Custom shortcuts from Firefox address bar


We picked up a great Firefox bookmark tip from [Colin]. He wanted an easier way to look up bug numbers on the launchpad bug tracker. Because the url is always the same with the bug number at the end of the address, he replaced the final portion of the url with %s. Now, when he types the keyword followed by the bug number in the address bar the bug page loads right up.

We don’t do all that many bug searches but it’s immediately obvious that this can be useful in a lot of ways. In the photo above you can see we’ve set up a shortcut to the tag pages for Now we just type “hack” with the tag we want after it. Add this to your bookmarks and try typing “hack firefox” into the address bar.


  1. Adam says:

    You can also right click on any search box in Firefix and choose Add a Keyword For This Search, and it will do the same thing.

  2. Ben Ryves says:

    Right-click, “Create Search” in Opera 9 or above too.

  3. J H says:

    Another use of that is the one i just set up, you just put in the link of a category and replace the part before “-hacks” with the %s and give the keyword “hack”. Then you can type ‘hack arduino’ to get to the arduino-hacks category.

  4. iisjreg says:

    Wow, talk about PROPER late news.

  5. jim says:

    AFAIK if you type ‘google’ followed by a space and a query it takes you to the search results. It has maybe half a dozen shortcuts already in when you install it.

    I have my shortcuts set up to use single letters: g, i, n, d, w… Google, Google Images, Google News,, Wikipedia…

  6. shazzner says:

    Congrats Firefox, on another feature that Opera has had for a while.

    My favorite is creating tiny-urls by creating a ‘search’ through it.

  7. shazzner: This feature has been in Firefox for as long as I can remember. It’s nothing new.

  8. shazzner says:

    Ah my mistake then, I made the switch to Opera fairly early on.

  9. VonSkippy says:

    I saw on CNN (or maybe it was a movie) that software hacking is illegal. Will I go to jail for these mysterious firefox hacks?

  10. kyle says:

    @VonSkippy its not likely but for good measure can we get a mod to ad ‘for informational purposes only’ to the end of the article please

  11. belthesar says:

    This “hack” has been around since Firefox 1. Way to drudge up yet another old hat trick.

  12. Nick says:

    Even better and more powerful is to use the Ubiquity extension:

  13. mrasmus says:

    Yeah, this is a nice little thing to get used to using. I’ve got a shortcut for all my standard searches (g google, wp wikipedia, am amazon) plus a few for my bugzilla at work, dev server stuff, media server stuff… the list goes on. I’m an absolute minimalist for my firefox, TBH, so this trick was one I started to use when I wanted to find a way to eliminate my search bar… especially great for my netbook. I literally have nav buttons (because I’ve found that flash, annoyingly enough, oftentimes steals keyboard focus to the point that shortcuts for forward/backward don’t work), a force stop button (for similar situations), and my URL bar… they’re all on one line. That, plus URL tooltip ( to eliminate the need for a status bar has drastically decreased the amount of screen real estate used by my windows (one UI line, plus a tab bar)… On 1440×900 displays, or 1920×1080, it may be a little overkill, sure :P. On the smaller netbook screens (MSI Wind), though, every vertical pixel counts. It’s good stuff.

  14. fOX rOx says:

    I use this to search for music on google. Use this string in the location:

    That way it will only search directories with mp3 files. In the keyword, I just called it music

  15. thedudefrommiamivice says:

    So what, you guys read the firfox documentation? Whats next, when you put bread in a toaster and then push down on the lever in 5 minutes you will have toast? WTF is this?

  16. therian says:

    @”WTF is this?”
    this is Mike ;)

  17. Eric says:

    Seriously… please, I’m here to read about hacks :/

  18. PidGin128 says:

    This is also possible with IE6, which I used for a bit, with sites others posted. don’t know[care.] about IE7/8.

    It was a simple .reg I had laying around somewhere, probably found it from tweakUI or similar.

    [And no, I don’t use IE6 still [often...], but my poor firefox is so many extensions.]

    @mrasmus : does flash eat alt+left right, etc? please elaborate on your setup. I appreciate the URLtooltip advice. should have been in all browsers… status bar used to get JS thrown at it. wouldn’t a combo of some: adblock; removeitpermanently; greasemonkey; aardvark; help with reading more? or is the goal less scrolling? 1024×600 is too small for myself, I hated my laptop having 1280*800. [and any other irregular rez's]. Unfortunately, ANY netbook would be a bit of a HW upgrade in my world…


  19. ajd4096 says:

    Next on hackaday, how to type “man” in an xterm?

  20. jan says:

    mike, we are not amused..

  21. samurai says:


  22. türk porno says:

    mike, we are not amused..

  23. George July says:

    I hardly ever leave comments on posts, but your article called on me to commend your blog. Thank you for writing up this great read, I’ll make sure to favorite your blog and visit occasionally. Cheers.

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