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NOTE: While this extension has now been minimally reimplemented from version 2.0.0, it is now Mac-only instead of Windows-only (what I happen to be developing on), and a good deal of the functionality (especially using a filetypes.json file) has not yet been restored. There have also been changes in the API. Note too that the guides and info below are in the process of being transitioned, so there may be some inaccurate relics. Moreover, the AtYourCommand features have not been well-tested, and as they call the command line, use at your own risk! Note too that AsYouWish is bundled, which is also potentially dangerous if you grant permission to sites asking it; I hope to test more completely and separate out AsYouWish, but it is exciting that it is not only working, but the functionality for both AtYourCommand and ExecutableBuilder, which had not been implemented previously, are now working. Executable Builder lets websites silently advertise their support for certain file names and the extension can import that info into a template for building an executable that can open local files by default (or at least advertise support with "Open With...").

A WebExtensions/Chrome application to allow opening of files from the desktop (by double-click using default file associations or "Open with...") into web applications.


Are you a fan of web apps, but want the freedom to place your data files where you like on your desktop and thus be able to work offline and own your data rather than keeping it in the cloud? Do you want the freedom to just double-click (or right-click) a file on your desktop so that it opens in a web app, saving you the trouble of having to copy the file path, move from your desktop to the web app, and paste the path in a file finder? Do you want to avoid the wrist strain of dragging files into your web app when modifications to the files cannot even be saved back directly to your hard drive?

WebAppFind addresses these use cases by allowing you to double-click (or use "Open with..." right-click) on "view" or "edit" executable files on your desktop (currently, executables are for Mac only), sending the file path details to the native messaging component of the add-on (via command line arguments) which are then delivered into the main browser add-on. Based on the site that is baked into the executable, a handler web site will be sought in the browser to open the file of the designated type (whether a generic or custom type) as well as allow--if the "edit" type was the type chosen and a suitable handler site was found to send back a save event--saves to be made back to the file.

WebAppFind allow you to make your data files accessible to other programs and to give your users peace of mind to not be locked into your application alone. It also allows your users to open your custom data files in your program immediately.

Unlike an approach that would allow websites the ability to request local file access, webappfind minimizes security and privacy risks by only allowing files designated in the above manner of selection from your desktop to be available to the relevant web application; sites cannot gain such access without your running the process that grants permission.

Some use case scenarios

  1. See webappfind-demos-samples.
  2. Work on Git on your desktop while being able to open HTML files for WYSIWYG editing in a (CKEditor) web app which you can easily modify to add buttons for inserting code snippets? Do you want to use CodeMirror for syntax highlighting of your JavaScript and CSS? (Demos are available at the previous site which do all of these.)

User guide

See User-Guide. Indicates usage of the executables on your OS desktop, using the UI to make and associate one's own executables, and, for those interested, how to work WebAppFind from the command line.


App Developer Guide

See Developer-Guide.

Design rationale


Contributing to WebAppFind