How to use Firefox’s keyword feature

Life should be as simple as possible, I think.  That’s why I love the keyword feature in Firefox. 

URLs are often extremely long and nearly impossible to remember, particularly as you grow older and your memory isn’t what it used to be.  Fortunately, there is a way to simplify navigating to websites that you visit often that I think is even preferable to locating a bookmark in your often-disorganized list of bookmarks.  In Firefox, that involves using the keyword feature.

The first task is to bookmark the site you want to visit again.  I’ll assume you know how to do that. 

Next open your list of bookmarks and right click on the bookmark for the site you want to use this feature with and choose Properties from the context menu that appears, as illustrated in the photograph at the right.  If you click on the image at the right you’ll see an enlarged version of it that might be a bit easier to read. 

Then you’ll see the dialog that is shown in the picture at the left.  Notice the field labeled “keyword” to which the red arrow is pointing.  You can type in a word that will substitute for the URL when you type it in the address bar in Firefox.  Then just press Enter and you will be taken to URL specified in the bookmark where you created the keyword.  You can do this with any website you have bookmarked, but I tend to use it only for websites that I visit often. So instead of having to type http://www.flickr.com/photos/68911284@N00/, I just open a new tab and type “mike” (in the address bar) and press enter. 

Here are a few examples of keywords I’ve created here.

“braves” substitutes for http://www.ajc.com/braves/content/sports/braves/index.html

“nyt” substitutes for http://www.nytimes.com/

“panel” substitutes for https://panel.dreamhost.com/

“fab” substitutes for http://www.thefunaddicts.com/

“fag” substitutes for http://www.thefunaddicts.com/gallery/main.php

Though I could go on, I think this should illustrate the point that a few letters can be used as a substitute for a long URL.  If you haven’t yet tried this very handy feature, give it a shot.  I think you’ll come to appreciate it.

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