SafariKeywords teaches Safari a feature that's long been available in other browsers, such as Mozilla or OmniWeb and is known as "Mozilla Keywords". It basically lets you tell Safari where to search for the words you entered into the search bar, instead of always consulting good old Google. If the first word of what you entered is the name of a shortcut you defined (or one of the factory defaults) in the preference pane, Safari uses that shortcut's URL instead of Google. If not, it defaults to Google (unless configured otherwise).

Say you want to look up your favourite actor at the Internet Movie Database, just go to the seach bar, enter "imdb de niro" and hit Return. Looking for vintage Beatles albums? Enter "ebay beatles album". Shareware for your iPod? "macupdate ipod". Documentation for PHP's utf8encode function? You guessed it, it's "php utf8_encode". These are examples for some of the default shortcuts shiping with SafariKeywords, but of course you can make your own! Have a look at the SafariKeywords prefence pane in your SystemPreferences application, and see how they're made. For starters, you can modify the shortcuts' names (e.g. "movies" instead of "imdb"). See Custom configuration to learn how to figure out those search URLs for your own shortcuts.


The latest version of SafariKeywords can be found here. Source code is available.


SafariKeywords consists of 2 components, the InputManager, which loads into Safari and does the actual work, and the preference pane, which lets you add and remove keywords.

To install the InputManager component, copy the folder "SafariKeywords" from the disk image you downloaded to the folder "InputManagers" inside your home directory's "Library" folder. In case you have no folder named "InputManagers" inside your "Library" folder, just create one.
To install the preference pane component, double click the SafariKeywordsPrefs.prefPane bundle on the disk image you downloaded and confirm installation in the upcoming dialog.

Now open the SystemPreferences application and select the SafariKeywords preference pane. Click the "enable SafariKeywords" checkbox to enable SafariKeywords. Restart Safari and you're ready to go. Make sure the search bar in the top right corner of the window is visible. It should say "SafariKeywords" instead of the all too familiar "Google" (if you use english as your main language). To give it a try, enter "img apple" into the search bar and hit Return.


To remove the InputManager component from your system, drag the following files to the Trash, then restart Safari:

To remove the preference pane component, control-click its icon in the System Preferences application, then choose Uninstall.


If you're familiar with the way HTML forms work, you can probably figure out the URLs for your own keywords easily. Otherwise, google for "mozilla keywords" :-)

Configuring a default search engine:

If you would like to use a different search engine than Google as your default, just create a new keyword named "default". In order to use Teoma, e.g., add a keyword with name "default" and URL "".

Using SafariKeywords with provides a service similar to SafariKeywords, but web-based. To get the best of both worlds, use as your default search engine by creating a keyword with name "default" and URL "".


For support, please subscribe to the mailing list or check the archive.

Advanced features:

It is currently possible to use multiple %s placeholders in a URL. The placeholders encountered in a URL are subsequently replaced with words from the query, and leftover words are appended to the last placeholder.
This makes it possible to define shortcuts like this one:
and use "image gif madonna son" to search for GIFs of madonna with her son, "image jpg madonna son" to search for JPGs. The downside is that using "image madonna son" will now result in an error, because there are no pictures of filetype madonna.
If you have any idea on how to make this more useful, let me know.



SafariKeywords is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

Change history:

System Requirements:

SafariKeywords requires Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther" (the InputManager component might actually work on Jaguar, but I have no way of testing).

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