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I'd like it to focus the address bar and prefill it with a question mark (and not use a separate search box)

EDIT: I realize there are other solutions that try to be smart and use a search engine when the content doesn't look like a URL. But I want to guarantee a google search of whatever I type in after ctrl+k.

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Same question on mozillaZine. No answer there either. – Mihai Capotă May 5 '11 at 19:21

Try the Omnibar addon, which merges the two boxes.

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Thanks -- Omnibar is close, but it doesn't quite cut it. I'm looking for a very specific solution -- prefill the address bar with a question mark (so it will always do a direct google search, no matter what i type in after) – Russell Davis Mar 26 '11 at 22:13
@Russel: Is ? a strict requirement? I personally find it faster to Alt-D to address bar and type g (the keyword I've chosen for Google) than to press Ctrl-K. – grawity Mar 26 '11 at 22:16
Ctrl-K would be nice as it's the standard search shortcut, it's one less key than Alt-D + g, and I'm already used to it. But I may give it a try. (Or maybe I'll write an autohotkey script to turn Ctrl-K into Alt-D + g.) – Russell Davis Mar 26 '11 at 23:11
Did you mention in the original post you wanted to kill the search box? I'm trying to remember. Anyway, ctrl+E brings you directly to the search box ready to type if you've got it. – CreeDorofl Mar 27 '11 at 2:23
Omnibar doesn't put the question mark there, but at least it takes you to the address bar when you hit Ctrl-K, so you don't have to relearn the muscle memory. I haven't observed the behavior long enough to see if you actually need the question mark or not. – Jack Senechal May 14 '13 at 1:13

The question mark prefill specifies a google search. But instead... if you use ctrl+L or alt+D, you jump to the address bar. If you then type something without the .com or .net or whatever at the end, or something with spaces, it automatically searches for it in google (or possibly in whatever search provider you specify). You can just type "birds" for example and it will bring back a google search for birds.

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Sometimes it will give search results, sometimes it will jump to first search result - I haven't quite worked out the logic for which happens when. – Basic Mar 26 '11 at 19:56
@Basiclife: basically, Google redirects to the first result if it has a sufficiently high relevance rating. – grawity Mar 26 '11 at 22:17
@grawity - Thanks for the info - Have you ever seen this behavior when performing a search on ? I don't believe I have (Unless you hit the "Lucky" button ofc). – Basic Mar 27 '11 at 1:50
@Basiclife: No, and I'm not supposed to. When an addressbar search is performed, the browser tells this to Google in a special URL parameter which enables this automagic redirection. For example, if an user typed wikipedia to the address bar, it makes sense to redirect them to an obvious match. On the other hand, searches done using the search box always show the results, because that's what the user expects. – grawity Mar 27 '11 at 9:06

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