Work Around Safari 6's Smart Search Field

I don't use Google Chrome for a number of reasons, but by far the most annoying thing is the combined address/search text field. When I type something like "youtube", here's what I expect to happen:

  1. Check DNS for youtube (in my local domain)
  2. If not found, check DNS for www.youtube.com
  3. If not found, show me an error

Not in Chrome. Chrome assumes you must have wanted to search for "youtube", whether it's in DNS or not. But then, what do you expect when a search company makes a web browser?

Unfortunately, as of version 6, this pantywaist crap has made its way into Safari. I have no idea why this was necessary. I had no problem searching the web yesterday, so I've gained nothing while I've lost something quite useful.

The Work-around

Using Quicksilver's Web Search plug-in, you can recreate step 2 above (which is the most common use case for me). For those that aren't familiar, Quicksilver lets you add something like https://duckduckgo.com/?q=*** to your catalog and then use that to search for text. The *** will be replaced with the text you supply. It was meant to be used for search terms, but since all it's doing is replacing one string with another, it's actually more versatile.

So, what I've done is created a new custom "web search" in Quicksilver with http://www.***.com/ as its address and called it "Domain". To use it, I can either

  1. Invoke Quicksilver
  2. Enter a term like "qsapp" in text-entry mode
  3. Select the "Find With…" action
  4. Select the "Domain" web search

or

  1. Invoke Quicksilver
  2. Select the "Domain" web search
  3. Select the "Search For…" action (which will be the default)
  4. Enter a term like "qsapp"

The result will be http://www.qsapp.com/, open in my default browser.

I'm still irritated that entering "projects" will search for that word, even though it's a perfectly valid name for a server in my domain, but prefixing the name with http:// appears to get around that. You could make a web search for that too, I suppose, but it's not worth it in my case.

Update: 13 October 2012, 10:11pm (America/Indianapolis)

You can induce Safari 6 to perform the old behavior by appending /. This works for domains (cnn/ becomes http://www.cnn.com/) and for hostnames (projects/ becomes http://projects/ if that host exists in your domain).

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