I'd like to open a Safari tab based on a bug number that I have on the clipboard via a hotkey. The url I want to launch has the form http://example.com/defects/nnnn where nnnn has the number that is on the clipboard.

I use tools like QuickSilver and TextExpander but I wonder how I can automate opening the tab in the quickest way.


Since you are already using Quicksilver, this should be pretty easy:

  1. Install the web search plugin
  2. Add a custom web search list to your catalog
  3. Add the URL to that list, in the form http://example.com/defects/*** (that is with 3 * instead of your "nnnn")
  4. Add a trigger for "Clipboard Contents" -> "Find with..." -> "your new websearch URL" and assign your preferred hotkey.
  5. When you use the trigger, it opens the request page in a new tab of your default browser (with the stars replaced by the text on the clipboard.

That way you can use your custom URL just like any other web search with Quicksilver.


If you use LaunchBar you could create a new Search Template and use that to quickly get to your defect (which sounds a bit peculiar, but I'm sure you know what I mean).

  1. Open / trigger LaunchBar using your hotkey combination.
  2. Click the gear icon in the LaunchBar dialog box.
  3. Select Index > Show Index.
  4. In the sidebar on the left, select Search Templates (UTF-8).
  5. Click the Add… button at the bottom of the window.
  6. Enter a name for your new template. You might want to make this something unique so that LaunchBar can "learn" it quicker and bring it to the top of the selection list quicker over time. For example, you might name the template Sirius Cybernetics.
  7. Enter a template URL, which would be http://example.com/defects/* (LaunchBar will replace the asterisk with what you enter when you use the Search Template later).
  8. Select the Update icon at the top of the window, then select either Selected Rules or All Rules.
  9. Close the window and confirm that you want to save changes to the index.

Try the new Search Template by:

  • Triggering LaunchBar
  • Starting to type the name of the shortcut until it appears in the LaunchBar dialog and you can select it
  • Hit [SPACE BAR]
  • Enter your defect number
  • Hit [ENTER]
  • Share and enjoy…

I'm only suggesting LaunchBar as I use it a lot. I'm sure that Quicksilver and Alfred could do similar tasks. All good stuff.

Good luck with your defects!

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