Add Internet Search Shortcuts to Windows 7 Explorer

One of things I love best about Windows Vista is the way that search capabilities permeate the OS. From the Start menu to Windows Explorer to the Control Panel, search is everywhere.

Same goes for Windows 7, of course, but there's an added perk: You can install so-called "search connectors" that let you search various Web sites right from Windows Explorer.

If you've ever added search engines to Internet Explorer 7/8, it's kind of the same idea. You just click on the type of search you want--Amazon, eBay, Flickr, etc.--then click a few confirmation dialogs.

Windows 7 users can add all kinds of Internet search options to Windows Explorer. Handy stuff!
When you're done, you'll see the new option in the Favorites section of Windows Explorer. Start typing in the search field and watch as results appear dynamically (i.e. as you type).

You can find a bunch of these connectors over at Seven Forums, where you'll also find instructions on creating connectors of your own. (Scroll down to the section titled Create Your Own Standard Basic Search Provider.) That's right: If you're handy with the copy/paste commands, you can make a connector for just about any site. Like, say, PC World.

All you do is copy that XML code into Notepad, replace the bolded bits with the appropriate info (i.e. "Sevenforums" becomes "PC World," the URLs become "," and so on), then save it with an OSDX extension. When you double click the new file, it'll install itself in Explorer's navigation pane.

I think this is crazy-cool, but I can't take full credit: The tip came from Business Hacks.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon