Seven Simple Safari Shortcuts

We all want to go faster. Especially when it comes to web browsing. If only there was this one feature or shortcut that could make our lives so much easier, make us work so much faster. Well, sadly there is no one simple way to do it, even with Safari. However, here's a list of lesser known features, the hidden shortcuts and the secret workarounds that will help you surf smarter and more efficiently, and get things done much more quickly.

1. Use Tabs

This feature is arguably one of Safari's most useful, but, surprisingly, it isn't turned on by default. Tabbed browsing allows you to cut clutter by opening multiple web pages in one window. A tabs bar appears below your bookmarks bar, allowing you to switch between different web pages in the same window. To enable this, Go to Safari --> Preferences, and click on Tabs. Then choose "Enable Tabbed Browsing." Now Safari has a whole world of new abilities. Command-Clicking a link or bookmark will open it in a new tab. You can use your keyboard to quickly cycle between tabs. Even dragging links onto a tab or the tab bar will open it in a different tab. Command-W will just close the tab you are on, and Command-Option-W will close all tabs but the one you are on.

2. Visit

This site has all the great plug-ins, bookmarklets and applescripts that allow you to enhance Safari. It promotes three plug-ins as the essentials: Saft, Pithhelmet and SafariStand, saying "If you only install three, make it these". Note that although much of the stuff on Pimp my Safari is free, some is shareware, which means you will have to pay to access all the features.

3. Use Snapback

The Snapback button is not very well known, but is extremely powerful. Imagine you are at a page you really like, but then you stumble off, browsing the web. Snapback allows you to instantly jump back to your original page. It works in three ways:
Firstly, when doing a google search, the results page is set as the snapback page. You can click a link in the results, navigate though a few more pages, and then hit the Snapback button to return to the search results. The snapback button for google searches is located in the google search field in the top right of each window.
Secondly, when you type a URL into the address bar, choose a bookmark or click an item in your history, it will be set as the snapback page. The snapback button to jump to this page is located at the far right of the address bar.
Finally, you can override the automatic snapback setting, and press Command-Option-K to set a page for snapback. This can also be accessed through the History menu, choosing "Mark Page for SnapBack."
Note that Snapback is a temporary thing. The page assigned for trackback will only last until you do one of the above things.

4. Autofill Passwords

Safari's autofill feature can do anything from remembering passwords to automatically filling your your name and address from your Address Book Entry. To make Safari automatically remember a password for you, enter it yourself, and click "yes" when safari offers to remember it for you. If you have already selected "Never for this Web Site" in the past, check out this tip for if you have changed your mind. You can manage all of your passwords in Keychain Access (Applications/Utilities). The way keychain access works is that all of your passwords are accessible by using just one password, by default, your login password. As a result, most web site passwords will just appear automatically on a web page, as the "login" keychain is unlocked when you log into Mac OS X. Use the search field to find the web site you want the password for, and double click its entry. Under Attributes, click show password, when you will be prompted for your login password.

5. Combine RSS feeds

One of the great things about using Safari as an RSS reader is the ability to make a folder of RSS feeds from related news sites (for example, all the mac tips sites I visit regularly) and setting it to Auto-tab. Then, when you click on the folder, Safari will combine all the RSS feeds and give you a list of the latest news from all the sites in the folder.

6. Make web Receipts

The PDF Services button in the Print dialog can be used throughout Mac OS X, but it is especially useful in Safari. This is because of the shortcut to the web receipts folder. You know those important pages, like your bank statement and the receipt from buying something online, that recommend you to print the page. Well Web receipts is an easier alternative. Press Command-P as if you were going to print the page, but then click on PDF and select "Save to Web Receipts Folder..." This will create a PDF of the page in Documents/Web Receipts, a handy place to store all your important information should you need it. Also, Branin Johnson sent in this tip regarding Web Receipts with the same name getting overwritten.

7. Use pop-up blocker

A really obvious one, and a popular one. With the pop-up blocker enabled (Go to the Safari menu, and select "Block Pop-up windows") you can almost forget that pop-ups exist. However be wary that although most pop-ups are annoying adverts, some contain useful information. If you come across a web site that doesn't seem to be working properly, or you think you might be missing some information, temporarily turn of the pop-up blocker and check to see there isn't a useful pop-up window.
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