Firefox’s Keyword Search, Or How to Be Popular in Ten Easy Steps

Just do what I say. Trust me!

Open up a new Firefox window and position it side-by-side with the one you’re reading my post in! All keystrokes I’m asking you to perform are highlighted in red.

Ctrl+N (Mac users, substitute Cmd for Ctrl)

Now make sure your cursor is in the address bar!


Now type “” and hit enter!

Now right click inside the empty search bar, the place where you would tell Amazon what you want to find!

Select “Add a Keyword for this Search…“!

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Don’t stop! Stick with me!

Now type “a Amazon” in the “Name” box and “a” in the “Keyword” box. Click “New Folder” and save your new keyword search in “Shortcuts” within the “Bookmarks Toolbar” by clicking “Add.”

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Now keep doing what I say!

Open up a new Firefox tab!


Search for Dr. Layton Talbert’s books on Amazon by typing the following:

a layton talbert

That’s it! You’ve created your first keyword search. Do the same with Google. Do the same with Google Books. Use my little system and you’ll have a way to remember what your shortcut is if you ever forget. Take a look at my list, and please steal from it.

Now, rather than opening up a page for Google or Amazon every time you want to search (or having to select it with a mouse in Firefox’s search bar), you can ready a search in as little as four keystrokes:

Ctrl+L, a [space] [your search terms here]

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Safari users can do something like this with Sogudi.

IE users can get Firefox.

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.


  1. Jeremiah on August 28, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Another thing i’ve never set up, but once i did would probably use all the time.

    I foresee next you will post about Gmail keyboard shortcuts/macros.

  2. bcollins on August 28, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Buried at the bottom of Mark’s post is a helpful keyword that is super powerful—yubnub.

    for bookfinder, you can do: to search for both author and title.

    will open Google Calendar and Remember the Milk on a split screen

    lists commands

    lists commands related to google books [I created the gbwl command, which was useful when windows live book search still existed]

  3. bcollins on August 28, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    hmm, for some reason all the commands I typed in the post above were stripped out when posted

  4. James on August 28, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Definitely useful!! When I get Google Books set up someday, this’ll be pretty helpful then too.

  5. chadman on August 29, 2008 at 8:46 am

    For a super quick definition look-up follow the links instructions for then add a keyword “d”.

    i also use w for Wikipedia and L for my favorite web page–lifehacker-search-plugin-firefox-203502.php

  6. Mark L Ward Jr on August 29, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Yes, Chad, you’re awesome! I love LifeHacker, too! I use “lh” for it. I had to cut back on LifeHacker, though, because they filled my Google Reader account with so many posts. But I’ve been missing it, I really have.

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