I purchased my first Mac recently and the switch opened up new doors for me because there are many software options that aren’t available for PC. Apple’s default web-browser Safari recently became available for Windows as well, but I didn’t bother to try it out until I switched to OS X. Safari is an interesting browser, and far better than Internet Explorer, but it falls far behind Mozilla Firefox 3 in my opinion.

One important reason I installed Firefox on my Mac is the ability to easily add powerful add-ons that increase browser functionality. A less obvious Firefox feature that I started missing immediately while I was using Safari was the ability to add keywords to bookmarks.

By taking a little extra time to designate your most used bookmarks by a memorable keyword, you can easily pare down the time it takes to open web pages. For some web sites I use frequently, like Gmail and Facebook I use keywords that are only two letters long. I can type “gm” in the address bar, hit enter, and the full address for my gmail inbox is filled in. It’s a huge time-saver.

To add keywords to your own bookmarks in Firefox open the bookmark organizer. With Windows you can right click on a bookmark, select properties, and then enter the desired value in the keyword field. With OS X select the bookmark and then click the arrow next to “more” at the bottom of the organizer window.

Put in a little time up front and you can start launching your favorite web pages with three key strokes.