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Creating Simple Omnibox Shortcuts in Chrome

Lately I’ve been dealing a lot with development stuff that requires I specify a particular port in the URL when visiting the application or service I’m trying to access. I quickly grew tired of having to type in the url (or letting it autofill) and then adding the correct port at the end. Since I’m running many web applications on my desktop at home that all run on different ports, there were a lot of results popping up for 127.0.0.1. I wanted a quicker way to access particular applications on my local network, and thus I set out for ways to create omnibox shortcuts.

It turns out that creating omnibox shortcuts in chrome is actually really easy, although maybe I’m just exploiting a different tool to do what I want with it. Basically we’re going to add our own custom “search engines” to the omnibox. But we’re not going to search for anything. We’re just going to use the awesome ability to add custom search engines to also add shortcuts.

chrome://settings/searchEngines

In here you’ll see that a lot of websites you visit appear to already be adding search engines to your browser for you under the “Other search engines” section. How nice of them. Let’s do the same thing, except we’re going to add our own like this:

LocalPlex    plex    127.0.0.1:32400

That “search engine” will actually enable us to just type “plex” into the omnibox and hit enter, chrome will automatically take you to 127.0.0.01:32400 in that tab.  Nifty. While we’re at it, I set up my home router to use HTTPS only for the administration pages, but since the AiCloud software built into the router listens on port 443, we have to access the admin panel via a different port. We’ll use 8443.

HomeRouter    homerouter    https://192.168.1.1:8443

And now when we type homerouter and hit enter, it’ll take us to the correct port over https so we can login. Neat!

You can also use this to add actual searching mechanisms for your favorite sites as long as you know the URL query structure, but to be honest I don’t really care enough about that feature. I just wanted shortcuts in my omnibox. Now you can have shortcuts in your omnibox too.

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