Announcing Quick Web Search - search the web via shortcuts

This macro allows you to search any number of web sites—there are 100ish included, with 18 active by default—in either your default browser or a number of others. Just press the hot keys (Control-Option-W by default), and you'll see the input box (shown below with the not usually visible help screen):

You can easily change the active list, add new sites, and modify shortcuts, descriptions, and even URLs for the existing sites. All of that is done through the Shortcut Manager interface:

Note: While this macro has a 1.x version number, it's not really a 1.x release. Instead, it's a major rewrite of my original web search via shortcuts macro from last year.

The UI in this new macro is nearly identical, but behind the scenes, everything has changed: The shortcuts are now stored in a sqlite3 database, which greatly eases the maintenance and upgrading of the macro on my end, and let me remove a ton of ugly regex and file manipulation commands from the macro. (The old version stored everything in text files.)

For users, it should mean easier upgrades, easier customization, and perhaps slightly quicker performance.

I've been working on this off and on since the last release of the old macro, and what was holding me up was trying to write an importer that worked for existing users, to convert their text file structure into the new database. But try as I might, I never got it working well enough to ship, so I removed it. If you're a user of the old macro, you'll have to set up your shortcuts again in the new version—but that will be a one-time task, as those changes will remain through future updates.

The macro is attached (disabled, as usual), and it includes my macro update checker, so if/when I release updates to the macro, you'll be notified that there's a new version available.

If you use this and have issues, please let me know.


Version 1.3 released (May 6 2023): Whoops, I left a "cancel macro" command in place, so the macro didn't work. I also found and fixed a major issue with a bit of code that lets me add new default (off, but available to use) search sites. As a result of fixing that, three new sites can be activated—Kirk McElhearn's (occasional Macworld writer) blog, MacObserver, and electric car site Teslarati. The in-app updater should work for this version.


Version 1.2 released (May 5 2023): I found and fixed an issue that would prevent adding or modifying shortcuts if your description included any single quotes. Whoops. Also converted a few variables from local to permanent for easier referencing, though I delete them at the end of each run. Please download 1.2 from the link at the end of this post and install it.

NOTICE: You will not be able to update to this version using the in-macro updater in v1.0, as I found a mistake in the code that caused the verification step to halt the macro. (I left in a reference to the old name of this macro, instead of using the new name.) This one time only, you'll have to update manually.

Version 1.1: This version wasn't ever released, I don't think. It did add three new shortcuts (see the read me or release notes for details).



__ Quick Web Search 1.3 Macros.kmmacros (1.4 MB)


Ooh, I look forward to exploring this -- thanks, Rob!

Thanks so much for this macro. I've used the old version since you posted and it is one I use many times throughout the day.

This is fantastic. Loved the earlier plugin, and upgraded as soon as I could!

I just released version 1.2, which contains some important bug fixes, as well as the new shortcuts that were added in 1.1 which I (whoops) never released. One of the important fixes is in the code that checks for and verifies updates, so you can't update from 1.0 to 1.2 using the in-macro updater. Instead, just download the full 1.2 version as linked at the end of the first post in this topic.


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And version 1.2 has a boo-boo—I left a debugging "Cancel this macro" action in the "sub - main 03 - First run of this version" macro. Just delete that action, and things will work as expected. I'll release an update later today, after I figure out another issue I just noticed.


Version 1.3 is out now, and the in-macro updater should see it if you installed 1.2. I fixed the cancel issue, and found and fix a problem that meant I couldn't ever add new sites to the existing list of optional sites to search. So now Teslarati, Kirkville, and Mac Observer are on the list of optional sites.

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