Creating OpenSearch plugins for Firefox

Correctness of example

Is the example template given correct? Specifically, there's no mention of the method attribute to the Url element, nor the Param element, in the OpenSearch 1.1 current draft. There is a draft specification for parameters, but it uses a Parameter element, not Param. Pimlottc 15:15, 23 April 2008 (PDT)

I moved this section up to the top because would like to bring attention to this question again. The following link does make mention of the Param tag in a sense but they call it "Parameter".  OpenSearch parameter extension 1.0  This of course leads to some parsing confusing for us since we are trying to make an OpenSearch parser (we started with making MozSearch parser). Was it that they called the tag 'Param' in an earlier draft of the OpenSearch spec? There is mention on of moving the <Param> tag to the 'Opensearch parameter extension' but the old copies of the spec do not seem to be available to look back at for comparison.

Plotkin 14:21, 21 July 2009 (EDT)

Newbie questions

I'm a complete newbie here. I've typed the XML code into my text program. Now presumably I have to save it as a file. Any particular name I'm supposed to give it? How do I let FF know to add it to my browser? What about the items I don't know? Should I leave them blank, or delete them entirely?

The page Adding search engines from web pages linked from the third paragraph describes a JavaScript method (this requires access to a web server: either your own website hosted somewhere or install a server on your computer).

Question: is there another way? Can I simply put the xml file somewhere and re-start firefox? Can I access the xml descriptions of the already installed plugins, so I can adapt them to (for example) run over a proxy?  drevicko 01 January 2009

Answer:  Yes, there is another way.  Put the xml file into the searchplugins directory (on Windows systems, this is usually C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\searchplugins).  Then, you have to re-start Firefox so it can see the file.  After the restart, your new search plugin will appear at the bottom of the drop-down list.

Unfortunately, you have to restart Firefox each time you make changes to the XML file.

Once you have tested the XML file you are encouraged to use the JavaScript method to make it easy for others to discover and install.  LandOfDelight 30 May 2009

Question: I am also having the same problem, however I am working off of a Mac. I used the same method of saving the .xml file into the Firefox searchplugins folder ( In the case of a Mac user it would be: /Applications/, but when I restart Firefox, it doesn't seem to work. Is there something else I am missing?

 Link to Mycroft Project in the reference section

The mycroft project would be a good reference to include. drevicko 01 January 2009

MozSearch format

Add link to Creating MozSearch plugin page in Image subsection, and insert note "IE not support data: URIs" there.

Also add in SearchForm subsection: "Trick: May be useful to specify in <SearchForm> URI of extended search page - to allow quick access it by sending empty string as request".

Mozilla-specific elements

Elements <moz:UpdateUrl>, <moz:IconUpdateUrl>, <moz:UpdateInterval> is not described, and even is not documented at at all.


At creating a OpenSearch plugin for Firefox 2.0 , I have to specify the a URL of the type="application/x-suggestions+json" where the search suggestions are stored.

This causes that the search suggestions are stored on the server. If I do not like this, because of privacy:

1) Can I prevent a plugin to store on a server as User of Firefox ?

2) What ULR do I have to use, that these things are stored locally ?

The "application/x-suggestions+json" URL in your plugin file has nothing to do with where suggestions are stored - it's the URL used to obtain the suggestions. These suggestions are displayed once and then discarded. These kinds of "suggestions" are different from the standard "history" results, which are stored in the user's profile, on disk. gavin 05:50, 31 October 2006 (PST)

What to do next with that OpenSearch XML file?

Cut it down to 3 lines 1.what to do with it from the beginners point of view 2.searchengine to access searchengine

Can I add the search engine by clicking on a link?

I created a few search engine XML files that work fine when I add them directly from the tool bar. That is, I go to the page where I have defined the auto discovery links to the XML files. Immediately the search box on Firefox gets the blue blinking light. I am then able to "add" the new search engine right there. However, I want to have links on this page where I describe the search engine's functionality. Clicking on the link should add the search engine. What should I do to create those links? Now it just opens up the xml file in the browser.

See Adding search engines from web pages, which is linked to in the third paragraph of this article. gavin 10:54, 9 January 2007 (PST)
Thanks Gavin. That worked.--Godzilla2 15:03, 9 January 2007 (PST)

What's wrong here?

I created an OpenSearch XML file, and it works 100% in IE7 (-shudder-) but whenever I try it in FF it says "This Search Engine isn't supported by FF and can't be installed" - Which is wierd because it follows strict OpenSearch 1.1 format. Loading the XML file directly into FF doesn't highlight any errors, there are no special chars to escape, and I don't even use any of the FF-specific tags so don't need to define the MOZ Namespace. (In fact, when I do, it fails in IE as well!)

Code Snippet:


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <OpenSearchDescription xmlns="" > <Url type="text/html" template="{searchTerms}" /> <ShortName>KIWIreviews</ShortName> <LongName>KIWIreviews Browserbar Search</LongName> <Description>Search through our product and review database for your selected searchterms.</Description> <Tags>New Zealand Product Reviews</Tags> <Developer>KIWIreviews</Developer> <Contact>-valid email address-</Contact> <Attribution>Copyright ©2007 All rights reserved.</Attribution> <SyndicationRight>limited</SyndicationRight> <AdultContent>false</AdultContent> </OpenSearchDescription>


Is there anything technically wrong with this?

On top of that, I added the autodiscover link to the index page header, yet no autodiscovery. -insert frustrated glare-

-- JohnBentley 30 Nov 2009. I had the same problem. For local testing this was fixed by using an absolute, rather than relative, URL for the AddSearchProvider javascript. Eg



This page is vandalized very often and doesn't get much useful edits. I suggest we lock it. --Nickolay 15:42, 10 April 2007 (PDT)

I agree. This page gets messed with constantly. I'm going to lock it. If anyone has a legitimate edit to make, let us know and we'll open it up for that. --Sheppy 16:06, 10 April 2007 (PDT)

savely needs to be changed to safely. I'm a new user here and this is my first edit. Nastajus 20:04, 24 July 2007 (PDT)
Fixed the typo, thanks! --Nickolay 10:56, 25 July 2007 (PDT)

Ready2Search moved to new URL;Ready2Search The new guide is Custom Search through Ready2Search. I can't fix by the lock. Delete this message after you finish fixing.

Is the lock notice still both true and necessary? Can it (the lock or the notice) be removed? jswisher 04 February 2011

I've removed the lock; let's see how it goes. (Sheppy 07 February 2011)

How Search Engines Become "Recommended"?

Is there a need for this page (or some other page) to include some information on how, why and when a search plug-in gets elevated from the full database of plug-ins ( to Firefox's primary search plug-in page ( I'm looking for this information myself and was unable to find anything on the topic. --Fold 14:56, 08 June 2007 (GMT)

I suppose, you just need to submit it to AMO as an XPI. Post to dev-apps-firefox, perhaps? --Nickolay 10:56, 25 July 2007 (PDT)
That was wrong:
<gavin|> you need to email the AMO team and ask to have it added, afaik
<gavin|> they dont' accept them as XPIs
<gavin|> I think they have plans to create a more elaborate system for submitting search engines

--Nickolay 14:16, 25 July 2007 (PDT)

Bug 409076 needs to be fixed before users can upload new search engines. -- clouserw 2008-08-06

Automatic Updates?

In the old Firefox-only Plugins, one could specify an URL and Update Interval to be sure, users get updates for their plugins. Is there anything similar available in OpenSearch? --Andreas Kahl 13:21, 8 September 2007 (PDT)

I suppose, you could package the search plugin in an XPI that gets automatic updates. But your question should really be asked in the newsgroups. --Nickolay 13:22, 9 September 2007 (PDT)

Wikipedia Search Coding

I would like to make a search plugin for my company's Wiki-based knowledge base. I imagine that if I could find the coding for the integrated Wikipedia search, most of the parameters would be the same, and I could just change the addresses. The XML file isn't in the \Mozilla Firefox\searchplugins directory though. Can anyone direct me to a wiki search template so that I could create the search plugin? Ninjatek 18:11, 6 November 2007 (PST)

Can I add the search engine from a local file?

I have created a wellformed XML, but how do I add it from a local file? I made a local .html with a <link... in the <head> and specified the path to the local xml under href= but nothing happened. Is it mandatory to upload the file somewhere?! Surely there must be some easy way to locally just import one or more search engines from xml files?

Please, add reference to Portuguese Translation

pt:Criando plugins OpenSearch para o Firefox

Fixing searchterms typo

Just noticed in the documentation that {searchterms} is listed as a smart tag instead of {searchTerms}. Unfortunately, the incorrect case will cause the feature to not work - doh! Could someone please fix this (I would, but the page is locked).

I don't see this, where is it? --Sheppy 10:19, 26 March 2008 (PDT)


The URL in xmlns:moz="" is broken. It is only an identifier, nobody needs to locate the resource, I know the theory, but in practice http is supposed to work.

The documentation doesn't mention that bad things can happen if an opensearch description doesn't offer a Mozilla <SearchForm>. The default is then simply the domain, e.g., Google for a Google CSE (custom search engine). Some users including me are annoyed when redirects them to say

It would be far better to use the query URL as default, either an empty query or better using the example query in the opensearch description. Of course it is possible to get this effect by adding <moz:SearchForm> for a specified xmlns:moz namespace, broken URI or not, but why should opensearch descriptions be filled up with proprietary Mozilla annotations? --Frank 10:53, 11 April 2008 (PDT)


Firefox treats a leading space in the <ShortName> as significant, noted as -Name.xml instead of Name.xml in the saved search plugin derived from an opensearch description. An autodiscovery title="Name" apparently doesn't match -Name, if that's no bug it's an oddity. . --Frank 12:08, 11 April 2008 (PDT)


Please change Firefox 3.1 > Firefox 3.5

User:Jürgen Jeka 2009-05-02