If you’re a Google Chrome user, you’re likely well aware of what a great feature the ‘Omnibox‘ combined URL/Search bar is. For me, it is a compelling reason to use Chrome instead of other browsers. The ability to just start typing and be able to either search or enter URL’s in the same space is one of those ‘I can’t believe that no one did this before and can’t imagine my life without it’ types of ideas.
There is a great, somewhat hidden feature of the Omnibox that can make searching some sites even easier. Let’s say for example that you want to search for the Steven Soderbergh movie ‘Schizopolis’ in the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). To do that, you could simply type ‘Schizopolis IMDB’ into the Omnibox, which would take you to a Google search results page, where you could click the first link to go to the page you’re looking for.
< informercial voice > But Kyle, there’s got to be a better way! < /informercial voice >
In fact there is, faithful readers! There are many sites on the internet for which there is a shortcut in the Omnibox that you can search that specific site, completely skipping the search results page. Let’s go back to the search for Schizopolis on the IMDB.
First, start typing ‘IMDB’; if you’ve visited the site before, it will likely start to auto-complete the URL. If not, arrow down to the ‘IMDB.com’ suggestion that Chrome provides. Now look on the right side of the Omnibox:
See how it says ‘Press Tab to search IMDB’? Well, go ahead and press Tab. Now, the left side of the Omnibox should say ‘Search IMDB:’ and you are now able to type the term for which you would like to search:
Type Schizopolis, and hit return. This should take you directly to the IMDB page for Schizopolis. Slick, huh? I’m not aware of a listing of all sites that have this shortcut, but keep an eye out, there seem to be quite a few (CNN, Facebook, and, oddly enough, Bing are just some examples).
Psssst…one more thing. While you’re on the Schizopolis IMDB page, be sure to read the quotes page. If you’ve not seen the movie, there are spoilers there, but it’s a pretty absurd little film, so it’s not like giving away the ending to Citizen Kane or anything, and the quotes are hilarious. Enjoy!