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Search Selected Text with Google Chrome

by Chrome Blog on September 16, 2008

One Firefox addon i used quite often was a Context Search and what this done was added a selection of Search Engines and useful sites that would enable you to highlight text or a domain on a webpage then launch a search for the selected text on the chosen website.

It was a great time saver because you didn’t need to open another tab for the particular site, then copy and paste your text in to the search box and hit search. This is what it looked like on the right click context menu in Firefox:

This is one extension i miss, so i thought i would “kind of” make a fix for Google Chrome. When i say kind of, these are Bookmarklets which aren’t quite as convenient as having the functionality built directly in to the right click menu however they are still easier than going about things the old fashioned way and will suffice until we get an API for extensions or addons.

So to use these, drag the links below to your Bookmarks. Then whenever you highlight a piece of text on a webpage, click the corresponding bookmark and it will automatically conduct a search on the site you have chosen. So i have done the sites in the Firefox addon, and a couple of other useful searches.

Here they are:

Google Search Selected Text

Google Search Selected

Google Blog Search Selected Text

Google BlogSearch Selected

Google Images Search Selected Text

Google Trends Search Selected

Google Trends Search Selected Text

Google Trends Search Selected

Yahoo Search Selected Text

Yahoo Search Selected

Live.com Search Selected Text

Live.com Search Selected

MSN.com Search Selected Text

MSN.com Search Selected

Wiki Search Selected Text

Wiki Search Selected

Amazon Search Selected Text

Amazon Search Selected

Answers.com Search Selected Text

Answers.com Search Selected

CreativeCommons.org Search Selected Text

CreativeCommons Search Selected

Ebay.com Search Selected Text

Ebay Search Selected

Dictionary.com Search Selected Text

Dictionary.com Search Selected

Google Text from Current Website

Google Text from Site

This one above will limit the Google search to just the site you are on, for example if you highlight the word “Bookmark” on this site and click the bookmarklet link it will show all pages listed in Google from ChromePlugins.org that contain the word “Bookmark”. This is quite useful if the site you are browsing doesn’t have a search feature, but they have a great article and you would like to find other similar articles on the site.

Also yesterday i published a whole stack of these in the forum that duplicate the functions of the Google Toolbar, as well as the functions of SEOQuake which is a popular Firefox tool for webmasters and SEO folk. You can view them in the post titled Google Toolbar for Chrome

If you don’t know how to make these site searches for highlighted text and you would like one for a particular site, for example search the highlighted text at AOL.com then just leave a comment below with the site and i will make one and add it to the list for you.

{ 6 trackbacks }

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 glenndorsey 09.17.08 at 1:08 am

That is extremely useful!! Just as good as the original Firefox plugin in my opinion. Thanks.

2 Wit Serdakovskiy 09.18.08 at 2:00 am

Thank you.
I think it’s more convenient to have a customizable plug-in. For example, I’m using such services as translation, domain lookup, etc…

3 Chrome Blog 09.18.08 at 3:59 am

Wit Serdakovskiy: For translation, domain lookup and many other functions please see the forum post Here to enable them. I went through the Google Toolbar and SEOQuake functions and done up bookmarklets to replicate all these features.

We don’t have an API to create addons or extensions to “fully” make things like Firefox has, but these bookmarklets are about the next best thing at the moment for Chrome functionality.

glenndorsey: Thanks for the comments, glad you found them useful. 🙂

4 tbone 09.24.08 at 9:39 am

This is great – I’ve been using similar bookmarks in Firefox for years but my javascript was buggy and they don’t work in Chrome. Yours work great so I’ve been able to convert mine over. Thanks for posting it!

5 Chris 10.16.08 at 4:42 pm

Actually there was a much better plugin in Firefox than the built-in feature. It’s called Hyperwords (check out the demo here: http://hyperwords.net/demo.html). If only it could work in Chrome I’d switch immediately.

But right now I actually stick to Opera because it has the same feature (built-in) and even allows to create searches from any search box of any website, and very easily. What you have done take less than a second to create in Opera.

And another feature related to text selection and that I can’t leave without is a simple GoToWebAddress function. In Opera, you select for example a text where a website address is not hyperlinked and that looks like google.com for example, you simply select it and right-click to go to this URL in a new tab.

Finally, one of my favorite feature in Opera I can’t find anywhere else is the concept of “sessions”. IT allows you to save a session of tabs. Say you’re looking for an apartment on Craigslist and have opened 12 tabs with classified ad publishers you want to contact. But you’re too busy to do it right now. Well you can simply save this session as ‘apartment rental’ for example, and open it anytime later. It’s so practical. Even FF doesn’t have that.

That’s why I think Opera is by far the best browser to date. But I admit Chrome has a lot of potential and is amazingly fast. If one day it has these 3 features (and also a google toolbar!!!), I’ll change in a snap. I can’t believe Google didn’t even integrate their own toolbar to Chrome. Total nonsense. I miss in particular the hover translation and the auto-fill features.

6 Jennifer Farley 10.26.08 at 9:23 am

Very useful thanks. I miss the Firefox plugins too, but this is a great start to building them up again in Chrome.

7 dtittle 11.18.08 at 11:51 pm

Would you make on so that I may search BibleGateway.com? I would appreciate it.

8 Martin Lambert 11.26.08 at 1:15 am

Just a few user-interface suggestions.

How about a feature that allows you to set new downloads to automatically open in the Downloads tab (ctrl+j) instead of popping up down the bottom of the page; and/or an option for the download pop-ups to hide automatically after completion?

Also, after implementing a few of those “Search Selected Text” links offered above, there are no icons on the buttons, just little blank white pages with a turned corner. An option to add/retrieve the icons from their host site would be a nice feature. I like seeing all the icons. It makes me happy! 🙂

9 tapik 12.16.08 at 4:17 am

Great! This is the first time I’ve seen beautiful and usefull bookmarklets. I’ll have to write my own ones! I’ll post them here.

10 phuc 12.20.08 at 6:24 am

javascript:q = “” + (window.getSelection ? window.getSelection() : document.getSelection ? document.getSelection() : document.selection.createRange().text); if (!q) q = prompt(“Search words”, “”); if (q!=null) location=”http://tratu.baamboo.com/dict/en_vn/” + escape(q).replace(/ /g, “+”); void 0

You can use that with another site, change the url wesite in that java.

But can you make a Bookmarks that search a word in these case. Copy+C the word anh then click Bookmarks. The website open in the new background tab.

Thanks very much

11 Oleg 12.22.08 at 2:42 pm

Hi there,

Thanks for the tip!. I also wanted that the search was made in a new tab so that I could continue reading afterwards the initial page. I modified a little bit the code and here it is:

javascript:q = “http://www.google.com/search?q=” + (window.getSelection ? window.getSelection() : document.getSelection ? document.getSelection() : document.selection.createRange().text); if (!q) q = prompt(“You didn’t select any text. Enter a search phrase:”, “”); if (q!=null) open(q); void 0

I hope you find it useful.

12 Oleg 12.22.08 at 2:48 pm

By the way, I didn’t care much for the prompt thing so I didn’t change the code to respect that area. I just wanted to select something and that the search was made in a new tab.

13 zSoilworker 03.07.09 at 6:33 am

Not to bother you, but the search in google images button says Google Trends instead of Google Images.

Great script.

14 Scott 06.19.09 at 6:26 am

Great tips. Thanks you. I do have a question though. Most of the time when I use this feature in firefox I search for many things within the article I am reading and then, once I am done, I flip through the tabs I have opened. What I really want is to be able to use your feature without having to go the the new tab right away. Is there any way to do that. Again, just to be clear, I am hoping to use your cool shortcut feature but have it open a new tab in the background and not interrupt the site I am currently using. Any way this can work. Even the built in Google search does not do this in Chrome.

15 freerow 12.27.09 at 3:52 pm

They do not support selected Chinese texts 🙁

16 Adam 03.04.10 at 3:23 pm

Nicely done, I love my torrents so here is one for thepiratebay.org:

javascript:q = "" + (window.getSelection ? window.getSelection() : document.getSelection ? document.getSelection() : document.selection.createRange().text); if (!q) q = prompt("Search words", ""); if (q!=null) location="http://thepiratebay.org/search/" + escape(q).replace(/ /g, "+") +"/0/99/0"; void 0

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