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Inquisitor: Instant, Expanded Search for Safari

Published November 12th, 2006

Inquisitor is Like Spotlight for the Web

Inquisitor Safari Search PluginOriginally downloaded 3/3/06. When I first tried this last year, it just didn’t work well enough to pay for. But it still sounds like a great idea, and I’ll be happy to see whether this new version meets the promise.

Inquisitor's Search Results PaneUpdate 11/12/06. Well, Inquisitor 2.5 didn’t impress me enough to pay for it, partly because the demo version didn’t reveal the full functionality… which was probably a mistake on the developer’s part. Either that, or Inquisitor 3.0 has so many more features that it’s something I am definitely using happily in place of AcidSearch as a replacement for Safari’s toolbar search field. Not only that, the developer has made Inquisitor 3 available as freeware! This makes Inquisitor a real bargain and nearly a no-brainer.

For those of you who haven’t tried Inquisitor, it’s a Mac OS X InputManager plugin that lets you define alternative search sites for Safari, implements a very visually slick instant-search capability, including customizable autocomplete, and provides search suggestions a la Google Suggest. You can have the suggested terms appear either above or below the results, and you can define how many suggestions and results you get (although you’re limited to 6 results, which is my only significant complaint at this point). For the default search, you can choose between Yahoo and Google, but you can define any number of other sites to search if those don’t cut it.

Inquisitor's Preference Pane in Safari

Inquisitor installs as a preference pane in Safari, providing a compact, convenient way of customizing its behavior. When setting up additional search sites, you can define a shortcut key for each one, and the results list itself can be navigated with the keyboard. So, feast your eyes on the pretty picture of Inquisitor’s search results, and then go get Inquisitor, install it, configure it, and try it out for yourself. For now, it’s only available for Safari, though I suspect the developer will make a Firefox-compatible version available sooner or later, since he had done so for version 2.5.

Version as tested: 3.0 Beta 1 (v34).

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