10 Ways to Enhance Your Safari Browsing Experience

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With the update to the Safari browser yesterday Apple has improved its browser to give it more of a fighting chance in the web browsing market.

The addition of developer tools, increased speed, and some user interface improvements puts Safari in a position where it can help pull back the OS X Firefox users and catch a few additional Windows users.

But Safari was a great browser before the update. Safari, like most applications, requires a user to really become comfortable with software before you can full appreciate it. With that in mind, here are 10 ways to help you enhance your Safari web browsing experience.

  1. Learn Safari’s keyboard shortcuts – The keyboard shortcuts in Safari will allow you to quickly move throughout the web without needing to navigate using the mouse. Switching tabs, opening new windows, and accessing your bookmarks are just a few keystrokes away.
  2. Let Safari do the reading for you – If you often find yourself trying to do to much at once this feature is perfect for you. I often have Safari read back to me cooking recipes or some of the RSS feeds I subscribe to while I accomplish other tasks. Just be sure you can get use to the computer voice on your Mac.
  3. Put the web on your dashboard – With the ability in Leopard to make dashboard widgets out of your favorite websites Safari adds a capability you can’t get from any other browser. Pull the web from the browser and stick it on your dashboard.
  4. Add plugins! – While Firefox has become famous for the large number of plugins created for the browser, many forget that Safari supports plugins to… While it does lack a large developer community there are plugins to help make Safari all you want it to be. Pimpmysafari.com provides a number of safari plugins.
  5. Add spotlight like features to your Safari searches – While this works through a plugin, the ability to get additional information on search terms while you’re still typing them out gives this Safari enhancement its own recognition.
  6. Browse in Private – Often we have the need to keep our history, downloads, or any web activity private from others that may use the computer. Safari allows Private Browsing which is perfect for paying bills, looking at bank accounts, and any other web pages you might want to keep private
  7. Customize The Toolbar – Many people love the how simple the user interface in Safari is but there are others (myself included) that want just a bit more on the toolbar. Add the home button, autofill, or other buttons and arrange them in the order you feel most comfortable with. A customized web browser is a happy web browser.
  8. Use Tabs – Tabbed browsing is one of the greatest additions to all web browsers. It allows you to keep all of the different websites you’re surfing in one window so your desktop stays clear of window clutter. If you find yourself in old habits and are being over run by Safari browser windows, Safari lets you merge them all back into one window with multiple tabs. Stay organized for your own safety.
  9. Learn the Track pad – It is true that Apple included additional track pad control for browsing Safari on their new Macbook Air and Macbook Pro computers, but two finger scrolling and “right” click with two fingers has made browsing without a mouse that much more tolerable. If you have a Macbook Air or a new Macbook Pro, three finger swipes moves you forward and back in Safari effortlessly… well, with just a bit of effort from your fingers.
  10. Get the latest updates! – Apple often releases updates to all their software line. We saw yesterday how significant these updates can be. Don’t miss out on Safari’s updates or you could miss out on features like web developer tools, or the all might new tab double click. Even if an update just addresses a security issue, without the update your Safari Browsing experience could end very very badly.

What else do you do to make Safari more enjoyable? Leave a comment and let us know!