Navigating in Opera using nicknames and search:
Monday, January 21, 2008 11:34:30 PM
Nicknames for the keyboard lover:
Both in Opera and Firefox you can add a nick name to a bookmark so you don't have to write the whole URL every time you want to visit a page, and you don't even have to find the bookmark, and best of all, you don't have to even click it.
You can write what ever you want in the nickname text box, and later on write the same word in your address bar if you want to go to the page the bookmark points to. All nicknames has to be different, but there is no minimum limit of characters. This allows me to reach most of my daily browsing pages just by activating the address bar Ctrl+L and then typing the two letters I chose my self, and then press Enter. No mouse needed, and next to no effort to get there. If you don't know how to set it up Daniel Goldman once wrote a pretty good tutorial on the topic.
I know what a nickname is, show me the "new" stuff:
Both in Opera and Firefox, you are able to add nicknames to searches as well. The two implementations differs a bit, but they both provide more or less exactly the same possibilities. In Opera a search differs from a bookmark for some reason, although behaves pretty much the same way. First you store the URL, then you can add a nickname. The only part that is different is that you replace the actual search therm in the URL with the letters %s.
Now to use it, you highlight the addressbar by clicking it or pressing Ctrl+L on your keyboard as you did with bookmarks, but after writing the nickname you gave the search, you press Space and then your search term. It can be a single word or a phrase or anything you might want to search for. Exactly as you do at Yahoo.com or Live.com when you search a page. But the cool trick is that there is no law saying you can only do this on search engines around the web. Why not do it for any page you frequently visit. Take MyOpera.com as an example. If I am at the index page and I want to go to EspenAO's blog. I have a few possibilities, but non of them are direct. I know I have added him as a friend. So I could go to my own blog, then go to my friend page, and then scroll up and down until I find him. And then click his image, just to notice I didn't get to his blog, but his info page instead so an additional click has to be done to get where I wanted. Not only did I have to click quite a bit, but if I was sitting on a slow connection it would take ages to get there. Can you see where I am going with this?
Sounds complicated, walk me through it:
MyOpera is a good example, so lets do that one togheter. All the URLs to the blogs here look the same, except for the different dame in the middle of the URL. For example my URL looks like http://my.opera.com/noteme/blog/. Now go to Tools->Preferences, and then choose the Search tab, and you should be presented with a dialog looking something like the below.
Then press the Add button to add a new "search". A new dialog will open looking pretty much like the one you are used to from your bookmarks. Click the Detail button to see all the fields we need. Then start to fill out the fields as shown on the image below.
The Name field is just for you to recognise what search it is. While the keyword field is where you add the nickname that you will use to activate the search. I chose my but you are free to chose what ever you want. In the Address field you write the URL to a random MyOpera blog, and then replace the name of the blog with %s, and you are good to go. Just click OK and you got yourself a brand new search with a twist.
Now to test it out open up a new tab (Ctrl+t). Then type my noteme before pressing Enter and see your browser redirecting gracefully to my blog. Replacing noteme with desktopblog will direct you to the desktopteam blog, and so on.
And that's it. Now you can navigate all the blogs in the world, and you don't even have to touch your mouse. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.
- Øyvind Østlund -