engine-mode is a global minor mode for Emacs. It enables you to easily define
search engines, bind them to keybindings, and query them from the comfort of
For example, suppose we want to be able to easily search GitHub:
(defengine github "https://github.com/search?ref=simplesearch&q=%s")
This defines an interactive function
engine/search-github. When executed it
will take the selected region (or prompt for input, if no region is selected)
and search GitHub for it, displaying the results in your default browser.
defengine macro can also take an optional key combination, prefixed with
engine/keymap-prefix (which defaults to "C-x /"). That keybinding will be
wrapped in a call to
(defengine duckduckgo "https://duckduckgo.com/?q=%s" :keybinding "d")
C-x / d is now bound to the new function
If you'd like to see a video on the whys and wherefores of this mode, check out the talk @hrs gave at EmacsNYC.
engine-mode is available on MELPA.
You can also install it like any other elisp file by adding it to your load path and globally enabling it:
(require 'engine-mode) (engine-mode t)
Changing your default browser
engine-mode uses the
engine/browser-function variable to determine which
browser it should use to open the URL it constructs. To change the default
engine/browser-function. For example, to always use Emacs'
(setq engine/browser-function 'eww-browse-url)
engine/browser-function defaults to
browse-url-browser-function, which Emacs
uses globally to open links.
The implementation of the
browse-url-browser-function variable contains a
comprehensive list of possible browser functions. You can get to that by hitting
C-h v browser-url-browser-function <RETURN> and following the link to
Changing your browser on a per-engine basis
To only change the browser for a single engine, use the
argument when you define the engine. For example, to use
eww only for your
GitHub search results, try:
(defengine github "https://github.com/search?ref=simplesearch&q=%s" :browser 'eww-browse-url)
As mentioned about, see the implementation of the
for a definitive list of browsers.
Changing the keymap prefix
The default keymap prefix for
C-x /. If you'd like to bind
the keymap to an additional prefix (say,
C-c s), you totally can:
(engine/set-keymap-prefix (kbd "C-c s"))
defengine assigns each engine a reasonable default docstring, but you can
override that on a case-by-case basis with the
:docstring keyword argument:
(defengine ctan "http://www.ctan.org/search/?x=1&PORTAL=on&phrase=%s" :docstring "Search the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network (ctan.org)")
Modifying the search term before sending it
An engine might want to transform a search term in some way before it
interpolates the term into the URL. Maybe the term should have a different
encoding, or be capitalized differently, or, uh, be passed through ROT13.
Whatever the reason, you can apply a custom transformation to a search term by
passing a function to
defengine through the
For example, to UPCASE all of your DuckDuckGo searches:
(defengine duckduckgo "https://duckduckgo.com/?q=%s" :term-transformation-hook upcase)
Or, to ensure that all your queries are encoded as latin-1:
(defengine diec2 "dlc.iec.cat/results.asp?txtEntrada=%s" :term-transformation-hook (lambda (term) (encode-coding-string term latin-1)) :keybinding "c")
Importing keyword searches from other browsers
Since many browsers save keyword searches using the same format as engine-mode
(that is, by using
%s in a url to indicate a search term), it's not too hard
to import them into Emacs.
(defengine amazon "http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=%s") (defengine duckduckgo "https://duckduckgo.com/?q=%s" :keybinding "d") (defengine github "https://github.com/search?ref=simplesearch&q=%s") (defengine google "http://www.google.com/search?ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&q=%s" :keybinding "g") (defengine google-images "http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&source=hp&biw=1440&bih=795&gbv=2&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&q=%s") (defengine google-maps "http://maps.google.com/maps?q=%s" :docstring "Mappin' it up.") (defengine project-gutenberg "http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/?query=%s") (defengine qwant "https://www.qwant.com/?q=%s") (defengine rfcs "http://pretty-rfc.herokuapp.com/search?q=%s") (defengine stack-overflow "https://stackoverflow.com/search?q=%s") (defengine twitter "https://twitter.com/search?q=%s") (defengine wikipedia "http://www.wikipedia.org/search-redirect.php?language=en&go=Go&search=%s" :keybinding "w" :docstring "Searchin' the wikis.") (defengine wiktionary "https://www.wikipedia.org/search-redirect.php?family=wiktionary&language=en&go=Go&search=%s") (defengine wolfram-alpha "http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=%s") (defengine youtube "http://www.youtube.com/results?aq=f&oq=&search_query=%s")