I'm trying out Chrome, but I use this Firefox feature all the time so I strongly feel its absence. I've searched Extensions and Google in general, but couldn't find anything and don't even know if it's possible to create such an extension. Important: I'm not interested in extensions that require me to click anything to activate the different searches. The important part is it all happens in the URL bar.

If you don't know what this Firefox feature does, briefly: you can assign a keyword to a bookmark and embed %s in the URL. Then, from the URL bar (not the search bar), you can type the keyword and then one or more words to replace %s.

For example, if you create a bookmark with URL: "http://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=%s" and keyword "imdb". Then in the URL bar, you would just type: "imdb young frankenstein" and it will send you to: "http://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=young+frankenstein".

1 Answer 1


Not only does Chrome have this, the browser adds them automatically as you use site's search boxes.

Go into the Options -> Basics Tab -> Manage. You'll see a list of "Search Engines". Some of them are supplied by Google when you install Chrome, others are learned as you use the browser. Double-clicking an entry will let you edit it, where you can change the keyword from the default (domain name) to something shorter or more memorable.

To use your example, I hadn't used imdb.com yet in my Chrome install. So I went there, used the search, clicked "Go", and got my results. After getting back to the "Manage Search Engines" dialog, imdb.com was at the bottom of the list. Double-click it, set the keyword to "imdb" and go back to the browser. Now when I type "imdb" in the address bar, the first auto-complete entry is to search imdb.com. The browser asks to "type Tab to search imdb.com", but I just hit space anyway like I do in Firefox and it works.

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    An article about this with a screenshot: lifehacker.com/5476033/… Jul 16, 2010 at 18:39
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    Much later, someone created an extension to stop this happening. "Don't add custom search engines" chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/dont-add-custom-search-en/…
    – O'Rooney
    Jul 12, 2016 at 5:03
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    But the Chrome interface omits one key advantage of the Firefox one: the ability to give your own name to the engine URL. Typically I have used this to abbreviate the domain of the URL, sometimes substantially. For instance "ddg" mapped to "duckduckgo.com/lite/?q=%s" . Autocompletion compensates for this to some degree, but scales poorly; once you have more than a few, it becomes necessary either to type long substrings of the domain, or else reach for the hated rodent.
    – q.undertow
    Aug 28, 2021 at 21:37
  • upvoted. You just destroyed my hope to have to learn Chrome Extensions ;) Jan 7, 2022 at 14:16
  • q.undertow: please read the lifehacker.com article. Chrome's "Custom search engine" does allow you to map the keyword "ddg" to "duckduckgo.com/lite/?q=%s"
    – tst
    Sep 13, 2022 at 4:47

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