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Using LaunchBar and Search Templates

I recently mentioned that LaunchBar is the one utility on my Mac that I’m most dependent upon – and the new LaunchBar 5 beta just improves on the whole experience.

One of the cool features in LaunchBar is the search template. Using search templates, you can quickly perform a search of a wide variety of sources with just a few keystrokes. For example, built-in to LaunchBar are search templates for almost 50 different kinds of searches. You can also extend the default search templates by adding your own – for any web site that has a search URL into which you can drop the search term.

As an example, I’ve added a search template for Yahoo! News that allows me quickly to search for a news story:

http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/search?p=*

When you add that search template to LaunchBar’s index (the * indicates where the search string should be inserted) and the search template is invoked (by typing CMD-Space followed by YN), LaunchBar then prompts me for the search string, I enter it, hit return and a new browser tab opens with the search results from Yahoo! News. Very cool!

Here are some other search templates I’ve added to LaunchBar:

Amazon Kindle Book Search:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_kinc?url=node%3D154606011&field-keywords=*

Flickr Search:

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=*&w=all

LinkedIn Search:

http://www.linkedin.com/search?search=&keywords=*

Google – I’m Feeling Lucky Search:

http://www.google.com/search?q=*&btnI=I%27m+Feeling+Lucky

Google Maps

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=*

New York Times Archive Search:

http://query.nytimes.com/search/sitesearch?query=*&srchst=cse

O’Reilly Media Search:

http://search.oreilly.com/?q=*&submit.x=13&submit.y=5

Payments News Search:

http://www.google.com/search?q=*%20site:www.paymentsnews.com

SEC Edgar Search:

http://idea.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-idea?company=*&match=&CIK=&filenum=&State=&Country=&SIC=&owner=exclude&Find=Find+Companies&action=getcompany

SJL Blog Search:

http://www.google.com/search?q=*%20site:www.sjl.us

Twitter Search:

http://search.twitter.com/search?q=*

I use these search templates multiple times each day, appreciating their saving me time and keystrokes every time I use one!

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