Windows only: You don’t need a browser opened to launch a web search with Dave’s Quick Search Deskbar. It’s a Google-powered Leatherman for your taskbar, pulling off almost any search with a Windows key shortcut.
DQSD also offers wide-open access to its configuration files and explains how to hack up your own site search keywords. If FORM digging and manual URL writing isn’t your thing, there’s an Internet Explorer plug-in that makes it easier to embed site searches into DQSD.
DQSD is a free download, works on Windows systems all the way back to Windows 95 (seriously). I ran into some “script errors” while trying to move the deskbar into position on my taskbar, but once I stopped fiddling, everything run fine. The link below offers more detailed instructions and work-arounds for those who aren’t seeing their deskbar show up. If you’re a fan of Dave’s creation and have a few use or search suggestions—by all means, make your presence known in the comments. Thanks MLL!