The Mac app alfred.app has some pretty neat features. One of them called "Quick-Search the web" (see more here) allows to search the web by typing a keyword (i.e twitter) and getting a web page directly (i.e https://twitter.com).

But even better, it allows the user to pass a query string so that you get the page you need without any time lost. For instance, you could define https://twitter.com/{query} and type "twitter StackExchange" in your Alfred launcher and it would then bring you directly to https://twitter.com/StackExchange

Basically, I'm dying to find a way to do that (especially the latter with the query string) on Ubuntu.

Is there any way to achieve something similar? Tried Synapse and Gnome Do but they don't offer such flexibility. Autokey might possibly offer this but certainly not out of the box but via Python scripting only (I guess).

1 Answer 1


You can do this with most of the modern web browsers. The feature is commonly called search engines. (Most browsers use secondary search bar for it, located next to normal search bar, chrome's is build in into the normal search bar)

Also you might want to check duckduckgo search engine where you can use !bang syntax e.g. !twitter StackExchange (!g for google, !gi for google images and so on). Duckduckgo also has some other neat features like Goodies. The one for twitter let's you search for @StackExchange and brings latest twitt in addition to normal web search.

And I am pretty sure you could do similar things with Unity dash. Not sure if anything like that exists yet.

  • Not exactly the answer I was hoping for but I have to say the "search engines" feature in Chrome is pretty neat. Too bad it's not shared across different profiles you might have, though.
    – vanz
    Aug 31, 2013 at 14:51

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