Context Menu Search (for Chrome)

This extension can be used to search for selected text using the context menu. Different search engines can be added according to the user’s wish to the right-click menu. The search results are shown in a new background tab. The order of the search engines in the right-click menu can also be arranged. A list of 35 commonly used search engines has been added so that users can choose easily. If needed, the user can also add an option which has not been included.

Download (via Extension Gallery)

Screenshot:

Example Menu

You need at least Chrome version 6.0.472 to install and use this extension. If needed, you can install from any channel you want here: http://www.chromium.org/getting-involved/dev-channel#TOC-Windows

The options page:

Untitled2

Change-log:
2.0:  Added options for the user to choose if the search results show in a background or foreground tab. They can also pick whether the new tab opens next to the current tab or at the end. A list of 35 search engines has been added as options for the user to add.
1.5:  The order of the search options can now be re-arranged.
1.0:  Users can now add as many search engines to the right click menu as they want. An existing option can now be disabled or deleted if not required.
0.9:  Added the ability for enabling/disabling particular search engines. Users can also customize which search engines they want and what the name of the search engine in the list should be.
0.5: Added Bing images to default pack

76 thoughts on “Context Menu Search (for Chrome)

  1. Pingback: Context Menu Search (for Chrome) « Ashutosh Dwivedi じつよう(実用)

  2. Jordan

    Ashutosh, this is exactly what I was looking for…but there’s one major improvement I can think of. Instead of making the user reenter all of their search engines, can’t you just load the “default search options” from Options>Basics>Default search>Manage? That would make this extension perfect, as the corresponding Firefox extension is (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/240/).

    This data appears to be kept in an sqlite db in AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Data…of course you may not have API access to this, and as a result you may have to somehow parse the file yourself, forcing the user to restart to load new search engines, but that would a small price to pay to avoid all the work that is currently necessary. Or have you already discovered this is impossible?

    thanks anyways!

  3. Norm

    Hey many thanks for this great extension! :)
    Is it possible to add an option to put the search engine directly into the context menu instead of a submenu?

  4. Ashu Post author

    @Norm,

    Only one option can be added to the top level of the right-click menu by a particular extension. This is a design decision taken by chromium devs to minimize the possibility of a cluttered context menu. if you have only one search engine configured, that option will show-up at the top level.

    @Jordan,
    I will look into the way you have suggested and see if it can be implemented. Great suggestion!

  5. Cedric

    Perfect extension! I have only one enhancement request for this:
    Also allow search of the text your mouse is on without selecting it.

    Example: a small word which is also a URL to some website. I want to be able to rightclick on the word and from the context menu search using my own search engine. Having to select the word is slower and is vulnerable to accidently clicking the URL which is not wanted.

    Thanks!

    Cedric

    PS: If anyone knows another extension with which you can rightclick in text forms and chose predefined texts, my day is complete :-)

  6. Prefab

    Not as good as Firefox “Search Menu” but in the right way to get closer.
    One possible bug: when I choose an option for the first time the selected “button” remains in the screen over all the programs until I change the screen settings. Even with the “refresh” action doesn’t disappear.

    Thanks

  7. Federico

    Silly me. With capitalized “TESTSEARCH” it all worked perfectly. Sorry for that. And thanks for a great extension!

  8. Prefab

    I’m so sorry, my last comment is totally absurd. I’ve another problem in my PC that has nothing to do with this Add-on that works fine.
    Delete the comment please, and sorry again.

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  10. Alex

    Awesome extension! Please make an option to rename your context menu item “Context menu search” so I can use keyboard to select items by the first letter, now it conflicts with Copy. Thanks! :)

  11. Federico

    I am unable to use your “TESTSEARCH” technique to add Google Maps. In Firefox I used to be able to paint over an address and look it up in the map through context search. Any suggestion on how to do it with your excellent extension?

  12. Bongo

    1. Great, great extension! Thanks and thanks again.

    2. I second sfengz’s idea – a divider line would be great help; I have about 10 search engines and dividing them into subgroups (News, Movies, etc.) will be helpful.

    3. A little more complicated – would it be possible to search more than one engine with the same click? For example, if in my Movies group I have both IMDB and Metacritic – instead of highlighting a movie name and clicking once on each of these two engines – I could be clicking on the Movies group name and have them both searched simultaneously.

  13. Sharron Clemons

    Awesome extension! Please make an option to rename your context menu item “Context menu search” so I can use keyboard to select items by the first letter, now it conflicts with Copy. Thanks! :)

  14. Chuck Kahn

    It is possible for this extension to remember my preferences when I log into another computer? The Google Toolbar for Firefox remembers all my custom searches (via my Google Account) and I’ve found this so handy I’ve been reluctant to switch to Chrome.

  15. Eric Sadoyama

    I couldn’t add Google Desktop Search to Context Menu Search as specified. Instead, I took http://127.0.0.1:4664/&s=E3OWhy9CJK6YQvsrF0jKoI4fqYg (the URL for a blank GDS page on my PC, don’t know if GDS on other PCs would have the same URL), added “&q=TESTSEARCH”, and added that URL to CMS. The resulting context menu item runs, but only shows the GDS page with the selected text. I still have to click the Search button to actually run the search.

  16. stil

    agree with Mosman, better support is needed for searches with multiple words – various sites use different ways to encode multiple words in a search URL. for example, MetaCritic uses ‘+’ instead of %20, so the URL for searching for “world of worcraft” would not be “http://www.metacritic.com/search/all/world%20of%20worcraft/results” but rather “http://www.metacritic.com/search/all/world+of+warcraft/results”

    note that even the chrome built-in seach engine handling does not support this type of search properly, but you can go one better… :)

  17. Adrian

    Ashutosh,

    First off, awesome extension! To make your “Context Menu Search” for Chrome perfect, can you please add the search engine’s thumbnail image within the context menu? It will make it fast for the users to identify their desired search engine.

    Thanks! :D

  18. Dennis

    I love this extension using if very often. One feature I’d like to have a option of make the menu as top level Right-click menu instead of sub menu of “Context Menu Search”

  19. David

    Hi, thank you very much for the extension.

    Suggestion: Replace TAB (‘\t’) character with a space before searching. E.g. when highlighting two table cells.

  20. arias

    Please please please give us an option to auto sort/alphabetize the engine order. The manage search engine option is at present, exceptionally clumsy as there’s no way to quickly move an engine outside of stepping it one position at a time while moving your mouse in sync. With a lot of engines, that’s BRUTAL.

  21. Kevin

    Very nice tool, use it mostly for usenet search engines and imdb.
    Would it be possible to add the possibility of using separators, so I can arrange them: search|usenet|movies|…

    Thanks!

  22. Roberto

    I can’t change the options. I’ve installed the extension and I’ve changed some options. Then I see a list of items in “Manage Context Menu” but when I use the right clik action in a website It always have the default list of items “Bing, Bing Images, IMDB, Wikipedia and Yahoo”.

    Can anyone help me? Thanks in advance…

  23. Len

    Thanks Ashutosh!

    I agree with @David; if tabs are replaced with a space, this would allow searching across a table. Currently, a search across two highlighted columns (item1 | item2) becomes “item1item2″ instead of “item1 item2″.

  24. Er1K

    TY very much. I love this extension. I have a couple of feature ideas (that have largely been mentioned by others as well) that would make it perfect . . . Just in case you are ever bored enough :)

    1. The ability to add divider lines. This is the single biggest “simple” feature that would (IMHO) improve your gift to the world (for which I am very grateful!).

    2. The ability to define a hierarchy of submenus. There are a lot of search providers (and slight variations on existing ones) that would be really nice to have, but aren’t worth the screen clutter . . . If they could be squirreled and categorized away, that would be awesome.

    3. For it to display the favicon, with an option to override, and perhaps some pre-defined ones, which would make #2 a lot slicker.

    Anyway, that’s just a wish-list :) I am very grateful for what you have already graciously given us, it is super-useful in it’s current form. I am not complaining nor asking, just stating my observations!

    Keep up the great work.

  25. Jo

    I want to have this extension, but when I try to install it, installation from the chrome web store stucks (“Checking…”). Can I download it from somewhere else?

  26. J.T. Brown

    Great Extension – However I just noticed a REALLY annoying BUG – If used from a Chrome webpage open in a “Application Shortcut” window (such as Gmail), it fails to open up the search page in a new browser window – so right now, the only workaround is to open up a separate instance/window of Chrome and then perform the context menu search – this is a nusance – Could you please Fix this? Thanks again for creating this extension!

  27. Vahid

    Hey,
    Such a great and useful extension! thanks!
    Can you add an export/import option so any time I install chrome I don’t have to go through the whole process of configuring and customizing it for myself ?

    Cheers,
    Vahid

  28. Benoit

    Great great extension. Very useful.
    But right click on the selected text and open a sub-menu is too long…

    1. Next improvement would be to assign keyboard shortcuts.
    For example, select a string on the opened web page, press on the keyboard the left SHIFT+CTRL+Z (for example…) to open the search engine for that string. Of course, the user has to make sure that the selected keyboard shortcut does not overlap with existing standard shortcuts (CTRL+c, CTRL+w…).
    I am actually looking for a similar feature that would be working on the whole OS, from any application, but I am not sure whether that’s possible.

    2. Another extension would be to “post” the selected string inside the web page. Because not all search web page can accept the keyword within the URL, their search box is inside the web page only (for security reason probably). I am referring to these web pages where the search box and button are like that:

    or
    Can an automated tool open an URL, then, look for the edit box id “xxxx”, then set it to the selected search string, and then, submit the search through the button id “yyyy”, or just simulate the key press “enter” to submit the search string ?
    In my case, it will be to use it with www . salesforce . com

  29. Benoit

    In my previous comment, part 2., the search box and button are like that (not sure the display will work):

    \
    \ or

  30. Benoit

    Last try:
    <input … type="text" id="xxxx" …
    <input … type="submit" id="yyyy" … or <button id="yyyy" …

  31. Luke

    I have 25 search engines defined in Chrome/Settings/Search Engines. Why can’t I use those. Instead of re-adding them manually, can’t this extension use the default ones in chrome? And fav icons for each search engine are a MUST. It’s much easier to identify an item from the list if it has an icon.

  32. SuperDre

    Great extention, was looking for a ‘IE8/9 accelerator’ option for Chrome..
    I have 3 suggestions:
    1. Ability to add a separator (like if you only add a search engine with the name ‘-’ and no search action, that it will show a separator instead of a ‘-’, or just have a seperate option on the manage current tab to add a separator).
    2.Ability to use an url for icon (like ‘http://www.dvdcompare.net/favicon.ico‘)
    3.option for an Icon which is shown when text is highlighted which will show the popupmenu when you click on it, just like the ‘arrow’ icon in IE8/IE9.

  33. Chris

    Thanks for the extension.
    Please allow for CTRL-click to a word which should directly initiate search with the clicked word.

  34. MikhaRlin

    Hello, great extension!!

    Will it be possible to save search options on cloud so that when I go to another computer and sign-in to chrome the search options would be synched?

  35. MrBigDeal

    I have two suggestions:

    1) As someone mentioned, if we can group sites together to one-click search on them all (e.g. Amazon, eBay) instead of invoking two separate commands – obviously there would be a new tab for each in the group.
    2) Add bing and/or google maps to the search – this exists on firefox, so it is doable. TESTSEARCH process does not work for them – you perhaps are already aware of this and thus had not addressed yet.

    That being said, I am a brand new Chrome user (moving from Firefox) and am delighted to find your Extension – an incredibly useful tool…thank you very much for your obvious hard work on this!

  36. asier

    Great extension, thank u so much! +1 to Bongo’s suggestion, I was coming here to post the same one: the option of having multiple search engines with a single click would be really awesoooooome!

  37. Johnny

    I really like the Context Menu Search extension but I have recently run into an issue. I found the link field where search arguments are entered is limited to 200 characters. I have a search argument that is 714 characters and wondered if it was possible to increase the field length? The 714 character search argument works fine with the default Chrome “Manage Search Engines” tool.

    Thanks and keep up the good work.

  38. Gregg DesElms

    Excellent extension… or plugin… or whatever it is! GOOD WORK!

    Two suggestions…

    First, add the ability to insert a line/bar anywhere in the list so that items may be more visually grouped.

    Second (and this would be the harder one… and so maybe what I just suggested, immediately above, would be good enough), add the ability to create folders which contain items, for grouping purposes. For example, one could create a “Google” folder, in which is every Google item. Or one could create a “Reference” folder, in which could go every encyclopedia and dictionary and thesaurus kind of item. Or one could create a “Web Search” folder, into which could go only the basic Google and Yahoo and Bing kind of search items. Of course, the user would create these, not you. To keep it from getting out of control, you could, I suppose, make it so that folders could only “live” on the top-level; then, again, by allowing no end to sub-folders, the user could do whatever s/he wanted… which, in the end, always tends to be the best way. And, of course, the line or bar, suggested in the “First” suggestion, immediately above, would also be available, whether on the top level, or in a folder.

    Thanks for your thoughtful consideration.

    KEEP-UP THE GOOD WORK!

    ____________________________
    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

  39. Gregg DesElms

    Putting a date next to each version number in your Change Log would be helpful. Or the date could go at the end of the description in parenthesis or something. Whatever. It would just be nice to know the dates of the various changes.

    Thanks!

    ____________________________
    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

  40. Tim J

    Hi, this works great just like “context search x” for firefox.

    Although the firefox addon had a nice feature where you could avoid hovering “context menu search” in the context menu. Basically you could choose the search engines you want on the MAIN context menu, without hovering over for another subwindow to popup.

    Basically have an option to avoid clicking on the button “Context Menu Search”

    Thanks for the great work!