ZappySearch

ZappySearch is the first Firefox extension I built, both as an introduction to Firefox and to solve a real problem I had: constantly needing to look things up and being too impatient to wait for Google to load or to type the direct URL in.

ZappySearch Screenshot

Setting up your own shorcuts couldn’t be easier.

ZappySearch solves this by enabling you to type a predefined character string (1-5 chars) followed by whatever it is you’re looking for, and then simply filling in the gaps in the URL to take you straight to where you want to go.

For Example

You’re browsing a tech blog and following along just nicely, except the author is repeatedly using an abbreviation you’re not familiar with. Not being able to work it out, you summmon the source of all human knowledge that is Wikipedia to help you out.

But wait, you already know what article you want, you don’t want to have to load up Wikipedia’s homepage, locate the search bar, delete the text, and then type in your term. Wouldn’t it be much better simply to hit ctrl+l, type “w abbr”, and “zap” straight there?

Well, that’s the sole function of ZappySearch: to make your life just that little bit easier.

Customizing ZappySearch

Of course, it’s fully customizable too. By default, I’ve added shortcuts for Wikipedia, Dictionary.com, and Facebook, but adding others of your own is a breeze.

You’ll find the configuration page at Tools > ZappySearch Shortcuts. There, just add your favourite sites into the textboxes at the bottom in the same format as the already-present entries.

I’m sure you’ll be able to work out what’s going on from the pre-existent entries (see the screenshot). Before adding your own, you’ll probably want to search for something using the site’s search engine. Then just replace the search term you entered with four dots/periods (….) and paste them into the middle textbox.

You’ll get it when you see the other entries, promise.

Download

Version 0.2 (current version)

You can download the current version of ZappySearch as .xpi. If you’re running Firefox now, you can install it from this very page. Mental.
Download ZappySearch 0.2

Version 0.1

Download ZappySearch 0.1

Your Thoughts?

I’d love to hear them!
Do e-mail me at matt@mtdevans.com with your comments and suggestions.