I’ve been using LaunchBar for many years, both on my own laptop and on my work machines. At some point I noticed that my work LaunchBar installations—which started over with a fresh configuration every few years—were showing me autocomplete suggestions as I typed in queries for Wikipedia and Google:

A screenshot of LaunchBar’s search suggestions interface. The text “list of game” is in the search field and below that is a list of Wikipedia articles whose titles start with those words.

My home LaunchBar installation, which I’ve been migrating from computer to computer since version 4, did not give suggestions like this. I tried various times to re-add the list of “factory search templates,” which I assumed held the magical versions of the search templates that supported autocomplete, but to no avail—the new list of search templates didn’t even include Wikipedia or Google.

Yesterday I discovered that it is possible to get the autocompleting templates back; LaunchBar just calls them “actions,” not “search templates.” To add them to your configuration,

  1. Activate LaunchBar.
  2. Open the Index by typing Command-Option-I (that’s the letter “eye”).
  3. Click on the Add button in the top left of the window.
  4. Select Actions → Actions from the menu that opens.

This will add a long list of actions to your index, which you can then rename or disable as you please. (Note that you’ll only be able to add these default actions back into your index if you had previously removed them.)

A screenshot of the LaunchBar index, showing some of the actions that come enabled by default.

The actions for Google, Wikipedia, Wikiquote, and Wiktionary (and possibly others) offer live, autocompleting search results. I’m sure that these were added to my index automatically when I upgraded to whichever version of LaunchBar introduced them… I probably assumed “I don’t want any of this!” and got rid of them. Now I’m glad I managed to get them back.