out there. But I think the following instructions are pretty clear enough. If not, just let me know. OK class, pay attention! :-)

1. Go to the favourite website in question and right-click on the site’s search engine box.

2. Select the option “Add a keyword for this search” (note : if you use the “Menu Editor” Firefox extension, this option may be disabled. If so, go into your Menu Editor configuration and re-enable the keyword option).

3. A small bookmark box will now appear. Type in the name of the site and then the keyword you want to use for that site. The keyword is what you would type in the address bar so it should be something short but memorable. Make Use Of could be MUO (for example). Or you could use any word you like which has a special meaning for you. It doesn’t matter. What matters is choosing something you’re going to remember later.

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4. Choose which bookmark folder to place it in and save everything. If you now check your bookmark folder, you should see the keyword folder you have just created.

muoquicksearch.png5. Now it’s time to test it. Say you want to look for Skype articles on Make Use Of. Provided you have set up a keyword search for Make Use Of and you’ve selected the keyword “MUO”, type into your address bar MUO skype. You will now be taken to Make Use Of and the search results for Skype.

One good use of a Quick Search is if you are doing comparison shopping online. You can set up quick searches for all the shopping sites that you use and then use those quick searches to quickly hop from site to site to compare prices. So you can do amazon stephen king and then BN stephen king (BN being Barnes & Noble) for example. This is much faster than manually typing in the website address and then typing into the site’s search engine. This is also good if you are considering bidding for an item on eBay and the clock is ticking. Quick searches gets you to your information faster so you can decide whether or not to bid.

Since the keywords are stored in your bookmarks, they are easily editable /deletable and are also available on other computers via your Foxmarks account (if you have one set up).

Do you use Firefox quick searches for any other useful purpose? Let us know in the comments!

  1. glg85
    November 25, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    don't forget the similar %s shortcut...

    for example, i often use the site epguides.com for episode listings of tv shows, and their website is very simple. for example: epguides.com/heroes or epguides.com/familyguy will bring up the corresponding episode guides for each show... pretty simple. so rather than adding in an extra step to make "ep" search the epguides website and then click on the result, i simply make have to type in ep heroes and it will bring me to epguides.com/heroes. all you have to do is add a bookmark with the link adding "%s" where you want the custom query to go. for example, the bookmarked page is "http://www.epguides.com/%s" and the keyword is "ep". i probably made this sound more complicated than it is... but it's really simple and can be quite efficient! keep in mind that the %s can go in any part of the address... so you can use the keyword "g" for google and use the bookmark http://%s.google.com, and if you type in "g images" it will bring you http://images.google.com.

    i make better use of the g as it is way faster to search google :P

  2. Zia
    November 21, 2007 at 4:11 am

    Fantastic...thanks for this!

  3. What is Firefox?
    November 20, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    This is amazing. I've been using Firefox since it was call Pheonix way back in 2004 or 5 and I've never seen this. I guess that I've never tried right-clicking a search box before. Thanks!

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