Firefox's Web Search lets you find content with various search engines. But smart keywords let you perform searches directly from the address bar.
In a previous TR Dojo Challenge question, I asked TechRepublic members, "How can you use any Web site's search feature directly from the Firefox address bar?" And several members were quick to answer. Here's how you do it.
It's all about smart keywords
Although Firefox, like other browsers, has a Web Search feature, it only lets you find content using Internet Search Engines, reference sites like Wikipedia, and sites that have a Firefox search add-on. What if you want to use the search on a site that doesn't fit these criteria? Create a smart keyword for the search, that's how.
There are two ways to create a smart keyword for a site's search feature—manually, using the search URL, or automatically, by right-clicking the Web site's search box. Let's look at the manual method.
Manually methodFirst, you must create the search URL. To do this, perform a search on the site you're using for the keyword. For example, searching "windows" on TechRepublic yields a page with the following URL: http://www.techrepublic.com/search/index.php?q=windows, as shown in Figure A.
Now replace your search string with %s. Firefox will replace the "%s" with your search string when you use the keyword from the address bar. Your new URL should look something like:
Automatic (right-click) methodFirst, locate the search box on a Web site and right-click it. From the resulting context menu, select Add a keyword for this Search, as shown in Figure E. Next, enter a name, select a folder to hold the keyword (like the Quick Searches folder I created earlier), and enter a keyword, as shown in Figure F.
When you click Save, the new keyword window will disappear and you keyword is ready to go. Mozilla has also posted a quick guide to creating smart keywords using the right-click method on its Firefox support site.
And the TechRepublic swag goes to...
This week's coffee mugs and laptop stickers go to KyleLanser, who was first to correctly answer the question and provide a detailed outline of the steps needed to create a search keyword.
Thanks to everyone who submitted an answer.
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