Why Apple’s Safari Is Still a Smart Option

I like to find out what browsers people like to use and why they like them so I thought I’d take a moment to make a case for why I think using Safari is still a smart option and not just for the Mac fan boys/girls. I also offer some tips you may not be aware of. (Parts of this was first posted on Paul’s blog a few days ago).

I am currently using Safari Beta 3 and I like the way it’s working. Obviously a lot of which browser you use comes down to preference and what job you have to get done. For me I do a lot of research, reading and blogging on the web, and Safari works great for both of these. While I know Firefox has a million times more developers and plugins I wanted to point out some of the invaluable options Safari has and ones I’ve come to depend on.


  • There are hot-keys tied to your toolbar bookmarks. That means the apple key plus a # 1-9 will launch either a javascript or a bookmark/let that is tied to that particular number. This works really well for using apps like Pukka for posting to delicious, as well as quick access to online apps, search forms, and more.
  • Here you can see I have edited the names of my bookmarks (the shortcut doesn’t work with folders or RSS but it does work with an automatic-loading tab folder) to remind me what numbers they are keyed too. I hit apple-3 and I go to my 30 boxes page. This is nice because I don’t have to keep some of my most use sites open if I don’t want, having them tied to the shortcut takes care of my quick access for me.


  • My next favorite thing about Safari is using the free Inquisitor plugin. Not only does it rock the house, but it’s fully featured and customizable.

    inquisitor edit search

  • What you can do is go to preferences –> Inquisitor –> Edit Search to find the window where you can add sites to be searched. This is great because you can make just about any site searchable from within your safari search bar and tie it to a shortcut. A few useful ones I’ve done are google scholar [http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=%@], my own site [http://gatheringinlight.com/?s=%@], and wordpress plugins [http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/search.php?q=%@]. Add some shortcut keys and you’re set. One you’re back at safari hit option-apple-f to just to the search bar, type the word you want to search on google scholar and then hit your shortcut keys, it will instantly pull up the results.

activity monitor

  • It’s lighter on your system resources, which can make a difference when you’re running a lot of stuff.


  • The new safari beta search is off the hook. Not only does it work really well, but it is super easy to see the words that you are actually looking for.


  • Yes you can even even adblock with custom style sheets.
  • It is also easy to jump from tab to tab using apple-shift-[ or apple-shift-]; you can also use apple-[ or ] to go back a page or jump forward a page. This bracket shortcut works more consistently then the apple-left/right arrows.

I am sure there are many other reasons why people like Safari but hopefully with some of these tips you’ll find that it is still a smart choice for people who browse the web a lot, and with it’s search plugin and quick bookmarks to javascript and live search it is especially great for those of us who are doing a lot of research on the web.

Find more Safari links on my delicious page.

8 responses to “Why Apple’s Safari Is Still a Smart Option”

  1. It looks like a good browser for a Mac but the Windows version just looks terrible (the anti-aliasing is way too heavy, text looks all heavy and fuzzy). Most of the neat tricks you talk about can be done with Firefox. I currently have 41 Firefox extensions, so it would take a really really major feature for me to even think about another browser.

  2. I normally use FF. Right now I’m using Safari for Windows. I prefer FF because it has things like session restore and multiple search engines.
    P.S. I don’t know how to add other search engines. Is there a way? Could you mail me?

  3. I’m on Firefox on windows. I do have Safari installed but it bothers me that Apple takes up 120 pixels doing what Firefox can do at 75. I’m referring to the top menu bars etc. On Firefox I can rearrange the toolbars and I’ve taken full advantage of that shrinking all commands to one bar, a tab bar and the title bar (which I’d get rid of if I could).

    So honestly, Safari for me feels bloated and quite ugly- there is no way to make the thing smaller!

    Biggest complaint? I can’t enter any sort of full screen mode. For me pressing f11 on firefox is pure joy.


  4. It sounds like Safari for windows may just be a pretty bad idea. I wonder if there is anyone who uses a PC and actually likes it?

    And I just checked FF for mac doesn’t seem to have a fullscreen mode. Am I missing something?