I previously blogged about Google’s site: search operator (which also works in other search engines). You can create shortcuts for commonly-used sites in Chrome using the Search Engines setting. It helps if you have a bit of knowledge about how URL parameters work, but even if you don’t, just follow the instructions.
Open Chrome Preferences/Settings and then click Search Engines. There is a table of entries, each one with 3 properties: name (just a display name for you), keyword (the text you type to invoke the shortcut, usually 1–3 letters), and the URL.
Here's how to create a shortcut that searches this particular blog:
- Open Preferences > Search Engines (if you aren’t already there)
- In the Other Search Engines section, click the Add button (on the right)
- Search engine = IT for Non-Profits
- keyword = it
- URL = https://www.google.com/search?q=%s+site%3Ait4np.com
- Click Add
So the URL is the tricky bit. What I did was go to Google and enter a site search for my blog on a particular keyword, like PowerPoint. This is what then appears in the URL bar:
In the URL, I replace they search term—which in this case was PowerPoint—with the token %s
What Google will do is take the search term and put it in the URL wherever the %s appears:
To test it out, click in the URL bar, type it and a space. Notice the URL bar now says SearchIT for Non-Profits? Now type a search term —let's use CSS this time—and press return. Google will now take you to:
You can also do it to get directly to the search results of a particular site, bypassing Google altogether. I have a YouTube search engine shortcut set up, and this is the URL:
This is such a time saver for me, and one of the many reasons I so prefer using a laptop to a tablet or mobile phone. I have so many keyboard shortcuts set up that working without them takes me at least twice as long to accomplish any of them.