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A bookmarklet is a small piece of JavaScript code saved as bookmarks in your browser. Every time you open such a bookmark it executes its function.

A bookmarklet can be a good alternative to a FireFox addon as it is easier to organize and backup (as a usual bookmark), faster to install (all you need is just grab a link and drag it into your bookmarks toolbar) and usually compatible with multiple browsers.

As one who searches daily (and I’d even say constantly), I am mostly interested in various ways to customize my searching and using search bookmarklets is one such way.

Easily switch between search engines: if you failed to find anything in Google, for example, switch to Exalead or Yahoo (all opens in the same tab):

Search for the selected text: select a term on a page and send a query to one of the search engines (opens in the same tab):

Search dictionaries and reference sources: select text on the current page and search its meaning and definitions:

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Customize your Google search – just a few tweaks specifically for Google search (there might be more but I failed to find them useful enough):

  • Gf=0: change number of search results to 100;
  • filter=0: removes Google result clustering;
  • Search within this domain – for sites that lack the search option of their own (based on Google site: advanced search operator) select a term and it will search for it in Google within current domain only.

Create your own search bookmarklet: use this cool tool that allows you to create a search bookmarklet and customize its behavior.

Note: the site allows to create a bookmarklet for an impressive number of search engines (many of them do not work though).

generate a search bookmarklet

Sources:

Note: all the above bookmarklets have been tested on FireFox 3.0.4. Please let me know in the comments if any of them failed to work on any other browser.

Please share your favorite search bookmarklets that I missed out!

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