I want to search google or whatever the default search engine is set in the browser, by selecting a few words in the web page. Can I do this with a simple shortcut, instead of copy pasting the word in the search box and hitting enter?

  • I am looking for a keyboard shortcut...if there is one. I'm aware about the right click thing
    – detj
    Apr 22, 2010 at 20:59

8 Answers 8


Nobody's addressed the issue of how to select some text using the keyboard.

Firefox and IE have Caret Browsing, activated by F7. It lets you move a text cursor (caret) around to both navigate the document and select text, much like a word processor (except you can't edit). Select text in the usual way, by holding Shift and navigating.

Chrome has partial support for keyboard text selection using Shift + cursor keys, but it only works to expand or reduce an existing selection that's been made with the mouse :(

Both browsers can open the context menu with Shift+F10 or the context menu key - there's a search item on the menu.



There is addon for that.

Search it up! - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/13174


  • chrome addons cannot do something like that
  • This add doesn't work in Firefox 32. Well it's not listed as supporting it anyway. Oct 5, 2014 at 20:23
  • I can confirm the addon now works with Firefox 41.0.2! :)
    – Castaa
    Oct 18, 2015 at 18:20

Both Chrome and Firefox allow you to search for a selected word or phrase through the context menu (as does IE 8). You can access the context menu not only with the second (usually the right) button on your mouse, but with the context menu key available on most keyboards made in the past few years. This assumes you're on Windows.


I think you are looking for this addon basic shortcuts.

shift-control-s: search google for selected text

shift-control-m: mail current url


This add-on supports the current Firefox:

Search Selected Shortcuts

Alt + s: Google search the selected text

Alt + q: Google search the selected text, but also put them in Double Quotes. E.g. you've selected, say, theory of everything, then it will do a search of "theory of everything"

Alt + c: Google search the selected text, but only search in the current site. I.e. it will do a search like, hackish site:stackoverflow.com

Alt + i: Google image search


Well in Firefox if you select some words then right-click, the context menu has "Search Google for ..." (or whatever search engine is selected in the search box)


Try a program named Enso http://www.humanized.com/enso/.It let you search the selected word (in google) from any aplication in you default browser


I frequently select text, right-click and choose "Search Google for..." from the context menu. So I made a Chrome extension, Quick Search: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/quick-search/chgmjmpmfefgaiogdnnjbfcbgcflofgi

Select a text:

  • hit Alt+Ctrl+S to search it on Google

  • hit Alt+Ctrl+W to search it on Wikipedia

Hope this helps others :)

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