IE Search Prefixes

We’re always looking for ways to give you search results faster.  The popular Desktop Search Shortcuts from MSN Desktop Search are good examples of this.  On a related note, Internet Explorer (5.0 and above) has a little known feature that lets you quickly search for something on any site: IE Search prefixes.

After the search prefixes are set up, you can type a single word identifier (prefix) and search query in the IE address bar to send the query to any website.  For example, the prefix “msn” can go to MSN Search and typing “msn chicken fried rice” in the IE address bar sends the query “chicken fried rice” to our web search.


MSN Search IE Prefixes Image

This script installs the search prefixes below to your machine.  The “Alternate” column lists additional prefixes to launch the same query (e.g. “images corvette” and “image corvette” both do the same thing).

Prefix Alternate Query Target Example
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 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

If you want to add prefixes for other websites, try the Microsoft Tweak UI utility for Windows XP.  There are also a few shareware tools compatible with older versions of Windows.  Enjoy!

Jamie Buckley
Program Manager, MSN Search