Government Plug-ins

Sherlock plugins for power searchers.

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(This site designed for 640x480 resolution and checked in Netscape 4.0 )

Sherlock Plug-ins for United States Government Websites

Create your own plug-ins: Click Here!

It should come as no surprise that the US Goverment uses some of your tax dollars to gather a tremendous amount of information. What might be surprising is how much of this information you have access to: Everything from how many paper clips Uncle Sam wants to buy to methods for incinerating all those ageing nuclear weapons we've stockpiled. Refer to the instructions at the right, check out the sites below, and quickly add to the power of Sherlock on your Apple computer!
Note! Many of the websites listed below provide other valuable products & services. Your are encouraged to check out a website prior to downloading its Sherlock plug-ins. The plug-ins below are not intended to completely replace the functionality of any website. The appearance of any plug-in(s) at this site do not imply endorsement of any specific website, Company, or service. And remember, these plug-ins may be habit forming, should be stored in cool, dry place, and could contain many small parts.

How to Use This Website:


Do This:


Check out a site:

Click on the Site's Name


Get the Plug-ins file for that site:

Click "[download plug-ins]"


Decompress a Plug-ins file you've just downloaded:

Open the file in AOL, or
Use the free StuffIt Expander utility


Install a Sherlock Plug-in:

OS 8 Users:
Drop it onto your closed System Folder.

OS 9 Users:

  1. Launch Sherlock.
  2. Open the Channel you want to put the plug-in into.
  3. Drop the file into the plug-ins window.

R e c e n t - N e w s


  • MedLine has changed their web site so that you can't view the abstracts using's a way to fix their little "error".


  • Pssst!...Want to write your own plug-ins? Then check out my handy AppleScript that's designed to make it easier!


  • The Department of Energy has changed their site: It's fantastic, but no longer Sherlock-friendly, so my plugins are gone.
  • If you're using my CBD plug-ins with the AutoDate feature, download my revised set!
  • Like the great outdoors? Try my plug-in for the US National Parks Service! (oh, and "Hi" to John!)
(past news)


Number of Plug-ins
Uses AutoDate?

  • Commerce Business Daily (CBD)
    The centralized public record for documenting all goods or services that the US Government wants to buy or sell, from toilet paper to aircraft carriers. Over 450 new records added almost every weekday. [download plug-ins]
    AOL Users! If you experience problems viewing search results when using these plug-ins, use Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer as your web browser.
6 Total:

3 Standard

3 Custom Plug-ins
These Use



  • DOE's OSTI's "EnergyPortal Search" Metasearcher
    Produced by the Office of Scientific & Technical Information, it lists over 25 databases of scientific & technical information, allowing you to search up to 10 simultaneously. Search across all subjects, or focus on a specific discipline such as Chemisty, Biology, Engineering, Physics, and more. It's a very handy reference for scientists & engineers!
    Note! To use this site your browser must have Javascript enabled in the Preferences (Mac) or Properties (Win).





  • US Department of Transportation's "DotBot"
    This set of seven (7) plug-ins gives Sherlock the ability to search some of the major databases accessible through the DOT's "DotBot' web index. Includes plug-ins for the Department of Transportation, National Transportation Library, National Highway Traffic Safety Institute, and the Federal Administrations for Aviation, Highway, and Traffic. [download plug-ins]
7 Total:




2 Plug-ins

Entire Site



  • US Patent & Trademarks Office: Patents
    Perform Boolean, Fielded searching of US Patents. [download plug-ins]
    Note! A modification to this website on or before 06-30-99 prevents a Sherlock plug-in from working on this site. If you would like a plug-in, e-mail the Webmaster.





  • US Patent & Trademarks Office: Trademarks
    Perform Boolean, Fielded searching of US Trademarks. Includes plug-ins to search the Pending, Registered, or All marks, and a convenient "cheat sheet" with the search fields and some search examples. [download plug-ins]
    Note! A modification to this website on or before 06-30-99 prevents a Sherlock plug-in from working on this site. If you would like a plug-in, e-mail the Webmaster.



  • Federal Register Online
    The "secretary" of US Federal legal activity, it documents Federal meetings, revisions to the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR), exemptions to the law granted & denied to businesses, and much more. It's updated daily. [download plug-ins]
1 Total
Uses AutoDate!



  • MEDLINE searching via PubMed
    A free medical database of over 9 million records covering all aspects of medicine & medical research. It's geared towards medical professionals, with plenty of fancy Latin and polysyllabic medical phrases. Plug in allows Boolean, fielded searching of this database. [download plug-ins]
    Note! PubMed has changed their web site: When you double-click on a link found by Sherlock, instead of seeing the abstract you'll get an "error".

    Here's how to actually view the abstract(s):

    1. Using your Mac's "Internet" control panel, tell Sherlock to use Netscape or AOL v3.0 as the browser.
    2. In your web browser, turn "Cookies" on
      (In Netscape, choose "Accept only cookies that get sent back to the originating server.")
    3. Run your Sherlock search as usual, and get your results.
    4. When you single-click a link, look at Netscape's "Location" box: The actual link will be displayed.
    5. Change every "&" in the link to "&", then press the 'return' key.
    6. The abstract will (magically!) appear.

1 Plug-in



1 Plug-in

3 Total:


All Words

Any Words

1 Plug-in

  • National Parks Service
    Created on August 25, 1916, the NPS is charged with protecting & preserving the Nation's parks and monuments while simultaneously promoting them to the public. Use this plug-in to search for info on policies, tourist info and the location & history of specific parks and the Park Service. [download plug-in]
1 Plug-in

1 Plug-in

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Past News:
(recent news)

Create your own plug-ins: Click Here!


  • If you're reading this, you've found my site at its' new location, courtesy of those generous people at Check out their offer, you may like it (Honest, this is not a paid endorsement!)


  • Added plug-in for the FAA by request. (...and included 6 other transportation-related plug-ins!)


  • Cleaned up the format of the page: Hope it's easier to use!



  • Fixed the website links (apologies to all who visited earlier...the links work now!)

[ TOP | Main Index | What is Sherlock? | Commercial Plug-ins | Education Plug-ins | Government Plug-ins | Wish list | Sherlock Links ]
[ Build a Plug-in | Test a Plug-in | Contact me! | Guestbook ]

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Disclaimer: These plug-ins and any associated programs at this website have been provided to make your searching with Sherlock more convenient & productive. While they have been thoroughly tested & work just fine on my Macintosh, they are provided "as is" without warranty or remedy of any kind: You assume any risks in using this software, and are solely responsible for any outcome resulting from such use. Unless explicitly stated, these plug-ins were created solely by the Author through direct examination & use of the websites mentioned, and are neither endorsed nor supported by Apple Computer or the specific websites they are designed to work with.

Copyright: While this information is available free of charge, it is not in the Public Domain. Plug-ins may be distributed provided the entire folder of information is distributed without alteration. If you would like to distribute them in a collection, CD-ROM or by other mass duplication means, contact me for permission. Thanks.

Questions? Comments? Plug-ins? Contact me! I welcome any questions, comments, suggestions, plug-ins or links you may have.


  • Mac and the Mac logo are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. The Made on a Mac Badge is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc., used with permission.

Any other trademarks, service marks, or icons mentioned/shown in this document are the property of their respective owners, and it is not the intention of this site to dilute or compromise such marks: Contact me if you wish your mark to be acknowledged or removed from this site.


(I'm just picky!)