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Whisker Menu has a great but quite underrated feature called "Search Actions" that can easily trigger a predefined command to search/open/run various folders/files/programs very quickly by assigning a "pattern" in the form of one or more characters.

It has some default ones like "run in terminal" by typing ! and then the desired command

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But other more interesting can be added like running a search of file or folders through a search tool like Catfish, starting CD/DVD playback, opening specific files or folders and many others.

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Any others can be added like start any application, logout, restart, shut down, upgrade, and what not.

In this sense the name "Search Actions" can be misleading, because they can and even by default do more than simply "searching".

I was interested in a rather marginal problem (Can the Whisker-menu "Search Actions" feature use a custom icon?), but one that could be considered more closely by accessing the files that store these "search actions". In these way they could be saved and maybe fine-tuned to serve more specific needs.

Where are these settings stored?

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The configuration file for the Whisker Menu is saved in your xfce4 panel directory:

~/.config/xfce4/panel/whiskermenu-1.rc

The actions defined at the bottom of the file contain the same properties as in the "Search Actions" dialog, i.e. name, pattern, command and a boolean regex flag.

$ tail -18 ~/.config/xfce4/panel/whiskermenu-1.rc
[action2]
name=Wikipedia
pattern=!w
command=exo-open --launch WebBrowser https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%u
regex=false

[action3]
name=Run in Terminal
pattern=!
command=exo-open --launch TerminalEmulator %s
regex=false

[action4]
name=Open URI
pattern=^(file|http|https):\\/\\/(.*)$
command=exo-open \\0
regex=true
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  • Other Whisker Menu items added may have their settings stored in a file with a slightly different name, like whiskermenu-1x.rc (whiskermenu-10.rc, whiskermenu-16.rc etc)
    – cipricus
    Feb 23, 2021 at 18:13
  • Do you know if other parameters can be used under an [action], other than name, pattern, command and regex?
    – cipricus
    Feb 23, 2021 at 18:17
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    Googling the source code, it doesn't look like that. You could fill out a "bug" report, donate some money and ask the developer if he is willing to add this feature to his todo list.
    – Freddy
    Feb 23, 2021 at 18:59

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