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Bookmark Variables
 

Bookmark variables require a little effort to setup, but you will save effort every time you use the bookmark you create.  Internet users will usually bookmark Yahoo Finance using the URL http://finance.yahoo.com/.  Then, once they visit this link, they will click their mouse in the stock quote text box, then type in a stock quote symbol like INTC, and then click the quote button.  Our bookmark variables let you automate this process so you can avoid having to traverse a series of web pages to get details on a particular stock, weather forecast, sports team, corporate data item, etc.

Continuing with the Yahoo Finance stock quote example, Yahoo will display the Intel Corporation stock quote with the following URL . . .

http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=INTC&ql=1

If you added this URL to Ablemarks, the line might look like . . .

   Intel Quote       http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=INTC&ql=1

Now when you click on the Intel Quote bookmark, you will be presented with the stock quote details for INTC.  By adding a variable to this URL, we can cause Ablemarks to take the text entered in the Search field above your tabs, and place it into the URL before taking you to that link.  This is how the URL would look with a bookmark variable for the stock symbol . . .

Stock Quote      http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s={{{Stock Symbol}}}&ql=1

Now when you click the Stock Quote bookmark, Ablemarks will first look for some text in the Search field above your tabs, and insert this text in place of the {{{Stock Symbol}}} in the URL.  If Ablemarks finds no text in the Search field, you will be prompted to enter a Stock Symbol, and then the text entered is placed into the URL for the stock symbol.  Then Ablemarks visits the new URL to display the Yahoo Finance page showing the Intel Corporation (INTC) stock quote.

All variables have the form of {{{name}}}.  Variable names can have spaces in them.  You can have only one variable in a URL.  There are a couple variable options, and these are placed after the variable name, but before the closing three curly-brackets, for example: {{{name/b/+}}}.

Using the variable default option, detailed later on this page, you can cause the Stock Quote bookmark to use a default stock symbol if none was entered.  For example, for your favorite stock INTC . . .

Stock Quote http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s={{{Stock Symbol/d:INTC}}}&ql=1

Variable Options

Bookmark variable options adjust how the variables are processed.  The options are /+ /f /b and /d.  They must be placed after the variable name, but before the variable's closing three curly-brackets }}}.  Here are what each of these options does . . .

/+

Plus - Converts spaces found in the Search field text to '+' characters.  URL's don't like spaces, and most web sites expect a + character in place of a space.  For example "jet engine" in the Search field will be converted to "jet+engine" before a bookmark with a variable is processed.
 

/e

Escape - Converts all characters that are not characters (a-z & A-Z) and digits (0-9) into their URL acceptable hex escape sequences.  So for example, "229 West Monroe Street" would convert into . . .

%22229%20West%20Monrow%20Street%22
 

/b

Base URL - If no text is found in the Search field, only the base part of the URL is visited.  If your URL was . . .

 http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s={{{Symbol/b}}}&ql=1

. . . and no text was entered in the Search field, Ablemarks will use only the base portion of the URL to visit, which is http://finance.yahoo.com/
 

/d:text

Default - If no text is found in the Search field, the text included in the option is used for the variable.  Suppose your URL for the weather was . . .

 http://www.google.com/search?q=weather+{{{Zipcode/d:84062}}}

Then, if no text is entered in the Search field, the 84062 text is used for the Zipcode variable,  otherwise the text entered in the Search field is used for the Zipcode variable.
 

/f

First Character - Uses only the first character found in the Search field text for the variable.  This is an older way web sites organized pages, and it is seldom used today.
 

Example Bookmarks using Variables

Here are example bookmarks with variables that you can try on your tabs . . .
 
 

Stock Quote           http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s={{{Stock Symbol/b}}}&ql=1

        Gets stock quote of symbol in Search field, or goes to the top level Yahoo Finance page if nothing entered.
 

Weather               http://www.google.com/search?q=weather+{{{Zip Code/d:84062}}}

        Gets weather of Zip Code in Search field, or gets weather of Zip Code 84062 if nothing entered.
 

Google Craigslist     http://www.google.com/search?q=%22craigslist.org%22+{{{Search For}}}

        Uses Google to search web for items in Search field and listed in any city's CraigsList listings.
 

Google Maps           http://maps.google.com/maps?q={{{Address/e/b}}}

        Uses Google Maps to search for the address in Search field, or goes to the top level Google Maps page if nothing entered.
 

 
 
 
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