Custom Keyword Searches in Safari on Snow Leopard

One of the larger reasons Firefox has been my default browser of choice in the past is the possibility for custom keyword searches in the address bar.

What is a custom keyword search, you ask? A custom keyword search is a search query you perform in your address bar by prefixing your query with a certain keyword. The example in the image below will do a Wikipedia search for Explosions in the Sky (they’re awesome, check them out!).

Safari has been lacking in this department. Luckily, a while back, an awesome guy by the name of Alexander Staubo wrote a small plug-in for Safari, called Keywurl, that allows custom keyword searches from your address bar. Sadly, this version does not support the 64-bit version of Safari that ships with Snow Leopard. Yesterday, after Firefox showed me once again it was a huge memory hog, I decided to go with Safari again, and tried to take on the Keywurl problem.

Now there are two options to take this on;

  1. Run Safari in 32-bit mode
  2. Build a 64-bit version with the latest source

Easy, but not so cool; run Safari in 32-bit mode

The current version of Keywurl is 32-bit, this is why it won’t run with the 64-bit Safari version that is native to Snow Leopard.

  1. You right-click on Safari.app in your Applications folder. You will find a tickbox saying “Open in 32-bit mode”.
  2. You can download the latest version (currently 1.4b7) from the Keywurl website.
  3. Run the SIMBL installer that you find packed with this version.
  4. Copy Keywurl.bundle into Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins under your home folder, or in /Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins in the hard drive root if you want Keywurl to be enabled for all users on the computer.
  5. Restart Safari

Compiled version from latest build

  1. Download the latest version of SIMBL (0.9.7a or later).
  2. Download this OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard compatible Keywurl bundle (source-fork courtesy of Anthony Ramine at Github)
  3. Run the SIMBL installer
  4. Copy Keywurl.bundle into Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins under your home folder, or in /Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins in the hard drive root if you want Keywurl to be enabled for all users on the computer.
  5. Restart Safari

If everything is working, you should get a Keywurl welcome screen when you restart Safari. If you have any problems with it, @reply me on twitter or leave a comment.