Turning A Web Site Into A Mac App

For some web sites, I have multiple accounts, and need to be able to switch between those accounts easily. I created a set of site specific browsers for each web site and account using Fluid. A site specific browser looks like a normal app, but is actually a self contained browser set to open a specific web page. These site specific browsers don’t share resources, so you can set multiple ones up targeting the same web page, but using different logins. The problem with Fluid, however, is that it doesn’t seem to work with 1Password, the app I use to manage all my passwords. This meant that each time I launched a Fluid app, I’d have to also launch 1Password, look up the appropriate password, and then cut and paste it into the Fluid app to log in. Not ideal. Fortunately, I’ve come across a better solution, using Chrome. It allows me to create site specific browsers using Chrome and it also integrates with 1Password. And it’s free. It involves just a couple steps.

First, you must download this shell script. Each time you run it, it will create a new site specific browser app. It requires 3 bits of information: the name you want to call the app, the web page it should open up, and an icon to use for the app. For icons, I used Google Image Search.

Once you run the script, it creates the new app in your /Applications directory. Clicking on this app will launch a Chrome process, separate from your normal Chrome browser, pointed at the page you specified. So far, we’ve duplicated Fluid. Now, we need to install the 1Password extension. Hit Command-T, to open a new tab in the app, and go to the web page: https://agilebits.com/browsers/index.html. Then click on the green button to install the 1Password extension. Now, the site specific browser you’ve created has 1Password installed. Quit out of it and restart it. You can now right-click to bring up 1Password and fill in any log in form you have.


  1. Nice tip!

    I have been running into performance problems with scrolling and fixed backgrounds in Fluid on Retina displays, that aren’t exhibited by Safari or Chrome. Now I’m using the script you linked to and replacing them all. 🙂

    Admittedly, there are a few things I’ll miss about Fluid, and I was happy to have paid for a license for it, but there are a lot of things to look forward to by using a Chrome-based site-specific browser.

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