TechUniversity: Quick Search Box

Quick Search Box is a search box application that allows you to search both your computer and data across the web. We’ll cover how to get started using it, some of the cool things you can do with it and places to get more plugins.

How-To: Replicating Coda’s Books Feature With Google Quick Search Box

Espresso IconI recently made the switch to the newest version of the web development application Espresso. After having used Coda for all my previous web development needs, I’m naturally making some comparisons between the two. I’ll leave the blow by blow evaluation to others but thought it worth noting that the one feature I find myself really missing the most from Coda is the ability to quickly search through reference books. This surprised me a bit as I wouldn’t normally list this as a “killer feature” of Coda, but more than anything else I’ve found myself continuously cursing the lack of this option in Espresso.

Thinking others might be feeling the same way I quickly threw together this Google Quick Search Box plug-in (ZIP, 742kb)┬áthat will let you send searches to reference sources for HTML, CSS, JQuery, PHP, MySQL, Python, and WordPress. You can start the query by entering text directly into QSB or by selecting text within Espresso itself, or any other application for that matter. Read More about How-To: Replicating Coda’s Books Feature With Google Quick Search Box

How-to: Create Services for Quick Search Box

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I’ve been playing around with Google Quick Search Box lately and am especially enjoying this services plugin from Martin Kuhl which lets you activate and pass input to OS X services right from within QSB.

One snag though has been that services created through the new Automator template included in Snow Leopard leave out some vital bits that limit integration. Luckily, a handy application from Waffle Software called ThisService makes creating proper services that integrate seamlessly with QSB a lot easier than you might think.

Being able to extend the functionality of QSB with OS X services really opens up a lot of possibilities. Grab text or files in QSB and pass them on to your services to do whatever you want with them, like creating a new To Do item in iCal. I’ve been focused recently on replicating functionality that I lost when I made the switch over from Quicksilver and I think that this improved service integration will get me about 90 percent of the way there. Read More about How-to: Create Services for Quick Search Box

Video Walkthrough: Getting Serious With Quick Search Box

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I was playing around with Google Quick Search Box (s goog) recently and was really surprised by all the functionality it provides. Once I got it fully set up with plugins and services, I realized it can give me just about everything I used to rely on Quicksilver for.

Quicksilver has really become the default interface for my Mac, so I’ve been wary about losing options by switching to something more stable and future proofed, but after seeing what QSB has to offer, I’m sold. Read More about Video Walkthrough: Getting Serious With Quick Search Box

Getting Quicksilver to Jive With Snow Leopard

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From what I’ve been reading on support forums, some users of Quicksilver saw no affect from upgrading their machines to Snow Leopard. I however, was not one of those people. And although I am warming more and more to Google Quick Search Box, I still supplement my usage of QSB with Quicksilver where the former is lacking in features. So I tinkered around until I was able to resuscitate and use Quicksilver again under Snow Leopard.

Been having similar problems? Let me walk you through the process.
First, make sure you’ve upgraded to the most current version of Quicksilver. B56a7 is the most up to date version, that is built for Snow Leopard. Download it here if you haven’t already done so. Once that’s done, go ahead and try running Quicksilver. If you’re lucky, that’s all that is needed. If you’re not, don’t fret, because we’ll figure it out in short order. Read More about Getting Quicksilver to Jive With Snow Leopard

Google Quick Search Box Officially Released

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Sometimes really useful software comes in small packages. Just about six months ago, I stumbled upon the developer preview of Google (s goog) Quick Search Box (QSB) for the Mac, and I’ve been using it ever since. Google should be proud, because generally speaking, I shy away from desktop search applications, including their own Google Desktop for Mac product. Today, they released the full, stable version of QSB for Mac.

Quick Search Box succeeds by being simple and unobtrusive, instead of trying to superimpose itself on top of my computing workspace. In case you haven’t yet taken a peek at the developer preview, it basically consists of a floating Google search bar that retrieves results not only from the web, but also from your files, applications, history, contacts, and more. And Google plans to expand QSB’s reach further still in upcoming versions. Might I suggest Mail.app integration, Google QSB team? Read More about Google Quick Search Box Officially Released

UPDATED: Twittering Without a Client App

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Many of us are hip to Twitter these days, and there are a myriad of options for keeping track of the resulting tweets. I personally bounce between the webpage itself and Tweetdeck (while on my Mac). But sometimes I want to trim down my open windows to the bare minimum. Here’s one way to keep up with your Twittering, without having any windows open.

Twitter w/o Windows

Twitter w/o Windows

You’ll need Geek Tool to monitor incoming tweets. (Geek Tool is a free utility that runs as a Preference Pane and lets you embed shell output, URLs, and more in your desktop.) I set up a new Shell Command entry, with the following command (all on one line):

curl -s -u username:password http://twitter.com/statuses/friends_timeline.rss | grep title | sed -e 's// /' | sed 's// /' | sed 's/ //'

This command uses the shell command curl to pull the RSS update feed of those you follow. Be sure to substitute username:password with your own Twitter credentials. The sed commands mainly perform a find and replace to clean up the output, removing html title tags and leading spaces. If you’re looking for more information on the curl and sed commands, pop open your Terminal.app (/Applications/Utilities), and type man curl or man sed for the manual of usages for each. Geek Tool offers other customizations like font and positioning on screen so play until you find your sweet spot.
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Google Intros New Quick Search Box for Mac

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Who wants to go to all the trouble of opening a browser window just to search for something? Not me, that’s for sure. Luckily I don’t have to anymore thanks to Google Quick Search Box. The open source app was released today as a developer preview, announced via the official Google Mac Blog. This version of the search box is described as less stable than the Google Mobile App, though it contains clues as to what’s to come from the app in the future.

Among those features not yet active, but to be explored in future iterations are contextual search, actions, and extensibility. In fact, you can see immediately that the search box takes many of its cues from its mobile cousin, and will probably develop along the same lines.
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