Top tips for Mountain Lion: Safari

Macworld Australia Staff
26 December, 2012
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Whenever a new operating system comes out, Mac users madly scramble around looking for tips and tricks that will make using that OS easier and more efficient. The tips on this post range from basic to advanced, so we hope there’s something here for everyone.


Share web pages from Safari

In previous versions of Safari, you could email a link to a webpage by pressing c-Shift-I. This command, which is visible in Safari 6 on Lion, doesn’t show up in Safari on Mountain Lion. However, the shortcut works, even if it isn’t readily visible; you can see it by choosing File > Share and then pressing the Shift key.

But that’s not the only way to share web pages. If you choose File > Share, you’ll see three options: You can email the page or share it via Messages or Twitter.

If you choose to email the page, Mail will, by default, email the entire page, with its full layout and all its graphics. But you can click on the ‘Send Web Content As’ menu in your message (at the top right of the window, just above the content).

Three options are available here: Web Page, PDF or Link Only. If you need to send an actual web page to someone, PDF might be the best bet, as the full page might not display correctly for Windows users.

Share web pages from keyboard

With the Share button in Safari on Mountain Lion, you can share web pages using Twitter or Messages. There are no default keyboard shortcuts, but you can create your own.

Open System Preferences and click the Keyboard icon, and then the Keyboard Shortcuts tab. Click Application Shortcuts and then click the plus-sign button (+). Choose Safari as the application and then enter either Twitter or Messages as the Menu Title.

Enter the keyboard shortcut you want – c-Control-T for Twitter and c-Control-M for Messages, say – and then click Add to apply the shortcut. Quit Safari and relaunch it. If you click the Share button in the toolbar, you won’t see your new shortcuts, but they will work. You can see them by choosing File > Share.

Navigate Safari’s auto-complete menu

When you type something into Safari’s new unified address and search field, an auto-complete menu appears, containing suggestions for the fragment you typed.

That list may be really long. If you want to choose a website from your bookmarks or browsing history, for example, you might have to press the down arrow several times to get to that section of suggestions.

BONUS TIP: Create links to emails in Notes

If you drag an email message from Mail to Notes, the latter app will display the subject of the email as a clickable link. Click on that link, and the message will open in Mail.

You can copy that link – by right-clicking and choosing Copy Link – and then paste it into a text editor. It will look something like this: message:%3C98A2D2F2-A910-4B63-B3G4-

Many apps will recognise such links as live, while others won’t. For example, in an RTF document in TextEdit, it will appear as a live link.

BusyCal also treats such links in the Notes field as live. But Apple’s Calendar doesn’t. Scrivener does, but Microsoft Word doesn’t. You’ll have to experiment with the apps you use most often to see if they do.

You can speed up keyboard navigation by holding down the c key as you press the up-arrow or down- arrow key. Doing so will skip you quickly from section to section.

View recent web searches

In Safari’s combined address and search field, there’s no longer a drop-down menu showing your recent searches. However, there are still two ways you can view the search terms you’ve recently used.

The first method is to click in the address and search field, or press c-L to highlight it, and press the spacebar; a menu showing your recent searches will appear. In the second method, look to see if the magnifying glass icon is visible to the left of the address and search field; if so, simply click on it.

Get the RSS button back

Safari 5 had an RSS button that appeared when you landed on a website with an RSS feed. That button was a great way to quickly subscribe to such feeds: If you clicked the button, your newsreader would open and you could add the feed as a subscription.

Safari 6 does not have that button, but developer Daniel Jalkut has created the free ‘Subscribe to
Feed’ Safari extension ( blog/?p=2624) that replaces it. That new button appears on the toolbar; when you come to a page that offers an RSS or Atom feed, you click it. That opens the feed:// link, which should automatically open your favourite newsreader. The button changes colour when you visit a website that has an RSS feed, so you know when to click.

View and select tabs with two-finger pinch

If you have multiple tabs open in Safari, you can use a two-finger pinch to view them and switch among them. You can then navigate among the tabs using two-finger swipes to the right and left, by pressing the arrow keys on your keyboard, or by using a mouse or trackpad.

To select a tab and return to page view, make sure the tab you want is in the centre of the Safari window, and then press Return, click your mouse or tap your trackpad, or pinch out. You can also close any tabs by clicking the close button in their headers or pressing c-W while in this view.

Some of these gestures can be hard to get used to, but if you use this on iOS, you’ll quickly grasp it on OS X. If you find the gesture hard to perform, press c-Shift-backslash (\) to get the same interface.

BONUS TIP: Save Safari search URLs

Safari 6 has a new combined URL and search field. If you type a search term into that field and then press Return, you’ll get a Google page with search results.

But, oddly, the URL for that Google search won’t appear in that field; instead, the search term itself will remain there. This can be frustrating, because sometimes you want the URL for the Google results page, either to save or to share.

There are a couple of ways to get that URL, though. One uses AppleScript. Open the AppleScript editor and enter the following script: tell application “Safari” to set the clipboard to URL of current tab of window 1 as string.

Save that as an application. Double-clicking that application will save the URL of the frontmost Safari tab to the clipboard; from there you can paste it wherever you want.

If you don’t want to mess with AppleScript, you have other alternatives: you can drag the favicon in the URL and search field to a Finder window after you’ve run a search. (For a search, the favicon is the magnifying-glass icon at the left of the search field.)

You can then double-click the resulting file to run the search again, or you can press the spacebar to view it with Quick Look and see a live search with clickable links.

You can also drag the favicon to the body of an email message or into a text field or document to immediately paste the link.

Finally, you can save a search-results page as a bookmark: run a search and choose Bookmarks > Add Bookmark, or press c-D. If you save it to the Bookmarks Bar, you can right- click on the bookmark and choose Copy to get the search URL.

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