Monday, 7 January 2013

Quick Trick to Make Web Searches Easier

How sad was I when Google took "Scholar" off the "more" list during searches.

Now if I want to access Scholar, I click on a different menu, which brings me to a big list of Google tools. I click on Scholar, I'm brought to the Google Scholar homepage. By this point, I've totally lost my original search. EDIT: Of course, you could always start your search by typing in "" to ensure that you're searching Scholar, but why bother when you can do the same thing with one keystroke?

Enter Chrome.

Did you know that you can set up hot keys for search engines in Chrome? I think it's probably the #1 reason to switch to Chrome.  It took maybe two minutes to learn how to set it up. Now if I want to search scholar for something, I hit "s" plus the space bar, and I'm told that I'm searching Scholar. Similarly, I type "r" then space, I'm using the R Seek engine.

So, how do you do this?

First, find "settings" from the menu found in the top right-hand corner of Chrome. 

Next, select "Manage search engines..." from the "Search" section of your settings. 

A window pops up with Default search settings and Other Search engines.  Typically you'll see many websites in the bottom portion - I think Chrome grabs websites that you've searched on before. I cleaned off  my list before taking the screen shot because there were some pretty random websites (e.g., recipe blogs, etc). So if you want to make things easier on yourself, go do a few searches in the websites you want to set shortcuts for. There is a way to add one if it's not on this list, but I think simply using the website is easier.

Set the shortcuts by typing in a single letter in the middle column.  You can see that I've set four shortcut keys: r for, s for, w for Wikipedia, and y for YouTube.

It's that easy. 

Do you use shortcuts for search engines in Chrome? What other search engines might an academic or PhD student use on a regular basis?

1 comment:

  1. Follow-up: I just added a 'b' to search since I've been searching that quite a bit lately.