If you've been around for a while, you may have noticed that Wikia's search is... er... well, let's just say, it's ok — not great — but ok. But why would you use an ok search engine, when you could use a great one instead? And by that I mean Google. And if you also happen to be a Firefox user, the following will tell you how to search the wikiverse as quickly as humanly possible.

If you're a dyed-in-the-wool Firefox user like me, you probably already know this, but Firefox has a pretty awesome feature called "quick searches". With quick searches you type your search directly into the address bar. If you know where you want to go, this is by far the quickest way to navigate the web. This feature is at once very simple and enormously powerful, because absolutely every URL can be turned into a quick search.


Here are a two examples from my own quick searches to whet your appetite:

Typing wp wikia into the address bar and hitting return, takes me to

and tube david holmes 69 police takes me to

The magic

This is how it works (in principle):

  1. You bookmark a URL that looks like this:
    Note the magic string %s in the URL? This part will be replaced before Firefox navigates to the page.
  2. Add a keyword for the bookmark. Unfortunately you cannot do that from the bookmark dialog. You'll have to do so from the bookmark sidebar — which is admittedly a bit cumbersome. Here I'll use g as the keyword.
  3. Now when you click on the address bar (or hit Ctrl+L) and type g firefox quick searches, the %s will be expanded with whatever you type after the keyword — in this case firefox quick searches — and you'll be taken to that page. In this case that's:

If that went to fast for you, here's a much more comprehensive and easy-to-follow tutorial that I found via the search above ;)

Wiki Quick Searches

So here are a bunch of quick searches for wikinauts. The first two you can bookmark right off this page! The last two use JavaScript and wikicode doesn't permit JavaScript URLs. You'll have to go to the bookmark sidebar and add them manually.

Search your favourite wiki

Here we add site:<wikiname> to the URL to tell Google only to search that particular wiki:


suggested keyword: cc (for Community Central)

Type cc quick searches to find this blog! (as soon as Google has indexed it)

The same trick can be applied to search any particular wiki, of course.

Go to a specific page of your favourite wiki

Here we use Google's "I'm feeling lucky" feature. Instead of the search result page, you're immediately redirected to the first page on the result list. With wikis that works surprisingly often :)


suggested keyword: gcc (for goto Community Central)

Type gcc quick searches to be taken directly to this blog!

Search any wiki

And here's another little trick: With JavaScript we can pick the quick search string apart and re-assemble it however we wish. We'll use that to make both the search term and the wiki variable:


suggested keyword: w (for wiki)

The first part of your input will now be split off and used as a wiki name. The last part will be used as the search term(s) again. So type w borderlands sandhawk to search the Borderlands wiki for the Sandhawk!

Go to a specific page on any wiki

Now we'll put the last two tricks together: I'm feeling lucky + JavaScript magic:


suggested keword: gw (for goto wiki)

Type gw borderlands sandhawk to be taken directly to the page about the Sandhawk!

Happy finding!