Custom Charlottesville keyword search in Firefox

Several times a week, I launch Firefox and search for a Charlottesville business or event. Each time that I type the long word “Charlottesville” into my search bar, I tell myself that there must be an easier way.

Turns out, there is. Firefox uses keywords to create shortcuts to oft-used sites. So, for example, if you often search the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), you can create a keyword for that site and substitute your specific search term. Following this example:

http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/smart-keywords.html

You could then type “IMDB Rachel Bilson” in your search bar, and IMDB page would pre-populate with Rachel Bilson as a search term.

That’s nice, but I wanted to find a way to automatically bring up “Charlottesville”, and then append additional search terms.

The steps to do so are similar to that which was outlined in the page above. Here’s how to do it:

  • In Firefox, type Ctrl-Shift-B to bring up Bookmarks Library.
  • Under All Bookmarks, select where you want to place your new custom bookmark (Bookmarks Menu, for example, but it can be anywhere).
  • Under the Organize tab, select New Bookmark. In the Add Bookmark window, give it an intuitive name (like “Google CVille”). In Location, type the following:
  • http://www.google.com/search?q=charlottesville%20%s

  • Finally, in Keyword, give the bookmark a short code that you will remember (ex.: “cv”, without the quotes).
  • Put what you want in Description, then click Add.

Now, when you type “cv” (without the quotes) in your Firefox address bar, followed by a search term, Google will come up with “Charlottesville” and your additional term already in the search box.

So, for example, if I type (without the quotes) “cv sandwich” in my address bar and hit enter, Google will launch a search window for “Charlottesville sandwich”.

Of course, this is for doing a Google search. It would be just as easy to use any other search site, such as Bing, just following the same context. So, for example,

http://www.bing.com/search?q=charlottesville%20%s

The first part of the URL specifies which search engine to use. “q=” means search term query. The “%20″ is a space, and the “%s” gets substituted for whatever you type after the pre-populated search term. In the example above, “%s” = “sandwich”.

There is probably a similar way to do this in Internet Explorer, but I haven’t found it yet.

If you find this useful, or you have other tricks to add, please feel free to comment below.