If you use Safari as your preferred browser of choice for Mac, you can get the most out of the browser by tweaking certain settings or learning a bunch of tips and tricks to improve your experience. While we already have an article on the essential Safari settings you must tweak to improve your browsing experience, in this article, we bring to you some of the best tips and tricks for Safari on Mac to help you get better and efficient at using the browser.
Best Safari Tips and Tricks for Mac
1. Enable Picture-in-Picture
Over the past few years, Safari has grown and improved considerably as a browser — to a point where it competes with the popular browsers and offers some of the most widely used features, while also ensuring better performance and user privacy. One of these features is the Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode, which allows you to get a floatable video window that you can move anywhere outside of its particular browser tab. Thus, allowing you to multitask while watching content. To watch a video in PiP mode, with the video playing, right-click on the video twice and select the Enter Picture in Picture option. Once done, you will see the video playing in a floatable window. You can move the window around and click the x icon to exit PiP mode.
2. Personalize a webpage
Safari for Mac offers a tonne of customization options, including the ones for websites — that applies to every single website you visit online. While a lot of the settings that you tweak work perfectly fine for different websites you visit, there are a few exceptions that do not work well with the tweaked settings. For this purpose, Apple provides an option to personalize a webpage’s settings, so you can personalize a website’s settings to use different settings as compared to the general website settings that you change. To personalize a webpage, right-click on the address bar and choose Settings for This website. Here, you will find a bunch of different settings, such as reader view, auto-play, page zoom, and user permissions, which you can change per your requirement.
3. View complete URL of a website
By default, the address bar on Safari only shows the primary domain name of a website to keep it clutter-free. However, if you are someone who likes to know your exact location on a website, you can enable the option to view the entire URL of a website. For this, head over to Safari Preferences [command + ,], and go to the Advanced tab. Now, check the checkbox next to Show full website address. And that’s it, you should now see the entire address of a website in your address bar.
4. Save a webpage as PDF
Even though there are read-it-later and bookmark services to help you bookmark a website/webpage to revisit later, there are times when you need to have a separate copy saved locally on your machine. For such instances, Safari has the save as PDF utility that allows you to do just that. To save a page as PDF, go to the page you want to save, tap File from the Safari menu, and hit Export as PDF. On the next screen, enter the name and destination address, and hit Save.
5. Add to Reading List/Bookmark
A lot of the times, we stumble upon some interesting webpages and articles that we wish to read/revisit later. Be it related to work or something of our interest. One of the ways to save articles and webpages is to use the Reading List and Bookmark feature on Safari. While there is not much difference between the two, Reading List is usually preferred when you need to read something, after which the saved item is removed from the list. On the other hand, Bookmarking a webpage always keeps it in your record until you delete it. To add a webpage to Reading List or Bookmark, hit the share button next to the address bar and select Add to Reading List or Add Bookmark, respectively.
6. Change default search engine
The default search engine on Safari is set to Google — one of the widely-and-commonly used search engines on the internet. However, if you are someone who is more concerned about their privacy, and therefore, prefers using something like DuckDuckGo, or if your work demands the use of some other search engine, you can change the same in Safari. For this, head over to Safari Preferences [command + ,], and go into the Search tab. Here, tap the dropdown button next to Search engine, and pick a search engine from the list.
7. Search tabs
If you have a lot of browser tabs open at once while you work, and you find it hard and annoying to find a tab from the array of these tabs, there is a neat little trick in Safari to help you with just that. For this, tap on View and select Show Tab Overview. Alternatively, you can also use the shortcut [shift + command + \] to go into Tab Overview. Once in the Tab Overview window, press command + f and enter the name of the tab you are looking for in the search box.
8. Pin tabs
Another neat tab trick for Safari when you have an array of tabs open at once is the ability to pin tabs that you need to revisit frequently. To do this, right-click on the tab you want to pin, and select Pin Tab from the list of options. You can pin multiple tabs at once, and the pinned tabs will shrink in size and occupy the space to the left, below the address bar.
9. Mute tabs
A lot of the websites these days embed videos or ads on their webpages that automatically start playing the content, which can become quite annoying, particularly when your machine’s volume levels are set high. To deal with this, Safari allows you to mute the audio on that particular tab. So, all you need to do is, tap the speaker icon on the tab that is playing audio to mute any audio from that tab.
10. Arrange tabs
Similar to how you can arrange folders and files on your computer based on different filters, you can do the same with Safari tabs, especially when you have multiple tabs open at once. To arrange tabs in the tab bar, right-click on a tab and click on Arrange Tabs by. You will now see two options: title and website. Select either option, and the tabs would be rearranged based on your selection accordingly.
11. Use Look Up
Look Up is one of the most useful features of Safari. Simply put, it is a combination of a dictionary, wikipedia, and other information sources, which helps you find details about various words and phrases you encounter on a webpage quickly. To use the feature, right-click on the word you want more details/context about, and select Look Up. In the results window, scroll your way to get different details about the word you selected.
12. AirDrop webpages
If you are deeply engrossed in the Apple ecosystem, and use an iPad or an iPhone, in addition to a Mac, similar to how you use AirDrop to move files around, you can also use it to share webpages. So when you want to share a webpage from Safari, click the share button next to the address bar, and from the list of options, select AirDrop and choose the device you want to send it to.
13. Use Handoff
Similar to AirDrop, which you can use to share webpages across different Apple devices, you can also leverage another Apple exclusively feature, Handoff, to view webpages across different devices. For those unaware, Handoff is a Continuity feature that allows you to seamlessly switch between different devices and continue what it is that you are doing on one device, on to another.
To use Handoff, first, head over to System Preferences on your Mac and go to General. Here, check the checkbox that says Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices. Similarly, make sure Handoff is enabled on the device you want to receive Handoff on by going into Settings > General > AirPlay & Handoff. Next, ensure that you are signed-in to the same iCloud account on these devices.
Once done, when you view a webpage on Safari and want to access the same on other (Apple) devices, open the app switcher on the other device and click on the Safari pop-up at the bottom of the screen. Alternatively, if you wish to view a webpage from another device on Mac, click on the Safari icon (with a mobile icon) in the Dock to open it in Safari.
14. Enable Reader View
A lot of the websites you come across on the internet fill up their pages with a lot of content and media, including ads, which can be distracting at times when you want to focus just on the text in an article. This is where the reader view comes into rescue. To view an article in reader view, hit the reader view icon (horizontal lines) on the left of the address bar. And once you are done with reading, hit the same to exit the Reader View.
15. View recently visited page
Although you can use the History to revisit the recently-visited webpages, it still requires you to perform a few clicks before you can open the page again. Similarly, if you use private mode, there is no record of your history, and therefore, you cannot access the recently visited webpages using the same. So, if you recently visited some webpages in a particular tab — irrespective of whether you are in the normal or private browsing mode — Safari offers a quick and easy way to navigate to any of the recently visited webpages on that particular tab. For this, in the tab where you want to navigate to the recently-visited webpages, tap and hold the back arrow key in the toolbar and scroll through the list of different pages you recently visited and leave the cursor on the page you want to open.
Using the Safari (for Mac) tips and tricks mentioned above, you can tweak certain elements of the browser, and, in turn, change the way you use it on a daily basis to get the most out of the experience. While some of these tips and tricks help you in enhancing the browser experience, the others aid you by increasing functionality and making browsing convenient.