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How can I get the URL bar to complete something like "cnn" to "http://www.cnn.com" regardless of whether CNN.com is in my history or bookmarks (instead of creating an unnecessary google search)?

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I'd like to have "short" URLs expand to a best guess (i.e., if I simply type CNN in the location bar (aka not-so-awesome bar), I'd like that to expand to http://www.cnn.com, whether or not CNN is in my history or bookmarks. Instead, I get a rather slowly loading Google search, which may or may not have CNN as the top hit. At one point, shortly after FF4 was released, I found a pointer to the right thing to change in about:config to get this behavior back, but I'm not having any luck now.

All Replies (3)

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Here's how to get the old behavior from Firefox 3:

  1. Go to the about:config page
  2. Search for the "keyword.URL" preference
  3. Double-click on the preference and enter a new value of http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=

This will enable "browse by name" which will jump straight to the top search result for common searches.

Modified by Matt Brubeck

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I don't think that was the default behavior. I have in my about:config a default prefix of "www." (browser.fixup.alternate.prefix) and a default suffix of ".com" (browser.fixup.alternate.suffix), and these used to be used to construct URLs. That's what I'd like to have happen again.

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"Browse by name" was in fact the default setting in Firefox 3.6 and earlier. In most cases it does just what you're asking for; for example, if you type "cnn" then browse-by-name will take you straight to www.cnn.com. This add-on is another way to restore that setting, easier than the steps I gave in my previous response:

https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/browse-by-name/

Or if you just want the browser to add "www." and ".com" then you can press Command+Return after typing a word in the location bar.