Setting up search shortcuts in Google Chrome

Google Chrome > Manage Search Engines > Edit dialog

If you are regularly conducting searches on the same sites (or web apps) you can speed up time by using search shortcuts in Google Chrome.

In this example we’ll look at how to create a search shortcut for Google Drive. The end goal is to be able to open up a new tab in Chrome, and type in gd<space>search_term into the URL bar, and be taken straight to the results page in Google Drive. This will save us several clicks and seconds per search.

Setting up a search shortcut for Google Drive

Go to Google Drive

Type in a search term (e.g. “blog posts”)

Google Drive search example

You will be taken to a search results page. Note that the URL looks something like

Take a note of the:

  • Base URL for the results page (in this example it is
  • Which query parameter holds the search term (in this example it is q)

In Google Chrome go to Menu > Settings

Google Chrome > Menu > Settings

Scroll down and click on Manage search engines

Google Chrome > Settings > Manage Search Settings

You will see a list like this:

Google Chrome > Settings > Manage Search Settings

Now there are two approaches to adding our Google Drive search shortcut

  • Edit the existing entry that was automatically added
  • Manually add a shortcut entry

Edit the existing entry

Search engines that use OpenSearch elements are automatically added to Google Chrome’s list as you use them. If there is already an entry for the search engine you want, you can edit that instead of creating a new entry.

Click on the options icon at the end of the Google Drive row and select Edit

Google Chrome > Manage Search Engines > Edit menu

Now let’s modify Keyword so that it’s something simpler to type. I like to use gd (for Google Drive)

Google Chrome > Manage Search Engines > Edit dialog

Click on Save

Manually add a shortcut entry

Click on Add

Fill in the details:

    • Search engine: Give your search engine a human-readable name (e.g. Google Drive)
    • Keyword: This is the shortcut text you’ll use in the URL bar (e.g. gd, gdrive, etc.)
    • URL with %s in place of query: This is the URL of the search results page of your search engine, and substitute in %s for where the query should go

Google Chrome > Manage Search Engines > Edit dialog

Click on Save

Using your shortcut

Now whenever you want to conduct a search on Google Drive, use the following sequence of keystrokes in your browser to go directly to the results:

  • Cmd + L (move cursor to the URL bar)
  • gd + (space or tab) + yourSearchTerm
  • Enter

It’s as simple as that!

Other shortcuts I use

Here is a list of other useful shortcuts that I use on a regular basis

Search engine Keyword Query URL
LinkedIn li
ABN Lookup abn
Australia Post auspost
Google Maps m
Netflix n
Amazon Prime Video pv
YouTube yt
IMDB imdb
Rotten Tomatoes rt
Reddit r
Twitter tw v
Wikipedia w
Evernote ev
Amazon a
Kindle ks
eBay e
GitHub gh
Mozilla Developer Network mdn
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