Using Text Expansion for URL Completion

In my professional life on the web, I tend to visit lots of the same URLs frequently. While I have (most of) them bookmarked in my browser, I usually don’t navigate to the bookmark and click it.

I start typing in the URL field of my browser (Firefox) and since autosuggest also searches the bookmarks, those are often visible. I realized though that this is still often too slow and not straight forward enough: It happens that many URLs are very similar and have the same first part, such as on Github many repos are under the same organization.

So a while ago I started using Alfred’s snippets to expand URLs for me. By using / as a suffix1, this allows for speedy expansion of URLs I visit frequently. A bonus is that the same expansion works in other places where I need the URL, e.g. for linking it in blog posts.

So, for example, I have the snippet g/a/ to expand to If I then continue typing fr, my browser can autocomplete much more precisely because I have already entered part of the URL to which I often visit.

Hope this can serve as an inspiration!

  1. Although I natively speak German, I have switched to US (Intl for the inverted-L Enter key, I cannot let got of that one) keyboards a long time ago to benefit from dedicated keys for square and curly brackets, this also means I have a dedicated key for slash ↩︎
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  1. Pingback: - Billy Wilcosky

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