ARCHIVED: In Firefox, what are smart keywords and how do I use them?

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Smart keywords in Firefox allow you to set up keyboard shortcuts for your favorite bookmarks. Using a smart keyword, you can enter a short key combination into the location bar, and Firefox will retrieve the desired web site.

On this page:

Simple keywords

The most basic use of a smart keyword allows you to go directly to one web address. To set up a smart keyword for one of your bookmarks:

  1. In Firefox, right-click the bookmark (Ctrl-click in Mac OS X), and then click Properties. If you don't have any bookmarks in Firefox, from the menu bar, select Bookmarks, then Manage Bookmarks..., and then click New Bookmark....

    If the menu bar is hidden, press Alt to make it visible.

  2. In the "Keyword:" field, type a short key combination to serve as the bookmark's smart keyword. For example, if your bookmark is for the CNN web site (, you could type cnn. If you're creating a new bookmark, you'll need to fill in the "Name:" and "Location:" fields as well.
  3. Click OK.

To use your smart keyword, type it in the Firefox location bar, and press Enter or Return.

Variable keywords

When a site contains many different pages with URLs that vary only in predictable ways, you can use smart keywords to go directly to any of these pages by including a variable in your keyword. For example, all documents in the Indiana University Knowledge Base have a URL that follows this pattern, where xxxx is the four-letter document ID:

To create a smart keyword that will take you directly to any KB document when you know the document ID, follow the instructions below; adapt them as needed for other web sites.

  1. In Firefox, right-click any bookmark (Ctrl-click in Mac OS X), and select New Bookmark....

    If you don't have any bookmarks, from the menu bar, select Bookmarks, then Manage Bookmarks..., and then New Bookmark....

  2. In the window that opens, use the following as examples to fill in the fields. (The name, keyword, and description can be whatever you want.)
    Name: Knowledge Base

    Note: The %s is the marker showing where to insert any text after the keyword.

    Keyword: kbdoc
    Description: Smart keyword for viewing Knowledge Base documents

  3. Click OK.

To use this smart keyword to view Your University account (formerly Network ID), for example, type the following in the location bar:

  kbdoc beml

When you press Enter or Return, this will change to, and the page will load in the browser.

Using keywords to search a site

You can use smart keywords to search web sites from the location bar. This will work for any web site that has its own search function, such as Google, CNN, and the Indiana University Knowledge Base. To use smart keywords to search a web site:

  1. Go to the web site you'd like to search (e.g., the IU Knowledge Base) and right-click in the search field.
  2. Click Add a Keyword for this Search.... This will open an Add Bookmark dialog box.
  3. In the "Name:" field, type a name for the new bookmark (e.g., IU KB search). This name will appear in your list of bookmarks.
  4. In the "Keyword:" field, type a short key combination to serve as the smart keyword (e.g., kb).
  5. In the "Create in:" field, use the drop-down list, or click the adjoining button, to determine where the new bookmark will be filed.
  6. Click OK.

You can now enter, for example, kb windows vpn in the location bar to search the Knowledge Base on "windows vpn".

This is document arjb in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 14:56:54.