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As part of my job, I frequently have to visit several URLs that have the exact same address, except for one word. So for example, in one day, I'll visit the following sites over and over again:

I would love to be able to assign a keystroke shortcut to the URL and then have to type only that shortcut, plus the part that changes (e.g. "apple"). I'm on a Mac running Snow Leopard. Also, I use a program called Alfred (which is like Spotlight, but with more features) but I'm not sure whether it's possible to use that for this.

Any ideas? Firefox plugins? Applescript?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Firefox has the functionality practically built-in. It doesn't (as far as I know) let you use a keyboard shortcut per se, but it does allow Keywords in the Address Bar. In this case, that's pretty much just as well since you'll have to type your parameters somewhere anyway.

When you create a bookmark, you have the following fields to populate:

  • Name - This is the friendly name you want displayed for the bookmark in menus.
  • Location - This is the URL of the website you want bookmarked. You'll be using this to mark the input parameter for your shortcut.
  • Tags - Useful for indexing your bookmarks.
  • Keyword - This is the key feature. This allows you to specify a shortcut term that you can use to call the bookmark from the Address Bar.
  • Description - Here you can add a description for your bookmark. You might want to include notes to yourself about how to use the Keyword.

Name and Location are the only mandatory fields. For the functionality you seek, you'll also need a Keyword. As an example, here's a shortcut I use for searching Google.

Name: Google Search
Tags: Search
Keyword: go
Description: Used to search Google. Type go [search terms] in the Address Bar to perform search.

The key items you need to be aware of in that bookmark are the %s in the Location, and the Keyword. What happens here, is that whenever I type go into the Awesome Bar, whatever I type after go is put in place of %s in the URL.

Thus: go Firefox Quick Search becomes

As a matter of fact, that exact search currently turns up as a #1 search result the same website that taught me this trick. Geek to Live: Fifteen Firefox Quick Searches (LifeHacker)

One final note: I'm not aware of any way you can specify multiple parameters for a single URL (i.e.:[parameter1]/subfoldername/[parameter2]/index.html). Whenever you use the %s in a location, everything (including spaces, punctuation, etc.) after the Keyword is put into that one placeholder.

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That'll work! Thanks very much. – johnnyb10 Sep 22 '11 at 14:45

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