5 Interesting Things You Can Do with Chrome’s Address Bar (Omnibox)


Are you using the Chrome’s address bar just as simple browser address bar? Just to add site address and Google search? Then you’re not using it’s actual power. Here I’d like to show you some interesting stuff you can do with the omnibox(address bar) as the geeks call it out.

In past few months we’ve covered many chrome extensions and guides like making chrome run faster. So, here further on we share with you the tricks and tips of chrome’s omnibox.

Search keywords with Drag and Drop

You can easily search for keyword of which you don’t know the meaning by just selecting the keyword and drag and drop it into omnibox. It will instantly make search over that keyword. This way you need not copy and paste the keyword to search it. One thing I didn’t like it opens in the same tab. So to refer about the word again you need to go back a page to check the sentence of what it meant.

Quick Math and Unit Conversion

Well you may be knowing Google search can also be used as calculator and unit converter. You need to type in the equation and press enter for the answer. But, here in the omnibox you need not to press enter. It’ll get you the answer in the suggestion bar itself. You can do quick math like 1055 / 45 and for unit conversion 245 f = c , 110 feet = inches.

Search into Specific website

You can search into specific sites directly from the omnibox without opening that particular site. Type in the URL for example: youtube.com and press Tab. It’ll let you search specifically into that site. This works for popular sites. But, for some sites you’ll have to add it manually.
To add search for specific site manually, get into chrome settings. Under the search section open manage search engines. A dialogue box will open up stating all search engines. Scroll to the bottom until you find empty fields to add your own search engine.
Let’s say for example you want to add a search engine for torrentz.eu. So, in the first field add in the name “Torrents”(you can name it anything). In the second one keyword through which you want to call it. We’ll take “tor” and in the last field you need to add search URL. It can be different depending on the site. Here for torrentz we have “https://torrentz.eu/search?q=keyword” (without quotes). Replace keyword with %s. So in the last field you’ll add https://torrentz.eu/search?q=%s. And then press done.
So, now whenever you want to search a torrent. Just type in “tor” and press tab(even space will work) and search.

Web Notepad

chrome web notepad
You wanna note down some text or number while doing some office work. Notepad is best and fastest. But while using chrome and opening a notepad is not what geeks do. They use web notepad. (This trick probably works in all other major browsers.)
data:text/html, <html contenteditable>
Copy-paste above html code into the address bar and hit enter. It will turn the page into editable notepad.  But typing or pasting the code in the address bar every time would be time consuming, The above search engine method can be used for instant access to web notepad.
So, open manage search engines and in the first field add name “Notepad” and in the second field the keyword add “np” (keep it simple) and in the last field add  data:text/html, <html contenteditable>%s and press done. Now, whenever you wanna access it just type np and press tab. Also, you’ll have to type in something and press enter to make it actually work. After all we’ve used the search keyword to access it.

Explore files

You can even explore files by just entering file:///c://(c can be replaced with specific drive) on Windows and just file:/// on Mac.

Bonus Tips:

  • Enter “?” as prefix if you want to force the omnibox to google the keywords rather than open the site. For example you want to search for “facebook.com”, pressing enter will get you to the site and will not let you google it. Rather you should enter “?facebook.com” to force it search for it.
  • Press ctrl+enter to automatically append “www.” and “.com” to keyword in omnibox. Say for example you typed in “facemash” pressing ctrl+enter will automatically open the site by appending www. and .com to it.
  • Use alt+enter when you want to search for something in a new tab when you’re already using a tab with site running. Start typing in the keyword in the current tab’s omnibox and press alt+enter. It will search for it in the new tab.
  • Open chrome://omnibox to personalize it.

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