Mac Tips: How To Access Websites Directly From Spotlight

Spotlight, is an absolutely fantastic tool. A little tap on cmd+space and, behold, the entrails of your mac are now unveiled, ready to withstand your quick searches and many other useful actions.

But there’s still something it can’t do: just stupidly open a website.

See, my mildly OCD self has this habit of quickly tapping cmd+space and entering the name of my favorite websites instead of, I don’t know,  “Chrome” or “Firefox” and my mac ends up desperately trying to find an app or file called, I don’t know, “Wikipedia” or  “Redtube”.

So, if you are like me, too lazy to actually open your browser before opening a website, here’s the workaround: creating shortcuts to web pages, and calling them with Spotlight.

Here is the howto! Read, say I, read and prosper!

1. Create a folder anywhere on your computer, where you will be storing the shortcuts. Be creative and call it “web shortcuts”. Open this folder, which should be empty. If it isn’t, you’re weird.

2. Open your browser, and, in your browser, open the website you want to quickly access (here I will use, but you can try it with, say, too).

3. Position the browser and and folder per Fig.1, then drag the tiny icon from the browser address bar inside your empty folder, which won’t be empty after you do that, since it will create a shortcut.

Fig.1 - Not really a fig, but useful nonetheless.

Fig.1 – Not really a fig, but useful nonetheless.


4. Rename your shortcut so it doesn’t look like an acid trip (single click on the file’s name), and add the word “Link” at the end. Adding “Link” is important, that’s what will help us find us with spotlight later. You can add another word instead if you really don’t feel like conforming.

It's a link TO Cracked, it's not really cracked per-se. Gets me every time.

It’s a link TO Cracked, it’s not really cracked per-se. Gets me every time.


5. OPTIONAL: Right click, or two finger tap, to select ‘open with’->’other’, then select the application of your choice. Firefox or Chrome are recommended.
You can try opening it with Excel if you really feel adventurous, but then I don’t want to be your friend.

Optional steps get pictures, required steps don't. Life is SO unfair.

Optional steps get pictures, required steps don’t. Life is SO unfair.


6. Now got for it and do cmd+space to call Spotlight, then type “Cracked Link” or whatever website you’ve been creating a shortcut for then the word “Link”, or the other, non-conformist word you chose earlier but then you’re confusing me.

The first link in the list is a font. A FONT. This is AN OUTRAGE!

The first link in the list is a font. A FONT. This is AN OUTRAGE!


7. Click on “Cracked Link” on the list below the search field. Or whatever website… you get the drill.

8. Repeat the operation from step 6 a couple of times, so Spotlight knows that when you type Cracked, you want “Cracked Link”,  and shows it as “Top Hit”.
Spotlight can be stubborn sometimes, that will learn’im.

I'm not really looking for crack with spotlight. It can't do that anyway. I think.

I’m not really looking for crack with spotlight. It can’t do that anyway. I think.


9. There you go, you did it.

10. Do the dance. Repeat from step 2 with any site you want to access.

11. I know, you can also drag the site’s icon into the dock if you want quick access, but I hate the dock, I like folders and I like icons, because you can rearrange them by penis. Take that, dock!


Danny Hefer

  Free roaming opinionist, Danny spends his free time roundhouse kicking life in the nuts and doing really weird startup thingies. Even if out of context it does sound kind of gross, Danny is the Lemon's daddy.

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