Whenever you copy a link with Hook, or hook items together, Hook adds a bookmark to its database. So when you search in Hook you are effectively searching for Hook’s bookmarks. Here’s how to do it.

Enter and Exit Search Mode.

Enter search mode with ⌘F or by clicking 🔍 icon in Hook’s toolbar. (You can hide/show this toolbar in Hook’s General preferences.)

Exit search mode

To get out of search mode, back into context mode, you can either

  1. Gear menu (⌃G) > Show Context, or
  2. Close Hook window and reopen it, because Hook defaults to context-sensitive mode.

Input and execute your search query

Once you’re in search mode, enter your query in the search field, Hook starts searching as you type. Hook’s search is not case-sensitive (no difference between “foo” and “Foo”).

Search syntax

Hook searches the full-text search of its bookmarks (not the content to which its bookmarks refer). Most of the time, you only need to type a search expression like you do in other search engines. The rest of this section describes easy ways to narrow your search.

Alpha-numeric and Unicode characters only; and partial matching

Currently, Hook’s search can only match alphabetical and numeric characters and unicode characters. Other characters are ignored.

Hook will find any bookmark that partially or completely matches your search expression. This means it will find any bookmark that contains your search expression. For example, if you search for lob Hook will find any bookmark containing global, globe, or lobby.

Restricting search to particular attributes of bookmarks

In Hook, bookmarks contain four attributes: title, URL, path and name. The latter two (path and name) only apply to bookmarks that refer to files. By default, Hook searches every attribute. However, you can constrain your search to any particular attribute.

Searching only in URLs (addresses).

To restrict your search to the URL of bookmarks, you can do so by using the url: keyword like the following:

  1. to find bookmarks with areoma in their URL field, such as, use url:areomag;
  2. to find only emails, you can type: url:"hook://email" because email URLs have this form: hook://email. This would also get you in the ballpark: "url:/email";
  3. to find only sftp bookmarks, you could enter URL://sftp. (URL:sftp would find those bookmarks too but would also match URLs that contain sftp elsewhere such as hook://email/foo-sftp-bar);
  4. to find only bookmarks to files or folders, you could enter hook://file or cast your net a bit wider with url:"file/"
Restricting search to the content of title of bookmarks

Each bookmark has a title in Hook. Using title: as a keyword will restrict the scope of search to the title of bookmarks.

The following will search bookmarks where their title contains imagine: title:imagine

The search could turn out the following result:

* ['Couldn't have imagined it six months ago,' says Horgan, but scientists have been issuing climate warnings for decades - Vancouver Sun](
Restricting search to the content of name and path

Using name: as a keyword will restrict the scope of your search to the name of a file. Using path: as a keyword will restrict the scope of your search to the path of a file.

The following will search for files that have mov in their name and 2022 in their path: name:mov path:2022

Here are some possible search results for the above

* [Why Connect Pinboard to Hook - HD](hook://file/xZFM0zqcu?p=MTQvMDg5QTA2RkYtQTEwMy00ODVCLUI3NTAtRDI2NzNGQTU2RTg3&n=Why%20Connect%20Pinboard%20to%20Hook%20%2D%20HD%201080p%2Emov)

* [How to Connect Hook to Pinboard (shorter ending).mov](hook://file/xF95x5xj4?p=SmF5IE1pbGxlcidzIHNjcmVlbmNhc3RzL3ByZXZpb3Vz&n=How%20to%20Connect%20Hook%20to%20Pinboard%20%28shorter%20ending%29%2Emov)

For more information

For a full description of the search function and advanced search topics, please refer to SQLite FT5 extension, which Hook’s search leverages.

Using other tools to search for Hook’s bookmarks

Because we value interoperability, we’ve made it possible for other apps on your Mac to access Hook’s bookmarks. Here are some great tools:

The Fastmarks app for macOS by Tyler Hall enables you to search for bookmarks in Hook, Safari, iCloud tabs, Chrome, Edge, Brave, and Firefox. Fastmarks is very fast and 100% keyboard-driven. Fastmarks also supports creating bookmarks and using templates for you to add parameters.

You can also search Hook bookmarks Alfred and LaunchBar launchers, thanks to our Alfred workflow and LaunchBar extension.

How Hook’s search function differs from traditional search tools

Hook arguably contains the most precise search tool for macOS. That is because Hook only contains bookmarks to items that you have touched with Hook (Copy Link, Copy Markdown Link, Hook to Copied Link, Add Bookmark, hooking items together with menu bar window, or via automation).

As long as you’re in the habit of using Hook (for copying links bookmarking, etc.) Hook’s bookmark library accumulates all the gems you refer to.

Furthermore, Hook not only searches for files or web pages; it searches for anything it has dealt with in any app. It can bookmark emails, e-books (Apple Books, etc.), DEVONthink items, OmniFocus tasks, Things tasks, web pages (blog posts, etc.) … you name it! (No plugins or extensions required.)