Safari 5’s new “Smart” Auto-Complete has bothered me since the first day I updated. While this feature has been available in one form or another in previous versions of Safari it never ranked page titles over the urls when auto-completing and there was always a defaults write option to override the behavior.

While searching for a solution I came across an extension called TitleCorruptor by Tom Holland that cleverly inserts an invisible character between every character in the page title which prevents Safari from matching them as you type a url. There were two tiny problems with the extension.

First, it required clearing the browser history before installing (so that Safari doesn’t use the previously cached page titles when auto-completing in the future) so I no longer have a link to the extension to share. (Tom’s contact form is linked from the extension’s settings which is how I found his blog. The extension isn’t available there. I found the extension in Apple’s Discussions forums but now I can’t find the thread it was posted in.)

Second (and more importantly to me as a user), the invisible character that was being inserted was only invisible in the browser title bar and appeared as a normal space in the list accompanying the auto-completed url.

So I created my own version of the extension called SMRT that uses a true zero-width space that’s invisible in the auto-complete list as well as the page title. Just so there’s no confusion, this is Tom’s clever idea—I just cleaned up the implementation a bit.

Download SMRT, clear your history and install to regain control of your Safari address bar.


  • You must delete your history once before installing for the extension to work properly
  • Ditto for previously saved bookmarks (but who doesn’t use a web-based bookmarking service?)
  • Bookmarklets that grab document.title might need to be updated to strip the zero-width spaces this extension inserts (a simple document.title.replace(/\u200b/g, ''); does the trick)
  • In Croatian/Serbian, “smrt” means “death.” It works on so many levels. Smrt to Smart Auto-Complete! (via)


After all that I remembered that you can Get Info on a downloaded file to find the source url. D’oh! Here’s a direct link to the original extension and the Apple Discussions thread I found it in.

Metroid-inspired Clock
Shaun Inman
August 25th, 2010 at 2:05 pm