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I'm looking for a free app for Mac, similar to Alfred, which will allow me to quickly launch a search to a search engine of my choice from any app by pressing a keyboard shortcut.

Alfred nearly fits the bill, but (a) has a lot of features I don't use, and (b) [most importantly] doesn't allow me to change the default search engine from Google. With Alfred, you need to buy a licence to search with anything other than Google. You can specify 'keywords' to search other search engines (e.g. I can hit Ctrl+Space and then type w example to search Wikipedia for 'example'.

I use DuckDuckGo for all normal web searches, and yes, I could just setup a keyword in Alfred such as d example to achieve the same thing, but this is the SuperUser forum, and as such I'd like to be able to find a solution that allows me to bypass the 'd-space' key combination if possible.

Any suggestions?

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I would suggest firstly for you to take a look at Quicksilver. Excellent productivity tool and it is open source. Has a lot of plugins and I used it before I decided to buy Alfred.

My second suggestion would be LaunchBar. You can use it free with full functionality, it will just - as the developer states - "occasionally invites you to take a short break". For some people this break may be insignificant, for others it may be a nightmare (for me the later), but it is still a great tool.

Links:

There is also CerebroApp, however I never used it so am not sure if it is good or not, but another option for you to take a look at.

CerebroApp: https://cerebroapp.com/

EDIT: another tool could be Zazu App, also open source like CerebroApp.

Zazu App: http://zazuapp.org/

Hope this helped. Cheers!

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