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OpenSearch is a specification for search engine discovery and syndication of search results. According to OpenSearch's Introduction, "OpenSearch is a collection of simple formats for the sharing of search results."

OpenSearch descriptions are specifically-formatted XML documents that site authors may link to from within an HTML page. OpenSearch-aware browsers may then allow users to take advantage of the site author's specified search engine.


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<OpenSearchDescription xmlns="">
  <Url type="text/html" template="{searchTerms}"/>

The OpenSearch 1.1 Draft specification fully details the required and optional elements that may be included in an OpenSearch description.


Browser UI Examples

Chromium 48

In the following example, a user has previously visited and Chromium recognizes its OpenSearch description, indicated by the following markup in the page's <head>:

<link rel="search" title="" type="application/opensearchdescription+xml" href="/opensearch.xml"/>

Typing "" in the browser's search bar shows the message, "Press tab to search":

opensearch chromium init.png

After pressing tab, "Search" in the browser's search bar is presented with a blue background and a user can type a search term:

opensearch chromium input.png

Pressing return, the user initiates a search and is presented a search results page:

opensearch chromium results.png

IndieWeb Examples


Blog posts and articles about OpenSearch:

See Also