Open Shortcuts for Yahoo! Search

Today we launched a new feature of Yahoo! Search called Open Shortcuts. This lets you do certain types of searches quickly. It’s also customizable. For instance, to search eBay from the Yahoo! search page:

  1. Go to (or any convenient Yahoo! search box)
  2. In the search box, type !ebay shoes
  3. You’ll be taken to eBay where you’ll see search results for all the lovely shoes that are available on eBay

You can also define your own shortcuts in the search box. I made my own shortcut to search the Yahoo! Developer Network site by following these steps:

  1. Go to

  3. In the ‘name’ box, enter the name of the shortcut (in this case, ‘dev‘)

  5. In the ‘URL’ box, enter:

The "%s" is a special character that specifies that you should replace this with whatever you entered in the search box.

To save the shortcut, click on the Set button.

Now when you go to any Y! search box you can enter !dev javascript (or whatever) and you’re taken to search results for ‘javascript’ on the Yahoo! Developer Network site.

Remember that this works from any Yahoo! search box, including the search boxes you find at the top of nearly every Yahoo! page, as well as the Yahoo! search box in Firefox, etc.

I’m pretty sure you have to be logged in to Yahoo! for this to work.

There is also a shortcut for creating shortcuts, it’s the ‘set’ command. I used this to create a search shortcut for MSDN (Microsoft’s developer site):

!set msdn

(That should be all entered in the box as one entry; it looks like it’s going to word-wrap on this page.)