This series of articles is about a subject that is near and dear to just about every geek’s heart, making Mozilla Firefox just a wee bit faster and a wee bit more useful. For this part of the series you’re going to need two files.

Part I of this series deals with keyword searches. A keyword search allows a firefox user to search a website from their browser’s url bar. If you, for instance, wanted to search Google for bears (after you set up the quick search I outline below) it would simply be a matter of keying up to your url bar and typing g bears and hitting Enter. Keyword searches are so quick they will proably save you years of your life. Lifehacker has an amazing article on how to set up keyword searches, you should really check it out. In case you hate lifehacker or just love me, I’ll give you a brief tutorial on how to set up your own keyword searches.

  1. In firefox go to a search engine with an input box (like Google)
  2. Right-click inside of the input box on the search engine
  3. From the drop down menu click Add a Keyword for this Search…
  4. In the resulting dialog box in the Name: field type the name for this search, for instance, if you used Google, type, “Google Keyword Search”
  5. In the Keyword: field type the keyword (or letter) that you want to use for this search, for instance, for Google, you could simply use the letter “g”
  6. Click OK

This brings us to the file I had you download at the beginning of this article, “*balloontoablimp’s Keyword Searches." This file is simply a compiled list of 13 keyword searches that I’ve already put together in a handy little package. To install, first, save the file somewhere on your computer. Then, inside firefox, on the menu bar, click Bookmarks > Organize Bookmarks… In the Bookmark Manager choose File > Import… Inside the Import Wizard make sure the From File radial button is selected and click Next>. Then simply locate where you saved the file and click Open
So what’s in this amazing Keyword Search package you ask? Well…First is the Google Keyword Search (once the package is installed) go to your url and type g “whatever you’re searching for” and a google search will pop up.

The Remaining twelve keyword searches (and url commands) are:

  • Dogpile Music Search; url command: music “whatever you’re searching for”
  • Dictionary.com Search; url: dict “whatever”
  • Thesaurus.com Search; url: thes “whatever”
  • Ebay Search; url: e “whatever”
  • Wikipedia Search; url: w “whatever”
  • Amazon.com Search; url: a “whatever”
  • Google Maps Search; url: map “wherever”
  • Google Image Search; url: image “whatever”
  • Google Video Search; url: video “whatever”
  • Technorati Search; url: technorati “whatever”
  • Bloomberg.com Stock Info; url: quote “stock symbol”
  • Pirate Bay Search; url: pirate “whatever”
  • This concludes part I of my firefox optimization series. Come around next weekish (give or take) for part II: Revenge of the user.js File!

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