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Add a keyboard shortcut to a Chrome bookmark or bookmarklet

Add a keyboard shortcut to a bookmark in Chrome 9
It occurred to us, after writing yesterday's list of Chrome keyboard shortcuts, that there was one glaring omission: bookmark shortcuts.

Not only does the Bookmark Bar take up valuable real estate, but no one really wants to click through folders of bookmarks to find what you're looking for.

Now, Firefox has 'Smart bookmarks', which lets you add a keyword to a bookmark. Chrome, however, only lets you assign keywords (and thus keyboard shortcuts) to search engines.

Fortunately, with a little bit of hacking, that doesn't matter.
Basically, you need to add your bookmarks as search engines. You won't have access to these bookmarks via the Bookmarks Manager or Bookmarks Bar, but you will be able to access your favorite sites with quick keyboard shortcuts. It's worth the trade off!

To begin, right click the address bar and select Edit search engines.

If you're using Chrome 9 (currently the stable channel), a window will pop up; Chrome 10 and later (currently beta and dev channels) will open a tab.

Chrome 9: click Add, and then fill in the details as if you were adding a normal bookmark. The Keyword will become the keyboard shortcut, so make sure it's only one or two letters (see image above).

Add a bookmark in Chrome 10

Chrome 10 and later: Just scroll down and add a new row at the bottom. The Keyword will become the keyboard shortcut, so make sure it's only one or two letters (see above).

In both cases, pasting JavaScript into the address box will result in a bookmarklet (check Lee's list if you want to try some out!)

Now, to use your new keyboard shortcuts, just hit Ctrl+L, followed by the Keyword, and Enter. For example, my Download Squad shortcut shown in the image above would be Ctrl+L D Enter.

Incidentally, if you want to add some actual search engines to Chrome, check out the Mycroft Project, which has thousands of pre-configured search engines that you can install with a single click.

For more software tips, see our tips index.

Tags: bookmarks, chrome, chrome 10, chrome 9, Chrome10, Chrome9, favorites, google chrome, GoogleChrome, hotkey, keyboard shortcuts, KeyboardShortcuts, search engine, SearchEngine, shortcut, tips