Alfred 3+ workflow to search and use Safari bookmarks, history, reading list and tabs.
Author: Dean Jackson
Last Updated: 19/10/19 21:00:42
This workflow is no longer developed because Apple crippled Safari into pointlessness in v13.
Safari Assistant for Alfred 3/4
Search and open/activate your Safari bookmark(let)s and (iCloud) tabs from Alfred 3/4.
Includes several actions for tabs/bookmarks and allows you to add your own via scripts. Assign your favourite actions (and bookmarklets) to hotkeys.
- Download & installation
- Action scripts
- Licensing & thanks
Grab the workflow from GitHub releases. Download the
Safari-Assistant-X.X.alfredworkflow file and double-click it to install.
If you’re running macOS 10.14 (Mojave), you must grant Alfred “Full Disk Access”.
bh [<query>]— Search and open/action bookmarks and recent history. (See History section below.)
↩— Open item in browser.
⌘↩— Show actions for selected item.
↩— Run selected action.
⌘↩— Add selected action to blacklist.
⌘C— Copy name of action to clipboard (for setting custom actions).
⌥↩— Run custom action on selected item.
^↩— Run custom action on selected item.
fn↩— Run custom action on selected item.
⇧↩— Run custom action on selected item.
bm [<query>]— Search and open/action bookmarks.
⇧↩— As above.
bml [<query>]— Search and run bookmarklets.
↩— Run bookmarklet in active tab.
⌘C— Copy bookmarklet ID to clipboard (for setting custom URL actions).
bmf [<query>]— Search bookmark folders.
↩— Enter folder/open bookmark.
⌘↩— Open all bookmarks in folder/show URL actions for bookmark.
hi [<query>]— Search and open/action history entries. (See History section below.)
⇧↩— As above.
rl [<query>]— Search and open/action Reading List entries.
⇧↩— As above.
tab [<query>]— Search and activate/action Safari tabs.
↩— Activate the selected tab.
⇧↩— As above.
itab [<query>]— Search and open Cloud Tabs from other machines.
↩— Open the selected tab (URL).
⇧↩— As above.
safass— Show help and configuration options.
There are several settings in the workflow’s configuration sheet:
ALSF_HISTORY_ENTRIES. Number of recent history entries to load for
bhaction (search bookmarks and recent history).
ALSF_INCLUDE_BOOKMARKLETS. Set this to
1to include bookmarklets in the normal bookmark search (
ALSF_SEARCH_HOSTNAMES. Set this to
1to also search URL/tab hostnames in addition to titles.
The following settings assign actions for tabs/URLs:
ALSF_URL_DEFAULT is the default script used to open URLs. The default setting is
Open in Safari.
ALSF_TAB_* variables assign custom actions or bookmarklets available when browsing Safari tabs. The
ALSF_URL_* variables assign custom actions (not bookmarklets) to bookmarks and history entries.
To assign a script action, enter the corresponding script’s name (without extension) as the value for the variable. To assign a bookmarklet, use
<UID> is the bookmarklet’s UID.
In either case, press
⌘C on an action or bookmarklet in Alfred’s UI to copy the corresponding value, then paste it into the configuration sheet as the value for the appropriate variable.
As some of the built-in actions may not be of any interest to some users (e.g. you don’t have/use Firefox), they can be blacklisted so they are no longer shown in the list of actions.
You can blacklist an action directly from Alfred by pressing
⌘↩ on an action in the action list.
To remove an action from the blacklist, you must edit the
blacklist.txt file directly. To do this, enter keyword
safass in Alfred and choose
Edit Action Blacklist from the list. This will open
blacklist.txt in your default text-file editor.
If you add any actions to the blacklist manually, add one action (file)name per line, not including the file extension.
Much of the workflow’s functionality is implemented via built-in scripts. You can also add your own scripts to provide additional tab and/or URL actions by placing the scripts in the appropriate directories.
To open the user script directory, enter the
safass keyword into Alfred and choose the
User Scripts option, which will reveal the
scripts directory in Finder.
Scripts go in a subdirectory of the
scripts directory depending on the type. Tab scripts go in
scripts/tab, URL scripts in
When you view actions for a Safari tab, both tab and URL actions are listed (provided the tab has a valid URL). When you action a bookmark, only URL actions are listed.
Tab scripts are called with the indices of the selected window and tab as
$2. So if the third tab of the second Safari window is active, your script is called as
/path/to/script 2 3.
URL scripts are called with the URL of the selected bookmark or tab as
See the built-in scripts (in the
scripts subdirectory of the workflow) for examples of how to implement them.
If you create a script with the same name (minus extension) as one of the built-ins, it will override the built-in script.
The workflow knows to run
.scptd scripts via
/usr/bin/osascript. It can also run any script/program with its executable bit set (it will call these directly).
By default, tab scripts get a tab icon and URL scripts a URL one. You can supply a custom icon for any script by saving the icon alongside the script with the same basename (i.e. the same name as the script, only with a different file extension). Supported icon extensions are
The following actions are built into the workflow, either hard-coded or as bundled scripts (in the
scripts subdirectory of the workflow).
These actions are available for tabs only.
- Close Tab
- Close Window
- Close Tabs to Left
- Close Tabs to Right
These actions are available for bookmarks and tabs (that have URLs).
- Open URL in Default Browser
- Open in Chrome
- Open in Firefox
- Open in Private Window
In Sierra and earlier, it was possible to search Safari’s history with a File Filter. Unfortunately, the exported history files were removed in High Sierra, so it’s now necessary to search Safari’s SQLite History database instead.
The workflow accesses this database in two different ways.
The history search (keyword
hi) uses SQLite’s own search function, as there are too many entries to load and/or fuzzy search. As a result, the history search does not use fuzzy search.
The combined bookmark and recent history search (keyword
bh) does use fuzzy search, but the trade-off is that it only reads a limited number of the most recent entries from the history database (specified by the
ALSF_HISTORY_ENTRIES configuration option; 1000 by default).
Depending on the speed of your Mac and your own tolerance for slowness, you may be able to increase this number significantly.
This workflow is released under the MIT Licence.