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Being a non-native English speaker, I have this mildly often need to lookup the translation of some word in the dictionary. Instead of installing translation software on my computer or visiting one of the online translators every time such a need arises, I chose to use an extension to Mozilla Firefox.
Until now I was using the DictionarySearch extension, which can be configured to lookup in several different dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc. I was mostly happy with the extension, but felt that it could be
improved simplified. I didn’t need all those configurations, choices and such. All I wanted was to lookup the translation of either English or Russian word in the Yandex Lingvo.
Today I came across an extension which does exactly that. Lingvo Online! for Mozilla Firefox is a very small and simple extension which does exactly what I want. It adds a context menu which allows quick lookups of selected words.
I found this excellent tip in Ovid’s LiveJournal.
And if you use Firefox, here’s a tip that many don’t seem to know about: keywords.
Let’s say that you’re constantly searching images.google.com. Go there and type a search for “daisies” and bookmark the resulting page. Then, goto “Bookmarks -> Manage Bookmarks” and select the bookmark you just saved. Ricght-click the bookmark and select “Properties” (or “Edit -> Properties” from the Manage Bookmarks menu). In the resulting dialog box, you can edit “Name”, “Location”, “Keyword” and “Description.” The “Location” will look something like this:
In that URL, find the word you searched for (“daisies”, in this case) and replace it with “%s” (without the quotes):
Then, type “images” (without the quotes) in the keyword field. Click “OK”.
When you’re back at the browser, you can now just type “images” followed by what you want to search for and you’ll go straight to the google images page for that. Try it with “images puppies”, for example. This technique will work for just about any site where you can search.
Most of you probably already know this, but I have just found out myself, so I’ll share just in case some of you missed it too…
Recent versions of Mozilla Firefox have a feature called a search bar. It is usually located to the right of the address bar. By default, this search bar is configured to use Google. That is, instead of going to Google, you can just type your query in that search bar, hit
Enter and you will get the search results. This is very convenient and saves a lot of time and clicking around.
Now, if you click o the small Google icon in the search bar, you will be presented with a list of other search engines, that you can use instead of the default Google option. There is also a menu item marked “
Add Engines“. If you click on it, you will be taken to this page, where you can find hundreds and hundreds of other engines that you can use. Two that I have been missing the most were Google Images and IMDB.
Check this out and you will most probably save yourselve a lot of time.
P.S.: On Linux, these engines are installed into some global directory, so your Firefox will need root access.