Dave, a friend of mine was showing off his superior knowledge of Microsoft Internet Explorer (though he, of course, called it “IE” and, once, “MSIE”) and really amazed me when in the Address bar he typed in something that caused it to give us a stock quote for the specified ticker symbol. How did he do that?
I can totally understand your not wanting to go back to this “friend” of yours to ask how he pulled up a stock quote, but fortunately the solution is pretty simple if you know that what we’re talking about are what Microsoft’s team calls IE Search Prefixes. Your first step is to install this little script.
Then, to get a stock quote, for example, type quote msft in the MSIE address box, then press Return (or Enter, depending on your keyboard). To learn more about a specific movie, say, Casablanca, try movie casablanca instead.
Here’s a full table of IE Search Prefixes, according to the MSN Search team’s Weblog:
|define||definition, dictionary||MSN Search, web search with definition||define alpaca|
|encarta||MSN Search, Encarta search||encarta history of china|
|images||image||MSN Search, image search||images corvette|
|kb||Microsoft Knowledge Base||kb microsoft word|
|ms||Microsoft.com site||ms windows xp|
|movies||movie||MSN Movies||movies the incredibles|
|msdn||Microsoft MSDN||msdn cocreateguid|
|msn||MSN Search, web search||msn chicken fried rice|
|music||MSN Music||music peter gabriel|
|news||MSN Search, news search||news iraq|
|shop||shopping||MSN Shopping||shop digital camera|
|quote||stockquote||MSN Money, stock quote||quote msft|
|syn||thesaurus||Encarta thesaurus||syn vanguard|
Us Mac OS X users don’t have to miss out on the fun either: if you want to have all these nifty prefixes available within the popular Apple Safari browser, just install the $12 Saft utility, which adds lots of cool features to Safari in addition to simple Address box prefix shortcuts.
Saft does include some nice default prefixes too, particularly if you don’t want to keep going to Microsoft’s sites for information. For example, the IE Search Prefix “movie” takes you to MSN Movies, whereas Saft’s prefix “imdb” takes you to Amazon’s Internet Movie Database (and, yes, you can easily modify it so that typing ‘movie’ would work too).