Thursday, July 30, 2009

Search Engine Juggling With Google Chrome

Ok, this is a fairly geeky trick but it’s Shakespeare related so I thought I’d blog it here instead of one of my lesser travelled tech blogs.

I’m working on a little side project involving a quotes database.  I’ve even built myself up a little web editor so I can crank through them.  Problem is that I have text, but what I really want is character and scene.  Luckily we have wonderful search engines like http://shakespeare.clusty.com that do exactly what I need.

Turns out I can combine the two, using Google Chrome.   If you select some text and right click it, a menu option “Search Google for this text” comes up and you’ve just saved yourself a bunch of cut and paste.  It even opens up a new tab for you.

But, it uses Google as my search engine, by default.  More often than not if I try this approach I’ll get a page full of other quote databases, none of which has my character and scene info.

Not for long. 

  1. Right click in the awesome bar (that’s the URL/location bar at the top) and you’ll see Edit search engines.  Pick that.
  2. Now Add.  
  3. Pick whatever name and keywords you like.  The URL is this:  http://clusty.com/search?input-form=simple-billy&query=%s&v:sources=billy-bundle&v:project=billy (noting the %s where the query goes).
  4. Lastly, go ahead and click Make Default to make Clusty your default Shakespeare search engine.
  5. Now select some text, right click and you’ll see Search Clusty for text…  Presto, I’ve got my character and scene information!
  6. Remember to put it back when done:  Edit search engines, select your primary engine, Make Default.   You’ll even notice that Clusty has jumped up into the Default section so you can get to it more easily next time.

Any kind of web research, not just Shakespeare, requires lots of cutting, pasting and cross referencing.  If you’ve got a particular search engine doing 99% of the work for you, Chrome can save you a tremendous amount of work this way.

4 comments:

A Paperback Writer said...

I found this by accident, as my mind was on the bard today (okay, it often is; I'm an English teacher).
Anyway, this is a funky little blog; I'll have to drop by now and then.

John said...

It's new for me, too - may I suggest adding him(?) to your RSS reader of choice? Convenient and easy!

(Ok, where's my dollar?)

Duane said...

Welcome to you both! I am indeed a "him", for context. :) Feel free to look around and don't forget to check the search/archives, we're coming up on 5 years of doing this so there's been plenty to talk about.

Don't be shy about suggesting new topics, either.

A Paperback Writer said...

I don't do RSS feed. I bookmarked the blog (notice how I'm back again?), and if I REALLY like it, then I'll stick a link on my own blog.
I've got a nice post on the Utah Shakespeare Festival up right now (and I'm adding more later today). C'mon over and have a look.