Search Specify in your browser's search bar

This tutorial is using Firefox, so the instructions may differ based on your browser.

This guide is going to show how you can search your Specify 7 instance right from your URL bar!

  1. Click on the URL bar when you are anywhere within your Specify 7 instance
    (using v7.8.4 or newer)

    At the bottom of the list of items, you will see a faint Specify 7 logo with a small green circle and plus in the top right. If you click on this, you can add your current Specify 7 instance as a search engine!

  2. Now when you click on the :specify7: icon, you will be able to type any search query and it will run your search term through Simple Search inside the application!


  1. If you are interested in having a shortcut to search your Specify 7 instance, you can configure one in your browser’s settings. (For Firefox, go to about:preferences#search in your URL bar)

    Here I have configured it so that anytime I type @sp in my browser’s search bar, it immediately allows me to search the Specify 7 database.

Quick update showcasing how to set this up in Chrome.

  1. On your computer, open Chrome Chrome.

  2. At the top right, click More More and then|autox18 Settings.

  3. On the left, click Search engine and then Manage search engines and site search.

  4. Scroll down to the Site Search Section and click on Add.

  5. Fill in the fields as folllows:

  • “Search engine” field: Enter a label or name for the search engine.

  • “Shortcut” field: Enter the text shortcut you want to use for the search engine. You can enter the keyword in your address bar to quickly use the search engine.

  • URL with %s in place of query" field: Enter your domain and the following part after /specify/simple-search/?q=%s

If you need more help, here is the official documentation offered by Google.
Set your default search engine & site search shortcuts

1 Like

This is freaking awesome!!! Do you know if there is any way that you can determine which collection in a multi-collection database to search?

Not yet, unfortunately. It can only be configured for the entire Specify 7 URL at the moment, but this could be added in the future!

For anyone using Bing you can go to the web browser settings > Privacy, Search, and Services > Manage search engines - click on add and enter the URL in this format: https://[YourSpecifyURL]/specify/express-search/?q=%s

Then in the search bar type the shortcut you assigned and a space and it will switch to that site:


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In chrome:

  • Right click the URL bar, select “Manage Search Engines and Site Search”
  • Click “Add” at “Site Search”
  • follow examples above