How To Add Quick Search Keywords In Chrome

It’s simple to add quick search keywords in Google Chrome. These let you quickly use a website’s search engine – directly from Chrome’s Omnibox (address bar).

E.g. to search Wikipedia you could just type a keyword of wik in the Omnibox then press Tab (or Spacebar) to instantly change the Omnibox to a ‘Search’ search.

Type your query and the results will appear in Wikipedia – this can be much quicker than having to first find and visit the website, look for a search box within it and type your request from there.

Tip for users of other browsers: you can also add quick search keywords in Firefox or in IE8 and IE9.

Add A Quick Search Keyword In Chrome

Browse to the website containing a search box within it i.e. a box used to look within that site (many sites have one, ours is near the top right of this page). In the examples below we will use Wikipedia but you can do the same thing on any website if it has such a box.

Right click the search box within the webpage and select ‘Add as search engine’:

chrome keyword 1
Wikipedia search box

This will open the ‘Edit Search Engine’ window.

Change the Name field and Keyword field to whatever you prefer (we have used wik as a keyword):

chrome keyword 2

Note: the Keyword is what you will later type into the Omnibox to browse Wikipedia directly. Make it short so it’s quick to type and remember – you could even use w if you won’t be adding any other engines starting with the same letter.

Press OK when finished – you have now created a quick search keyword.

Using A Quick Search Keyword

In Chrome’s Omnibox (address bar), type the Keyword you created earlier e.g. wik

You should now see a message in the far right of the Omnibox e.g. ‘Press Tab to search Wikipedia’:

chrome keyword 3

Press the Tab key (or Spacebar) and the Omnibox now changes to ‘Search Wikipedia:’

chrome keyword 4

Type what you want to search Wikipedia for and press Enter – you will be taken straight to the results page on Wikipedia’s website – just as if you did the same search from Wikipedia itself.

Managing Quick Search Keywords

Click the wrench (spanner) icon and select Settings to open the Settings window.

On the Settings tab, click ‘Manage search engines’ in the Search section to open the Search Engines popup. Here you can view, amend or delete the ‘Other search engines’ which you have just added.

If you want to amend the Keyword or Name text, click in the keyword/name field and change it then press OK:

chrome keyword 5

You can also Make Default that engine if you wish – it will be moved into the top half of the Engines popup and used for all future Omnibox lookups (instead of Google), not just keyword searches.

You can also click the x if you wish to delete a search engine (you can’t delete the current Default engine).

Automatic Quick Searches

You may already have a number of ‘Other search engines’ listed which you did not add yourself – the reason is that Chrome automatically saves a list of some that you use while browsing the web – especially those from Google’s own sites like Youtube.

If a website you want to add (e.g. YouTube) is already in the list, there is no point in trying to add it again manually using the method above – either make a note of its existing keyword and use that or change it to a new keyword of your choice.

Keyword Tips

1. The keyword must be the first word in the Omnibox in order to produce the relevant site search. In our example, typing ‘wik’ in the Omnibox then pressing Spacebar/Tab will change to Wikipedia Search but typing ‘search wik’ or ‘wiki’ then Spacebar/Tab will not.

2. Although Chrome displays a ‘Press Tab to search …’ message in the right of the Omnibox when you have typed a keyword as the first word, remember that Spacebar works too.

Therefore, if you ever use the Omnibox for default Google searches, make sure you don’t choose a keyword that you might type as the first word in a standard search.

E.g. choosing ‘you’ as a keyword for YouTube searches would be a poor choice – if you started a standard Google Omnibox search with the word ‘you’ the keyword search would take over when you pressed Spacebar…

If this happens and the keyword search does appear when you do not want it to – pressing Backspace will revert back to the standard Omnibox search. Change that quick search keyword to a more unique one to avoid the same problem in future.

3 thoughts on “How To Add Quick Search Keywords In Chrome”

  1. Follow up:

    Unless I’m mistaken, a right-click in Chrome V.21 produces a “Edit search engine option” and not “Add as search engine”. One is then required to scroll through the list of “Other search engines” and at the very bottom there is a way to add the new info.

    • Hi Morry, I think you must be right clicking in the Omnibox i.e. address (URL) bar at the top?

      You need to right click in the Search box within the webpage itself – in the first picture above you can see the Wikipedia search box is near the top right of their homepage. Right click in it and you can choose ‘add as search engine’

      Re your first query – the special search URL is filled in automatically in the Edit Search Engine window – a good thing because it’s often very long and complex :-)

      On review, it isn’t too clear so I’ve edited the article to help future readers

  2. Great tip! You just made my life easier!
    Question: what is the best way to find the URL to the search page of a site like Wikipedia for example?
    Many thanks

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