Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tuesday Tech Tip #13 - The Omnibar, Way More Than URLs

Right up there at the top of Google Chrome is a small white box that we used to simply call "the address bar" in the early days of the web. However, it's 2014 and the Internet has been around for more than two decades. The address bar can do so much more. In Google Chrome terminology the address bar is called the "omnibar" because similar to the definition of the prefix omni it allows you to combine many tasks into one. Below are just two ways you can use Chrome's Omnibar to make you more efficient.

Use the Omnibar to Search the Web

While you certainly can use the omnibar to type in a web address you can also use it to search the web. Many of us have found this accidentally by leaving off a ".com" as part of typing in an address. By default Chrome uses Google to search from the omnibar, but you can change search engines in the Chrome Settings (Chrome -> Preferences -> Settings).

Use the Omnibar to Tailor Your Search 

While many people might know that you can use the omnibar for a general web search you can also set it up to conduct custom searches. Let's say for example that I want to search just Google Drive for a document, I have my Chrome set up so that I can type "gdrive" followed by the tab button and the keyword for which I am searching. You can set this up for any website you regularly search. I have my Chrome set up to search Amazon, Flickr (for blogging photos), Sacbee, and Twitter. Take a look at the video below. It will show you how to add these search engines to Chrome. It'll also make you feel like a Chrome expert once you have it all dialed in. :-)


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