How to create or edit a Firefox quick search

I like the quick search facility in firefox; the dictionary search is particularly useful. by typing “dict search-term” into the address bar you get a dictionary definition.

The definitions used to be provided by dictionary.reference.com but for some reason in the last couple of versions it’s been the Merriam-Webster website. I just don’t think the results are as good. I had a look at the search engines available as firefox add ons but dictionary.reference.com wasn’t there so I set about finding a way to change firefox’s behaviour. Here’s what to do…

  1. Click on “Bookmarks” in Firefox’s menu
  2. Click “Organise Bookmarks…”
  3. Expand the “Quick Searches” folder
  4. Right click on the search you want to change (in this case I changed the dictionary search)
  5. click “Properties”
  6. Change the name of the bookmark to reflect the new site you are going to use
  7. If you want to use dictionary.reference.com for your dictionary search change the location to “http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/%s”
  8. Change the keyword if you want to use something other than “dict” to use this search from the address bar
  9. Change the description to reflect your other changes
  10. Click OK

You can also use this method to create your own quick search for almost any site with a search facility.

  1. Go to the site you want to add and carry out a search using the usual search method.
  2. Copy the URL (including query string) of the search results page. For example here is a search for “test” on theregister.com “http://search.theregister.co.uk/?q=test&mode=site”.
  3. Replace the search term in the query string with “%s”, so for the register we use “http://search.theregister.co.uk/?q=%s&mode=site”.
  4. Click on “Bookmarks” in Firefox’s menu
  5. Click “Organise Bookmarks…”
  6. Expand the “Quick Searches” folder
  7. Right click, choose “New Book mark”
  8. Enter the details for your new search. My Register search looks like this:

Name: El Reg Search Location: http://search.theregister.co.uk/?q=%s&mode=site Keyword: reg Descrition: Search the register, Type “reg ” into the address bar