Quickest way to jump to desired Chrome Settings

There are various ways to go to a Chrome settings page. You can use the Chrome menu and select the Settings submenu. You may also type chrome://settings/ in the Chrome address bar or omnibox which will take you directly to the Chrome Settings page. However, we can do better. We can add chrome setting page URL to search engines and jump to desired setting rather quickly.

  • Type chrome://settings/searchEngines in the address bar.
  • Scroll down to “Other search engines” and add a new search engine.
  • Enter “Chrome Settings” as a name for your search engine or whatever you would like to call it, “set” as the keyword you’ll type for activating search (again your choice) and URL as chrome://settings/search#%s
  • That will be all!

Enter your keyword “set”, hit the TAB key and enter the keyword for the setting you are looking for. This will automatically open your chrome settings page, with only the matching setting options displayed and highlighted. This is especially useful if the option you are looking for is buried somewhere under advanced settings.

Quickest way to jump to Chrome Settings
Quickest way to jump to Chrome Settings
Chrome URLs

You may also use Chrome URLS to directly jump to some important settings. I have listed some of the most useful ones that you can directly type or bookmark. This will surely save you a few clicks right away.

URLs for Chrome Settings
URL Details
chrome://settings/ Go to Chrome Settings page directly.
chrome://settings/searchEngines Manage Chrome search engines to be used from omnibox.
chrome://settings/createProfile Add new user to Chrome.
chrome://settings/importData Import bookmarks, history and other data saved in other browsers.
chrome://settings/content Manage Chrome content settings.
chrome://settings/cookies Manage cookies and site data.
chrome://settings/clearBrowserData Clear your browsing data in Chrome.
chrome://settings/autofill Manage auto fill settings.
chrome://settings/autofillEditAddress Add new address to chrome auto fill.
chrome://settings/autofillEditCreditCard Add new credit card to chrome auto fill.
chrome://settings/fonts Manage font and related settings.
chrome://settings/languages Manage language and input settings.
chrome://settings/editDictionary Add/Remove words to chrome dictionary.
chrome://settings/syncSetup Manage advance sync settings for Chrome when you are logged in.

Dewey Bookmarks : The bookmarks manager for Chrome you have been waiting for

Few days back I wrote about how you can easily search your bookmarks from Chrome omnibox. But this approach is still limited by Chrome’s Bookmark Manager. In my quest to look for an even better solution, I found Dewey. Apart from clean and elegant interface, it provides some powerful search capabilities. This could be really useful when you deal with large number of bookmarks.

Dewey. Better Bookmarks for Google Chrome.

Dewey
Launching Dewey

Before we dig deeper into Dewey, I need to state that it’s a Chrome App and NOT an Extension. The reason I stated this is that after installing the app, I kept wondering how to launch it. I didn’t see any launch button in the toolbar which is very common with Chrome extensions. Chrome no more shows Apps in the New Tab Page. Therefore, it was a bit puzzling to start with but there are a number of ways to launch it.

Once you launch it, it will load a neat and pleasant interface with a big search box and a page full of bookmark tiles. As you scroll, it will keep loading remaining bookmarks smoothly. You can sort your bookmarks by Date, Title and URL. I wish they add sort by usage frequency and make it default so that it can easily replace my New Tab Page.

Custom Tagging
Dewey - Bookmark Tile
Dewey – Bookmark Tile

The above picture shows the single tile for a bookmark as displayed by Dewey. As you can see, along with an icon and title, it displays folders under which the bookmark is stored. By default it converts all the folders into tags (the ones highlighted in yellow) for a bookmark. You also get an option to exclude/hide top-level folders (Bookmarks bar, Other bookmarks, etc.) as they do not make sense in most cases. You may also add custom tags if you want. All the tags will be stored and synced, so once created it will be available on all your machines if you’re signed into to Chrome.

Edit Bookmark

The edit icon which appears on mouse over, will allow you to edit bookmark title, url, add/remove tags or delete the bookmark altogether. Currently it does not allow you to modify the folder structure through this dialog.

Dewey - Edit Bookmark
Dewey – Edit Bookmark
Powerful Search

Coming back to search, you can start with a simple free text search. But if you need to dig, you have 3 options. You can search by tag, title or url. So if you chose to search by tag, e.g. tag:color, it will look for “color” only in tags and exclude all others. The same is true for search by title and url. Take a look at the demo below and you will understand exactly what I mean.

Dewey - Exclusion Search
Dewey – Exclusion Search
Open Source

It is an open source project and source code is available on GitHub if you want to take a look. You may also submit issues and feature requests there.

Conclusion

Great interface supported by keyboard navigation, ability to add custom tags which also sync across and exclusion search are the three important aspects which make this a great app. Highly recommended!

Search your Chrome bookmarks and history easily from omnibox

If you look at my previous posts, you will see that I am in love with Chrome omnibox and search engines. I keep exploring how these two can work together to do some routine things in a more productive manner. This useful tip will enable you to search your bookmarks and history easily from Chrome address bar itself.

By default when you start typing in the Chrome address bar, it does show your bookmarks as suggestions indicated by entries with a cbmicon. However, it only lists the top two or three bookmarks. Sometimes you need to dig deeper and perform a search in your Bookmarks Manager. Recently, I stumbled upon something really useful. You can easily configure your Chrome to search for your bookmarks directly from omnibox or address bar. In-fact, there is an extension which does that for you. Head over to the Chrome Web Store and install Bookmark Search. This extension basically performs steps mentioned below automatically and adds a new search engine entry for you.

However, if you do not want to burden your Chrome with extensions, you really do not need to. Alternatively, you can follow these simple steps:

  • Type chrome://settings/searchEngines in the address bar.
  • Alternatively, you may right click on the Chrome address bar and choose Edit Search Engine… from the menu options.
  • Either of the above steps will open the settings page for Search Engines in Chrome.
  • Scroll down to “Other search engines” and add a new search engine.
  • Enter “Chrome Bookmarks Search” as a name for your search engine or whatever you would like to call it, “bm” as the keyword you’ll type for activating search (again your choice) and URL as chrome://bookmarks/#q=%s
  • All set!

Enter your keyword “bm”, hit the TAB key and enter your search term. This will automatically open your chrome Bookmark Manager with the search result.

Easily Search Chrome Bookmarks from Omnibox
Easily Search Chrome Bookmarks from Omnibox

You can use this trick to easily search for your history as well. Just add another entry with following URL.

chrome://history/#q=%s
History & Bookmark Search Engines in Chrome
History & Bookmark Search Engines in Chrome

An awesome tool called LMGTFY or Let Me Google That For You

LMGTFY is an abbreviation for Let Me Google That For You. A few years back some cool guys launched a service called lmgtfy.com with a thought.

LMGTFY is for all those people who find it more convenient to bother you with their question rather than google it for themselves.

LMGTFY

The idea is simple but fun. If someone asks you a question and you want to answer in a fun way but also letting them know that they should have just Google it themselves. Head over to lmgtfy.com and type your search query and click on Google Search or I’m Feeling Lucky button. Instead of the results page you get a link with an option to copy, shorten or preview it. The preview will show you what exactly the people with whom you will share the link will see. It plays a short demo showing the query text typed into the search box automatically and button you chose to press during link creation is pressed. Next you are taken to actual Google search result page. Along with a basic Google search the service also supports other vertical searches like Image, Video, Maps and many more. They also launched support for Wikipedia last year.

Let Me Google That For You
Let Me Google That For You
Use LMGTFY to educate others

Since its launch, then, many people started using it for this very purpose. You find lmgtfy links on many discussion threads. Apart from this, I believe this awesome service can be used for educational purpose as well. The web is filled with many hacks about how to use Google search efficiently. However, most people still use it in its basic and simplest form, i.e. to type questions or keywords into the search box. Below are examples of my top 5 favorite Google search tips explained using lmgtfy.

Let me know what would you do with this service?

Easy alternative to broken Google search set timer feature

Last year, Google introduced a feature to set the timer using search box just by typing something like “set timer for 5 minutes”. I personally found it very useful and started using it. But after some days it stopped working. Since then its being ON and OFF. It works for me on google.co.in but it does not work for me on google.com. Anyway, while many are waiting for this to work again, you can use this simple alternative to get your clock ticking.

Set timer using Google Search
Set timer using Google Search
Easy alternative to broken Google search set timer feature

e.ggtimer.com is a simple and useful service for the timer. However, what makes it really useful is the fact that it allows you to set the timer through URL parameters. So, if you type a URL like http://e.ggtimer.com/5minutes will set the timer for 5 minutes. But we can do better.

Let us make this easier and more efficient by adding it as a search engine.

webstruck
  • Type chrome://settings/searchEngines in Chrome address bar OR right click in Chrome address bar and select Edit search engines…
  • Scroll up to “Other search engines” and add a new search engine.
  • Enter To Set Timer For as the name of your search engine, timer as keyword (or any unique keyword of your choice) and URL as http://e.ggtimer.com/%s
  • Press ENTER and click Done.
Add e.ggtimer.com as search engine
Add e.ggtimer.com as search engine

Now, go to your Chrome address bar, enter your keyword “timer”, hit the TAB key and enter time value e.g. 5minutes or 20seconds or 1hour5minute30second. If you just enter a number say, 20, it will default to seconds. It also displays the timer count down on the tab title which makes it much more useful. Once the time is up, it beeps and pops up a message.

e.ggtimer.com search engine in action
e.ggtimer.com search engine in action

The service also offers some more fun and interesting timers. For e.g. instead of any time value, if you just use pomodoro, it will open a preset timer of 25 minutes with short breaks and long breaks as described in the Pomodoro Technique. Quite a useful timer if you follow this technique for your tasks. There are also fun presets like morning to get your blood pumping and brushteeth, a 2 minute timer for healthy teeth. If you are into fitness and follow tabata, there is a timer called tabata too.

You can make it work easily for Firefox by the techniques described in my earlier post.

Apply filters and advance search Google Drive easily from Chrome

Update: The following post is updated with respect to the recent changes in Google Drive search interface. Some of the tips mentioned in the original post are no longer available and some new things are now introduced.


This is a Pro Tip for the people who literally swim into Google Drive every day. Few days back I wrote about how to search Google Drive files easily from Chrome and Firefox. I also followed it up with how you can search your Gmail, Contacts and other popular Google services directly from Chrome. Before you read further I would recommend you to read at-least the first article.

If you find these two posts useful, you may find this one useful too. Consider a scenario that you want to search only the PDF files in your Drive OR you mostly deal only with Spreadsheets in your Drive and would like to always restrict your search to those files. Using Google Drive, you can do this using the advance search drop-down menu provided in the search box.

Old interface

Google Drive Advance Search - New Interface
Google Drive Advance Search – Old Interface

New interface

Google Drive Advance Search - New Interface
Google Drive Advance Search – New Interface

But you can also easily modify your Chrome custom search engine URL for Google Drive and do this directly from your Chrome omnibar. Say you want to restrict your search only to PDF files in your Drive. In that case, your search engine URL will be

https://drive.google.com/?#advanced-search?q=%s&filter=pdf
https://drive.google.com/drive/search?q=type:pdf%20%s

Note that this is significantly different from the URL which we used for simple Google Drive search

https://drive.google.com/?#search/%s
https://drive.google.com/drive/search?q=%s

You can add number of parameters and I have listed all the important ones below.

Filter based on document Type

Parameter Name: filter
Search for Value Updated Value
All documents documents
Drawings drawings app:”Google Drawings”
Images images type:image
PDF files pdf type:pdf
Presentations presentations type:presentation
Spreadsheets spreadsheets type:spreadsheet
Forms forms app:”Google Forms”
Text Documents textdocs type:document
Videos videos type:video
Tables tables app:”Google Fusion Tables”
Folders collections &containers=0 type:folder

Searching folders require additional parameters as indicated above.

Filter based on document Visibility

Filter based on document visibility is no longer available.

Parameter Name: visibility
Search for Value
Public 0
Anyone with the link 1
Private 4
Filter based on document Ownership
Parameter Name: mine
Search for Value Updated Value
Owned by me 0 owner:me
Not owned by me 1 -owner:me

 

There are other parameters one can add and you can explore the same by changing values in Google Drive advance search box drop down and looking at how it changes the URL in the address bar.

A new type of filter is introduced which allows you to filter based on app which could be used to open the file. You may select from the list of apps you have added to your drive.

gdsbnewfilter
Google Drive Search New App Based Filter

Based on the above information, say you want to search for all the Text Documents in your Drive which are publicly accessible and owned by you, your URL will be

https://drive.google.com/?#advanced-search?q=%s&filter=textdocs&visibility=0 &mine=0
https://drive.google.com/drive/search?q=owner:me%20type:document%20%s

You can add a number of different search engines with different keywords and URLs based on the above information and search quickly from the Chrome address bar itself.

Google Drive search engines with different filters
Google Drive search engines with different filters

Easily add custom search engines to Chrome, Firefox & Internet Explorer

I wrote a couple of articles that focus on adding the ability to search various Google services from the Chrome address bar. Chrome provides a number of ways to add custom search engines. If the site for which you want to add the search engine exposes an OpenSearch provider, then Chrome auto detects the search engine and automatically adds it. For e.g. this site exposes an OpenSearch provider. So if you visit chrome://settings/searchEngines and scroll down to Other search engines, you will see an entry for the webstruck search engine as shown below.

webstruck search engine for Chrome
webstruck search engine for Chrome

Firefox too auto detects open search provider for current site but does not add it automatically. Instead, when you click on the search box drop down, it shows an option to add it manually. Although Internet Explorer supports open search providers unlike Safari, there is no auto detection and no easy way to add custom search engines.

Add webstruck search engine to Firefox
Add webstruck search engine to Firefox
How to add a new custom search engine provider?

There are web services like Mycroft Project & searchplugins.net that host a huge list of useful custom search engine providers. You can add these to Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer easily with one click. Just search for the providers you are looking for at Mycroft Project or searchplugin.net and click to install. The search engine will be ready for use instantly. As explained later in this article, Chrome and Firefox allows you to edit a newly added search engine and provide keyword of your choice so that you can easily search from the address bar itself.

How do I create my own custom search engine provider?

By any remote chance if you do not find the search engine provider you are looking for, you can create one easily. Mycroft Project and searchplugins.net both provide the option to create a new search engine provider. You just need to enter a search URL and the name. The other default values should work just fine most of the time. If you are interested in details, Mycroft Project offers description for each field. Once the plug-in is ready, you can install it right away and test it. Although plug-ins created using above services work in Internet Explorer, there is another easy to use tool called EnhanceIE that works only for Internet Explorer although it also generates OpenSearch provider only.

How do I customize an existing search engine provider?

As mentioned above, Chrome allows you to edit all the details for a search engine very easily. Just right click in the address bar and select Edit search engines…. Here you can edit name, keyword and URL itself for each search engine provider.

In Firefox, you can click on the dropdown in the search box and select Manage Search Engines…. Firefox allows you to edit only the keyword for the search engine. If at all you need to edit the URL, you need to get little geeky. The search engines installed with the Firefox setup are put under Firefox installation directory like C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\browser\searchplugins. The search engines that are installed separately using the above techniques, reside under your Firefox profile folder. Type about:support in the Firefox address bar and click on Show Folder button next to Profile folder label. The search plugins will be located under seachplugins folder. You can open and edit these files in any text editor, as these are just XML files. You may refer to OpenSearch description document for details of each entry although most entries are self-explanatory.

How do I remove a custom search engine provider?

It is easy to remove search engines from all the three browsers we are discussing here. In Chrome, you can just click the X button when you hover over search engines in Manage search engines dialog. Firefox also provides Remove button in Manage Search Engine dialog itself. In Internet Explorer, click on Tools icon and select Internet Options. Select Programs tab and click on Manage add-ons button. Select Search Providers in the left pane to display a list of all search engine providers. Select the one you want to remove and click on the Remove button at the bottom.

Search your Gmail, Contacts and other Google services easily from Chrome

If you are a Chrome user and regularly use awesome Google services like Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Drive, Bookmarks, Google Plus, Photos, YouTube, Maps, Play, News, Finance etc., then this tip is for you.

Few days back I wrote an article on how to search Google Drive files easily from Chrome (and Firefox). As pointed out by one of my readers, this technique can be easily extended to almost any search service that queries things via the URL. Another reader pointed out the easy way to add search engines to Chrome which is as below.

    • Go to the site for which you want to add a search engine
    • Locate the search box for that site and right click on it
    • Chrome shows a context menu called Add as search engine…
Google Chrome - Add as search engine
Google Chrome – Add as search engine
    • Select and it will show a pop-up with all the details filled in as below
    • Just click OK and your search engine is ready for use
Google Chrome - Edit Search Engine
Google Chrome – Edit Search Engine

For some reason though, this does not work with Google Drive search box. Google Drive search box does not allow right click and that is why we have to add search engine for Google Drive separately.

Although the above technique should work perfectly for some sites, sadly for Gmail or Google Contacts it does not work. The default URL populated is outdated and does not fetch results anymore. Below, I have listed correct URLs for the most useful Google services. I have added more to this useful collection from Brian Johnson.

Happy Searching!

Search Engine URLs for Google Services
Name Keyword URL
Gmail mail https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#search/%s
Google Calendar cal https://www.google.com/calendar/render?q=%s
Google Contacts contacts https://www.google.com/contacts/#contacts/search/%s
Google Drive drive https://drive.google.com/?#search/%s
Google Bookmarks links https://www.google.com/bookmarks/find?q=%s
Google Plus plus https://plus.google.com/u/0/s/%s
Google+ Photos photo https://plus.google.com/photos/search/%s
Youtube video http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%s
Google Maps maps https://maps.google.com/maps?q=%s
Google Play play https://play.google.com/store/search?q=%s
Google News news https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=in&tbm=nws&authuser=0&q=%s
Google Finance finance https://www.google.com/finance?q=%s

Search Google Drive files easily from Chrome and Firefox

If you are a lot into Google Drive and use either Chrome or Firefox, then this tip is for you.

Search Google Drive files from Chrome

If you’re using Chrome, we have a couple of options here. Install Google Drive Quick Search extension for chrome. Once the installation is complete and extension is ready to use, just type drive in the address bar and hit TAB key. Now you can enter what you want to search for.

If you don’t like extensions, alternatively you can follow these simple steps:

  • Right click on the Chrome address bar.
  • Choose Edit Search Engine… from the menu options. This will open the settings page for Search Engines in Chrome.
  • Alternatively you may directly enter chrome://settings/searchEngines in the address bar and skip above steps.
  • Scroll down to “Other search engines” and add a new search engine.
  • Enter “Google Drive” as the name for your search engine or whatever you would like to call it, “drive” as the keyword you’ll type for activating search (again your choice) and URL as https://drive.google.com/?hl=en&tab=bo#search/%s
  • Now you’re ready to use new search module. Enter your keyword “drive”, hit TAB key and enter your search term.
Google Drive Files Search for Chrome
Google Drive Files Search for Chrome
Search Google Drive files from Firefox

For Firefox too there is an extension called “Google Drive Files Search”. Install Google Drive Files Search using Firefox and click Add to Firefox. This will add a new search engine module to Firefox. Howevere, for quick access from the address bar, you need to do the following:

  • Go to Manage Search Engines… from the search box drop down menu.
  • Select newly added module “Google Drive” and click Edit Keyword….
  • Enter a keyword of your choice say “drive”.
  • Click OK to close both the dialogs.
  • Go to Firefox address bar and enter “drive”, SPACE followed by the search term.