Web Shortcuts

Krishna Tateneni

Yves Arrouye

Revision KDE 4.11 (2013-05-30)

Web Shortcuts

Introduction

Konqueror offers some features to enhance your browsing experience. One such feature is Web Shortcuts.

You may already have noticed that KDE is very Internet friendly. For example, you can click on the Run menu item or type the keyboard shortcut assigned to that command (Alt+F2, unless you have changed it) and type in a URI. [1]

Web shortcuts, on the other hand, let you come up with new pseudo URL schemes, or shortcuts, that basically let you parameterize commonly used URIs. For example, if you like the Google search engine, you can configure KDE so that a pseudo URL scheme like gg will trigger a search on Google. This way, typing gg:my query will search for my query on Google.

Note

One can see why we call these pseudo URL schemes. They are used like a URL scheme, but the input is not properly URL encoded, so one will type google:kde apps and not google:kde+apps.

You can use web shortcuts wherever you would normally use URIs. Shortcuts for several search engines should already be configured on your system, but you can add new keywords, and change or delete existing ones in this module.

Web Shortcuts

The descriptive names of defined web shortcuts are shown in a list box. As with other lists in KDE, you can click on a column heading to toggle the sort order between ascending and descending, and you can resize the columns.

At the bottom of the list the option Enable Web shortcuts has to be checked to enable this feature. Use the buttons on the right to create, modify or delete shortcuts.

If Use preferred shortcuts only is checked, only web shortcuts marked as preferred in the third column of the list are used in places where only a few select shortcuts can be shown at one time.

Below the list you find two additional options:

Default Web shortcuts

Select the search engine to use for input boxes that provide automatic lookup services when you type in normal words and phrases instead of a URL. To disable this feature select None from the list.

Keyword delimiter

Choose the delimiter that separates the keyword from the phrase or word to be searched.

If you double-click on a specific entry in the list of defined search providers or click the Change button, the details for that entry are shown in a popup dialog. In addition to the descriptive name for the item, you can also see the URI which is used, as well as the associated shortcuts which you can type anywhere in KDE where URIs are expected. A given search provider can have multiple shortcuts, each separated by a comma.

The text boxes are used not only for displaying information about an item in the list of web shortcuts, but also for modifying or adding new items.

You can change the contents of either the Shortcut URL or the Shortcuts text box. Click OK to save your changes or Cancel to exit the dialog with no changes.

If you examine the contents of the Shortcuts URL text box, you will find that most, if not all of the entries have a \{@} in them. This sequence of four characters acts as a parameter, which is to say that they are replaced by whatever you happen to type after the colon character that is between a shortcut and its parameter. To add this query placeholder to a shortcuts url, click on the button at the right of the text box. Let's consider some examples to clarify how to use web shortcuts.

Suppose that the URI is http://www.google.com/search?q=\{@}, and gg is a shortcut to this URI. Then, typing gg:alpha is equivalent to http://www.google.com/search?q=alpha. You could type anything after the : character; whatever you have typed simply replaces the \{@} characters, after being converted to the appropriate character set for the search provider and then properly URL-encoded. Only the \{@} part of the search URI is touched, the rest of it is supposed to be properly URL-encoded already and is left as is.

You can also have shortcuts without parameters. Suppose the URI was file:/home/me/mydocs/calligra/words and the shortcut was mywords. Then, typing mywords: is the same as typing the complete URI. Note that there is nothing after the colon when typing the shortcut, but the colon is still required in order for the shortcut to be recognized as such.

By now, you will have understood that even though these shortcuts are called web shortcuts, they really are shortcuts to parameterized URIs, which can point not only to web sites like search engines but also to anything else that can be pointed to by a URI. Web shortcuts are a very powerful feature of navigation in KDE.



[1] Uniform Resource Identifier. A standardized way of referring to a resource such as a file on your computer, a World Wide Web address, an email address, etc....