⌘+t GO! Navigate faster with this keyword shortcut hack in Chrome

As a developer and keyboard-centric computer user in general, I LOVE launchers. I used QuickSilver for years and switched to Spotlight once Apple made it simple and fast. ⌘+Space is my default motion on the keyboard whenever I need to open anything, and I even “swipe-down and type” to open apps on my iPhone.

On the web, I’m a new-tab addict, popping new tabs with ⌘+t constantly. Often, I can start to type a bit of what I want, find it in chrome’s drop-down and arrow-key my way to the URL I meant.

But Chrome’s URL autocompletion only takes you so far, and sometimes it seems to randomly forget that URL you constantly go to, or “helpfully” autocomplete a huge URL when you just want to go straight to Google Drive.

Personally I want to navigate stream-of-consciousness style, but Chrome doesn’t have and out-of-the-box keyword navigation system. I asked around, and discovered (thanks Peeja!) that Chrome has a little known feature that allows you to jump straight to a URL using a keyword. It’s a little bit of a hack, but completely worth the trouble to set them up!

The Custom Search Engine keyword hack

While you can’t set bookmark keywords in Chrome, you can set up custom search engines (handy for doing things like “giphy muppets” right from your browser bar). If you happen to not enter search terms, it jumps right to the root search URL and AHA! We have our hack!

As an example, we track all of our time here at Tanooki Labs using Harvest. I need to enter my timesheet multiple times a day, want to be able to jump right to it with “⌘+t time” Here’s how I set that up

I set up keywords for all of my most frequently used URLs. Need to join a hangout? “⌘+t hang” to jump to the hangouts lobby. Tracking a sales lead in prosperworks? (an awesome product with annoyingly long URLs) — jump right to the opportunities board with “⌘+t prosper”.

It’s a simple hack and slightly more convoluted than it should be, (it would be great to be able to just give a bookmark a keyword like you can in Firefox) but once you get them set up, these little keywords save a bunch of time!