Cool Tools: Advanced URL Builder
a bit dry, right, perhaps even difficult? But no! This tool is fairly
easy to use, and if you're a LINKcat junkie (by choice or by job description) then it can put the "fun" in
Advanced URL Builder (AUB) is a Firefox Add-On that lets you create custom search links on your right-click context menu. I found it while looking for a tool that would let me rapidly convert street addresses to a map display. AUB does that by default, and with just a little work it can do a lot more. You can get AUB here.
Installing AUB inserts a new context menu item, Find using..., that is available by right-clicking whenever a word or phrase is highlighted in your browser window. This new menu item has several default search widgets: Just Open (for text that is a URL), Google Maps, or Dictionary (reference.com). Note that the Google Maps option defaults to the UK edition. You may want to adjust the Google Maps search widget by changing the ".co.uk" part of its URL to ".com".
To adjust the Google Maps URL, or to add your own search widgets, select some text on a web page, right click, select the Find using... menu item, and finally select its Options... Then you can double click the Google Maps URL to modify it, or you can add a menu option for any website having a search function that uses a structured query URL.
Using AUB with LINKcat searching
As an example, let's create an AUB search widget
using the LINKcat launcher. Here's how to create a general keyword
search widget for LINKcat. This AUB widget will yield the same results
as you get when you search LINKcat Catalog in the PAC.
1. Get into the AUB Options window if you're not already there.
Highlight any text on a web page, right click, choose Find using... and then Options... The AUB Options window will open.
2. Click the Add button.
A new item will appear at the bottom of the list of options, named New Item, with an empty URL.
3. Double click the new item's Name to change it.
For this example: LINKcat Catalog
4. Double click the new item's URL to edit it.
Type in (or paste) your search URL. For this example:
that this is a partial URL. The search term is going to automatically
get appended, matching whatever word or phrase that you have highlighted
when you right click in the browser.
5. Click OK to finish, or go ahead and Add some more search widgets, perhaps these:
Now, if that all went well, then you should be able to select any text on any web page, and launch these searches from it. Below are some phrases for testing. Just select a name, book title, place or ISBN, then right click and search with your AUB widgets.
Tomorrow, July 30, is the birthday of novelist Emily Bronte, author of Wuthering Heights. She was born in 1818 in the town of Thornton, West Yorkshire, UK. Are you traveling there? Try the audio book version, ISBN 9781400106882.