Omnikey is a very useful Safari extension that allows searching user-selected webpages by entering user-selectable keys preceding the search term. For example, entering "w Los Angeles" in the Safari address bar on my computer and pressing return opens a new Safari window in Wikipedia that's searching for "Los Angeles." This is both easier and faster than navigating to the page you wish to search, entering the search term, then hitting return.

Here's a screenshot of the searches I've added to Safari on my Macs:

enter image description here

Unfortunately, Omnikey doesn't work with Safari 13.

Omnikey is very useful. Are there any other Safari extensions that provide the same functionality?

  • computers.tutsplus.com/tutorials/… This has 3 suggestions. you ruled one out, one is native Safari preferences -> Search -> Quick website search, third one is DuckDuckGo with !bang inbuilt, which offers same functionality as this extension with an extra !
    – anki
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 7:58
  • @ankii Thanks. I use DuckDuckGo for search, and didn't know about !bangs. It would work, 'tho it's less customizable and clunkier than Omnikey. Safari's quick website search is much clumsier. While I'm figuring this out, I've reverted macOS to just before the Safari upgrade, which returned me to an earlier Safari that still accepts Omnikey. Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 14:41
  • I reverted by restarting while holding Command+R, which then displayed a menu, one entry was "Restore from Time Machine Backup." The system did revert me, but now even the earlier Safari 12 refuses to accept Omnikey. Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 20:21
  • yeah 12.1.1 refuses to load it. I followed these instructions, (author, @grg) and I could use it. But since you use DDG, I dont feel a need to spoil experience by loading a legacy extension. georgegarside.com/blog/macos/…
    – anki
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 21:06
  • Ooooh thanks! I'll give it a try; I do have the extension installer package. Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 21:57

3 Answers 3


As OP informed, restarting after reverting using backup restore made Safari accept the Omnikey as an extension. They are on Safari 12.1.2.

The post below may concern those looking for more ways to achieve the same.

  1. Omnikey can be used in the browser by fooling the browser (Safari 12.1.1) into believing that you're developing the extension(that's what I can make of it).

    • Load it using Show extension builder in Develop menu in the form of an folder which you can get by expanding the .xar version of the extension file which you can get from the site. Note that to get .xar from extension file, simply use rename feature.

    • Then just hit run. For details about updating previous preferences, or understanding it in more clarity, see original post by georgegarside at


But for alternatives:

  1. Safari has inbuilt Quick Website Search, you just have to figure out the term that triggers it. Find out more in Safari Preferences 
→ Search tab → Quick Website Search. Results are like this.

    Safari search bar screenshot

  2. Use DuckDuckGo's !bangs .

    A search for !w filter bubble will take you directly to Wikipedia. [...] and you can even submit your own.


    https://computers.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-set-up-custom-searches-in-safari--cms-26139 explains in detail those alternates that I figured out.

  • Thanks. As I commented above, both are clunkier and less customizable than Omnikey was, and I'm still holding out. Will have a go at @grg's method probably tomorrow. Thanks again for posting the link. Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 23:04
  • 1
    Turns out that after a restart, Omnikey appears in and works within the restored last-edition Safari (v.12.1.2), even without the Extension Builder sidetrip. Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 17:40

I was totally bugged out by the lack of Omnikey after upgrading to Safari 13. This applescript saved my life (it's not mine so I'm just posting the link): https://macscripter.net/viewtopic.php?id=47107

In order to activate it, open Automator, create a new Quick Action, select "Run Applescript" from the action list on the left side of the window, and copy/paste the script to the editor window. Above the editor window, change "Workflow receives" to "no input" and save.

Then go to System Preferences, keyboard, shortcuts, and assign a keyboard shortcut to it. Now, when in Safari's address bar you can just press the shortcut and the script transforms the search to the right URL, e.g. type "we apple", press the shortcut, services, and the wikipedia article about "Apple" opens in the same Safari tab.

In order to add more searches, just edit the script in the "property shortcuts" section, it looks pretty self-explanatory to me. Now searching from the address bar works almost as before, just have to get used to pressing the shortcut instead of return.

  • Nice, thanks! What keyboard shortcut did you assign for this Action? I know it doesn't matter technically, but I'm curious what you've found to be easy to use. Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 15:26
  • @David I wanted to use Cmd-Shift-Option-enter or something similar, but shortcut preferences wouldn't let me use any combination that contains the enter key. For now I went with Cmd-Option-g for "Go!", I might change it though at some point. I'm not entirely convinced yet...
    – Piotr99
    Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 15:38
  • Thanks for the link! I had to give accessability access in Securty & Privacy to Safari and Terminal to get this work.
    – Luke Davis
    Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 22:18
  • 1
    I use Cmd-K as the shortcut, since it's right next to Cmd-L (which highlights the search bar).
    – Luke Davis
    Commented Dec 17, 2019 at 23:04
  • Thanks for nicely documenting the steps 🙏🏼 Without those instructions it would have been a bit difficult to make the script work. Works with Safari 14 on Big Sur Beta. Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 12:33

I was missing this very same functionality. In response, I created a small extension for Safari 14, replacing this functionality: Smart Keyword Search.

(I did today also stumble upon another extension claiming to do the same: Search Key -- I do feel that Smart Keyword Search allows for more options, and has better documentation, but I cannot be considered objective I guess :)).

  • This should be the new best answer.
    – Míng
    Commented Aug 3, 2022 at 3:30
  • I used Search Key for a while but I'm switching to Smart Keyword Search as indeed the documentation is better. Being able to directly edit the json is also helpful. Though in Search Key you can apply more than one keyword to a shortcut rule; so far in Smart Keyword Search it seems you have to create duplicate rules if you want two keywords to do the same thing. Commented May 26, 2023 at 17:50
  • @PeterAhlstrom I always appreciate people switching :). Actually, though advanced rules, you can get multiple keywords one the same rule (although it might be easier to just have the rule multiple times). e.g. ^(w|wiki) (?<search>.*)$ will fire both on a single w or on the word wiki.
    – Claude
    Commented May 27, 2023 at 18:18

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