Three Powerful Safari Features That Few People Use

[Edit: An updated version of this post, with 6 additional features, can be found here]

Safari is an excellent browser for many reasons; its speed, clean aesthetics and ease of use are attractive from the outset. But there are a few extremely attractive and lesser known features that people should be taking advantage of as well.

Browsing and Search Snapback

Search snapback allows you to instantly jump back to the original search you made after clicking on a bunch of results. So if you originally searched for programming, and you clicked on a bunch of Wikipedia links and didn’t find what you want you can, with one action, instantly get back to the original Google results.

There are two ways to do it; you can click the little orange arrow to the right of the search as seen above, or you can use the keyboard shortcut — option-command-s

You can do the same thing with browsing as well, but it works slightly differently. If you type an address into the URL bar and go to that page as your initial page in a tab or window, that page is marked as your snapback page. You can then go anywhere else and snapback to it by hitting the orange arrow or by using the keyboard shortcut — option-command-p

You can also set a new snapback location by marking a current page as your snapback location. The fastest way to do that is with the keyboard shortcut — option-command-k , but you can do it from the history menu as well.

URL Path Navigation

It’s also possible to view and navigate through the various levels of a nested site using Safari. So on my site, for example, I have the root, then /study, then various pages. Well from one of the nested pages I can right-click the title of the page and see exactly where I am on the site. And from there I can navigate up if I want to.

Web Inspector

With the latest version of Safari (3.1) you can now inspect HTML and CSS elements right from your browser. The functionality is similar to the Firebug extension for Firefox, and gives you all sorts of information that’s helpful during web development and design.

To enable the functionality just type the following into a terminal window:

defaults write WebKitDeveloperExtras -bool true

Once you’ve restarted your browser you can then right-click on various elements in the browser and select “Inspect Element”.:

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