I'm addicted to shortcuts. Shave 5 minutes from my commute by exiting 2 streets early and cutting through the back roads? I'm there. And with the Internet I’m always looking for ways to do things faster.
Fortunately, one of our engineers, Kannan, is equally impatient. He came up with the idea to open up Yahoo! Search Shortcuts so that anyone can create their very own shortcuts.
Open Shortcuts (beta) are custom keywords that take you directly to a site, a search, or start a task right from the search box. In Unix speak: if the search box is the command-line of the web, shortcuts are aliases.
To use an Open Shortcut, you type ! (exclamation point) followed by the name of the shortcut in the Yahoo! Search box. For example, type: !ebay lamps. This takes you directly to www.ebay.com and searches for lamps.
You can create your own shortcuts to:
- Instantly navigate to any URL on the Internet
- Easily recall common searches on Yahoo!
- Quickly search favorite sites
- Jump start frequently used Internet applications
We already developed a few Open Shortcuts to demonstrate how you might use them:
- Navigation example, type: !my to navigate to "http://my.yahoo.com"
- Common Searches example, type: !wsf to search "weather san francisco" on Yahoo!
- Search example, type: !wiki rozier to search for "rozier" on Wikipedia
- Application example, type: !mail email@example.com to compose a Y! Mail to "firstname.lastname@example.org"
To get started, read the instructions for creating an Open Shortcut and play around with 'em..
If a few months from now you can’t remember what shortcuts you created, just type !list and get a list of your Open Shortcuts.
Like or dislike, let us know what you think--are they helpful? What more would you like to do with them? We'll enhance and expand Open Shortcuts over time with your feedback.
Product Manager, Yahoo! Search Shortcuts