Bottom line: Add javascript bookmarklets to Google Chrome’s search engines to allow activation via keyword from the Omnibox.

I’m a keyboard shortcut fanatic. I type at nearly 100 wpm, and I use tools like Quicksilver to make it so that my hands have to leave the keyboard as little as possible. In fact, one of the reasons I first switched to using Chrome was because I can switch between tabs quickly by using CMD + [arrow key] or CMD + number. For example, I keep Gmail open in a pinned tab, and it’s always the first tab. That way, I can always type CMD 1 to go directly to my email. Then “c” to compose a new email (using Gmail’s excellent keyboard shortcuts), and I’ve gone from browsing to writing an email in under a second.

I also use a ton of javascript bookmarklets. One of my favorites is Instapaper – I’m a huge fan. Anyway, I’m always looking for a better way to trigger this bookmarklet than manually clicking the “Read later” button, and I really prefer not to install 3rd party extensions (for things like keyboard shortcuts – especially ones that accidentally get triggered when I’m typing). For about a year now, I’ve just make the bookmarklet into a bookmark and named it #insta. When I’m on a page I’d like to save, I type “#insta” into the Omnibox and hit the down arrow a few times to select the javascript: bookmarklet.

Prefacing it with # makes it so I can go to instapaper without accidentally triggering the bookmarklet instead, and also seems to make Chrome put the bookmarklet higher in my results than a simple bookmark without the #.

Recently, I was messing around with text expansion to see if I could just have a snippet that expanded “#insta” into the bookmarklet, so I didn’t have to down arrow and select the right one. Unfortunately (or fortunately, I guess), Chrome has some built in security that disables javascript when input this way or from the clipboard. Makes sense.

Then I came across the perfect solution: Chrome supports custom search tools (that I use frequently). If you right click on the Omnibox, you can “Edit Search Engines…”

And add a new “search engine” using “#insta” as the keyword…

and it works like a charm! Now, when I’m on a page I’d like to read later, I just “CMD L” to jump to the Omnibox and type in “#insta” and return, and the Instapaper “Saving…” screen pops up just like I’d hoped. Nice to finally find a solution I’m happy with for triggering javascript bookmarklets!