Top Safari tips for better browsing in OS X El Capitan

You might not think that Safari has changed much over the years, but there have been many small tweaks here and there, and there may be some that you have not yet discovered, such as these.

Meet the new status bar

Go to the View menu and turn on the status bar. Unlike the old days where this would be a permanent feature that occupied screen space, it is now only visible when there is something to show. The rest of the time it is invisible and you would not know Safari had a status bar.

So turning on the status bar appears to do nothing because it is invisible, but let the mouse hover over a link on a page and you will see it appear in the bottom left corner of the Safari window. Move the mouse away and the status bar disappears again. At one time you had to install an extension to get this behaviour.

Safari status bar

Now here is an interesting modification for web links. Hold down the Command key as the mouse hovers over a link and the status bar informs you that clicking it will open the web page in a new tab. Hold down the Option key and the status bar tells you that it will download the linked file. Ctrl clicking a link displays a menu because a Ctrl+click is like a right mouse button click.

Mute the audio on Safari tabs

If you are watching videos at YouTube or some other video sharing website, or if you are streaming audio, Safari places a speaker icon at the right side of the address box. You don’t need a speaker icon to tell you that audio is playing of course, and it is there so that you can click it to mute the audio. This is useful for when the phone rings and you temporarily need to silence the audio.

Safari in OS X

Long click on the speaker icon and a menu is displayed. This provides options to Mute This Tab or Mute Other Tabs. If you have opened a group of tabs and an advert starts playing on one of them, you can long click on the speaker and mute the other tabs to silence it.

The menu also shows the tabs that are playing sound.

Pin tabs in Safari

Some websites are visited more often than others and if you have a few favourites that you frequently visit, they can be pinned in Safari. This means that the tab is shrunk down to a tiny icon, which saves space. Pinned sites are permanent and you can quit Safari and the next time the browser is opened, the pinned sites are still there.

Go to the Windows menu and select Pin Tab.

Safari tabs in OS X

The first time you pin a website, a new bar appears at the top of the Safari window. Pinned sites appear as small icons on this bar. It is really just a modification of browser tabs and the current tab appears to the right of the last pinned site. You can switch to a pinned site by clicking its icon.

To remove a pinned tab, right click it for a menu with an option to close it.

There are no major new features in Safari in El Capitan, but little tweaks like the ones here enhance the browser and they provide useful extra features. Safari is steadily improving and it is a great browser for OS X.

 

 

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