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Lifehacker: The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better, Third Edition by Gina Trapani, Adam Pash

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Hack 92: Quickly Search Within Specific Websites from the Address Bar

Level Medium

Platform Web (Firefox/Chrome)

Cost Free

Most web browsers have a built-in search box next to or integrated with the address bar for quick access to search engines. By default, this search box is a front door to major engines like Google or Bing. However, sometimes you know what site you want to search within, like Wikipedia or Amazon, but you want to skip the part where you go to Google or Bing results first, and instead just search the site directly using your browser’s built-in search feature. Keyword searches are customizable, keyword-based searches that let you do just that: execute a search from your Firefox or Chrome address bar. Using these special searches significantly speeds up queries on your nondefault searches at sites such as IMDB.com or YouTube.

Keyword searches work like this:

1. Enter a short keyword in the address bar that indicates what site you want to search.

2. Press the spacebar.

3. Type your search query.

For example, if you want to search Wikipedia to read up on Firefly, type w firefly into your browser’s address bar and press Enter. If you set up a keyword search that associated ‘w’ with Wikipedia, your browser automatically looks up ‘firefly’ using Wikipedia’s search engine.

You can set up the same quick-access searches for your favorite online dictionary, thesaurus, image search, encyclopedia, productivity website, and so on. It may not sound like a lot, but if you ...

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