What is a bookmarklet? It is a bookmark – or favorite for those of you still using that dinosaur known as Internet Explorer. But instead of just taking you to some webpage, it does some action.
A prime example is a Google Search bookmarklet. Simply highlight a word or phrase on a webpage and click your bookmarklet. Google magically appears with the search results for word(s) you’d highlighted.
Try it yourself. Drag this to your bookmarks bar. Highlight any text on this page and click your newly created bookmarklet. Cool, huh? Let us compare. Normal search:
- select some text
- right-click the text you’ve highlighted, hoping you don’t accidentally right-click outside of your selection – causing you to have to reselect the text;
- go to google.com
- right-click in the search box
- click “Paste”
- click the search button
That’s a lot of steps. Compare that to:
- select some text
- click your bookmarklet
That’s it! You’ve saved something like, I don’t know, 12.5 steps – I could be wrong, I’m not a mathema…I’m not too good at math.
What if you forget to select some text? A little dialog box pops ups where you can type some search terms. If you don’t type anything and just click “OK”, Google’s homepage opens up.
Bookmarklets are relatively easy to edit and adapt. One that I created and use quite frequently is my WordPress Google search bookmarklet. Say I’m on a webpage discussing WordPress, and I spot the phrase “recent changes”. I simply select that, click my WordPress Google search bookmarklet, and viola! A Google search results page appears with the phrase “wordpress recent changes” as the search terms.
Another nifty one is Google Site Search. It searches only the site you’re currently viewing. Google usually provides more accurate results for a given site than the site’s own search box, with the exception of newly created content…Google only returns what it has indexed.
Come on over and get yerself some cool bookmarklets.