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Combining the Address and Search Bar in Safari 5 (finally)

One of the things I like least about Safari 5 is that it includes two text bars, one for addresses and one for internet searches. Looking at the example of Chrome, and the simplicity of having a single combo-bar , I have a hard time thinking why Apple hasn’t implemented it in its browser as well.

I’ve never liked positioning myself on the side of any browser, and I currently use Chrome (which I think is fantastic) and Safari 5. So I had to find a way to get the unified bar in Safari 5 to be as usable as Chrome, and in case you’re interested, I seem to have a solution.

Combining the Address and Search Bar in Safari 5 (finally)
Combining the Address and Search Bar in Safari 5 (finally)

This is to use the KeyWurl extension , which is very useful, and which adds various search engines controlled by keywords. Miguel already mentioned it at Apple more than three years ago, I will turn you today into ninjas of the KeyWurl so that you can squeeze it to the maximum with Safari 5.

Using KeyWurl in Safari 5

The first step is to download the plugin from its official website. KeyWurl has no official installer, but the process is simple: First we install SIMBL by double-clicking on it (it’s automatic ). This is an extension installer. Then just copy the file Keywurl.bundle to LibraryApplication SupportSIMBLPlugins .

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We have a little problem here… it doesn’t work. KeyWurl was developed for Safari 4 and its developer has limited its execution by the browser version number, so if we try to start it as it is it will give us an error. Fixing it is simple, we copy the version number of our Safari from its “About Safari” window (I’ll frame it in the image above), and then we copy it into the MaxBundleVersion section of the package’s Info.plist, replacing the old value:

To get to this Info.plist, just right click on Keywurl.bundle and “Show package contents “Contents, there you go. Once the value has been changed, restart Safari 5 and the plugin will work without any problem.

This is how KeyWurl works in Safari 5

To access the plugin configuration, you must go to SafariPreferencesKeyWurl , and you will see a screen similar to the one shown above. There you will have the keywords that reference each search engine, so by writing any of them, and then the term to search, you will proceed to it.

There is a label called “default”, as you can see in the screenshot, it already has the Google search engine incorporated by default. You can change this at any time, as everything is completely configurable. You can add new search engines very easily. For example, as an example we are going to add the RAE search engine. We access its URL after doing a search and copy the full text except the search term:

The next step is to create a new entry in KeyWurl, with keyword “RAE” and copying the search URL, remember, without the search term. We’ll change this term for a replacement tag, which we’ll only have to drag from the lower area ( in this case “complete query” ):

Each substitution passes the search URL one term or another, depending on which we choose. These are the ones the program uses, explained so that you can choose the ones that suit you if you are encouraged to add more search engines:

  • Complete Location Field: Everything we type into the bar will be searched, including the keyword
  • Complete Query: Everything we type into the bar will be searched, except for the keyword
  • Query Word 1..9: The word “n” for which we want to search, exclusively.

We can even further refine our search engine definition, avoiding using Unicode-encoded URLs, or replacing whitespace differently than usual (i.e. “%20”). Everything is very visual and very simple.

Amazon search example

From this moment on, the URL bar in Safari will also be used to do searches : If we don’t put in a URL, the browser will do a search by the default engine (in this case Google). And if we choose a keyword, for example “RAE computer”, Safari will search in the search engine that we have defined for the RAE the term “computer”. Very convenient, I encourage you to try it!

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