Become a Web-browsing wizard by learning all that Safari can do for you.

Take Control of
Safari 5

Take Safari 5 far beyond basic Web browsing with this ebook from Mac expert Sharon Zardetto. Come up to speed on the new extensions and Reader features, and hone your skills at loading tabs, searching, filling out forms, using RSS, and more.

This product has been discontinued.

Go beyond basic Web browsing in Safari 5 with this definitive guide from Mac expert Sharon Zardetto! You’ll find detailed coverage of new Safari 5 features like support for extensions and the Reader. You’ll get essential advice on smart ways to customize your Safari environment, and learn key browsing techniques, including how to keep track of where you’ve been, load multiple Web pages at once, search both the Web and the content of pages you’re reading, fill out forms automatically, keep track of passwords, download files, use RSS to keep up with your favorite Web sites, and manage your Web-browsing history.

Compatibility? If you are running Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or 10.6 Snow Leopard, this Safari 5 ebook is the right one for you. Safari 6 runs on 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion, and you can read all about it in Take Control of Safari 6. For more compatibility info, look on the FAQ tab, on this page.

Read this book to learn answers to questions like these:

  • How do I load six Web pages at once?
  • Now that I’ve loaded six pages, how do I best work with them?
  • How do I bookmark a page I want to return to?
  • How do I import Firefox bookmarks?
  • I’m a pack rat. How should I organize and access my bookmark collection?
  • I forgot to bookmark a great page I saw yesterday. How can I find it again?
  • How can I read a multi-page Web article without clicking to switch pages?
  • How do I find the word marshmallow in the text of a huge Web page?
  • How do I erase my history to keep my housemate from snooping through it?
  • Where does Safari store Web site user names and passwords?
  • Help! What do I do when a stored password stops working?
  • How do I use Safari to read RSS headlines from different sites?
  • How do I install the My eBay Manager extension?
  • How can I turn Safari into a “clipping service” that grabs RSS headlines from different sites when they mention certain topics?
What’s New in Safari 5

As happened with Safari 4, many of Safari 5’s new features are background improvements—such as increased page-loading speed—that can enhance your browsing experience but don’t require any action (or learning) on your part. And, from a user’s point of view, Safari 5 is so similar to its predecessor that you can transition to it with neither fuss nor muss.

Yet Safari 5 does offer new features that, if not revolutionary, are evolutionary in Safari’s development.

What’s “new”? Sometimes “new” is in the eye of the user. The features described here were introduced in Safari 5, but some (notably absent: Reader and Extensions) were also added to the Safari 4.1 update, released at the same time as Safari 5 for users of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. So, if you worked with Safari 4.1 before moving to Safari 5, some items won’t be entirely new to you. In some places in this book, when I say “new in Safari 5,” the feature may also have been incorporated into Safari 4.1.

The invisible new features:

  • The Nitro Engine: One day guys will run out of ways to describe souped-up engines: turbo-charged, super-charged, nitro… whatever! Safari 5’s under-the-hood browsing power is called the “Nitro Engine,” and it is supposed to provide a 30 percent increase over Safari 4’s page-loading speed. We can assume that our mileage will vary.
  • Prefetching and caching: Yes, it sounds like a Letterman “Stupid Pet Trick,” but “prefetching” is a clever way to increase your perceived page-loading speed as you go from one page to another. While you’re looking at one page, Safari scans it for links and looks up the DNS entry (the actual location of a page) for each, in case you click one. Improved caching (storing the pages you visit) should get you back to a previous location more quickly than in Safari 4.
  • New HTML support: This isn’t exactly invisible, since it’s all about seeing content on a page, but neither is it something you control or tweak. It just is—as long as Web pages use it. There’s support for new, cutting-edge HTML5 features for typography, video, and graphics (transitions, gallery options, and virtual-reality viewing). Check out the mouth-watering examples at These samples are proof that the Web can be an incredibly visually rich place without Flash, but until other browsers also fully support these standards, you might not be able to enjoy anything except examples.

The visible new major features:

The main new features in Safari 5 are:

  • Reader: By far my favorite new feature, Reader lets you see the main article on a Web page, relegating annoying ads and other distracting material to a darkened background. “Read” all about it in Tune Out Page Clutter with Reader.
  • Extensions: Yess! I know so many people who opt for Firefox or Chrome as their main browser solely because previous versions of Safari didn’t provide for “extensions”: add-ons that tweak Safari’s capabilities. Learn how to add extensions with Expand Safari’s Capabilities with Extensions.
  • Choice of search engine: While the search field still defaults to Google, you can change the default to Bing or Yahoo, and you can easily switch from one to another at any point in a search. Get the details from Know Your Search Options.

Other new features:

Safari 5 has many small improvements, some of which are subtle and therefore all the more pleasant to run across, such as:

  • For the address field: A more wide-ranging suggestion list for the address field and the return of the blue progress bar, described in Use the Address Field.
  • For the toolbar: You can Define “Permanent” Buttons for Narrow Windows to keep your most important buttons on the toolbar.
  • For Top Sites: New buttons at the top of the Top Sites window (Manage Your Top Sites) and another option for adding something to that gallery (Add a Page to Top Sites).
  • For tabs: In the little-things-mean-a-lot department, there’s finally a way to reopen an accidentally closed tab, described in Reopen Recently Closed Windows or Tabs.

What’s New in This Edition

The last edition of this book was all about Safari 4, and now here we are in Safari 5. So, of course, all the links in What’s New in Safari 5 (the previous topic) point you to new material.

But this edition is almost 50 percent bigger not just because of the new-feature coverage, but also because I’ve expanded some topics considerably, and added some that weren’t in the previous version:

  • When there are many ways to do something: There are many ways to do the same (or very similar) things in Safari, whether it’s creating tabs or scrolling the window contents. I’ve added some new information and tables to cover multi-option procedures so you can more easily see the choices and decide what works best for you:

    • Table 3: Keyboard Shortcuts for Moving between Windows, Tabs, and Recent Pages

    • Scroll the Safari Window

    • Appendix B: Trackpad Gestures in Safari On a related issue, many items hide amazing multi-purpose functionality, as proved by Use the Back and Forward Buttons and Menus and Tabs, Tabs, Everywhere.

  • More about preferences: So many preferences, so little time! Sometimes it’s easier for someone to walk you through what’s-probably-best-for-you preference settings and then you can tweak them later to match your needs. I’ve expanded Set Your RSS Preferences and Define Your History Range with more info, and I’ve added Set Your Tab Preferences and Set Your Bookmark Preferences.

  • More general information: A little background information never hurts, and it usually helps, so I’ve added C is for Cookie and Safari’s Page Cache, as well as expanded the basic information in: * Reload a Page * Cancel a Page Load * Utilize the Downloads Window

What version of Mac OS X do I need to run Safari 5?

Safari 5 works with 10.5 Leopard and 10.6 Snow Leopard. If you are using 10.4 Tiger, I recommend that you look for help not in this ebook, but instead in Take Control of Safari 4. Safari 4 is compatible with Tiger.

Does this ebook talk about Safari 5.1?

Good question! This ebook covers Safari 5.0. Safari 5.1—which runs on 10.6 Snow Leopard but not on 10.5 Leopard—introduced a few features, including the Reading List, a different interface for working with downloads, and compatibility with Lion's full-screen mode and some Lion gestures. (If you are running Lion, if possible, you should upgrade to Safari 6.) If you are using Safari 5.1, once you buy this ebook, see Updates and More, at the beginning, to access the Ebook Extras and read the blog to get Sharon's detailed description of what changed in Safari 5.1.

Does this ebook cover the Windows version of Safari?

Although we think that a lot of the info in this ebook will apply to the Windows version of Safari, we've not tested it under Windows, and some of the content is Mac specific. If you were hoping for Windows coverage, please write in and let us know so that we can consider bringing Windows into the picture for a future version.

  • Read Me First
  • Introduction
  • Safari 5 Quick Start
  • Customize Your Safari Environment
  • Navigate to and within Web Sites
  • Manage Your Top Sites
  • Handle Multiple Pages with Tabs
  • Tune Out Page Clutter with Reader
  • Set Up and Use Bookmarks
  • Retrace Your Steps through History
  • Know Your Search Options
  • Use AutoFill for Forms and Passwords
  • Track Your Downloads
  • Scan Site Highlights with RSS Feeds
  • Expand Safari’s Capabilities with Extensions
  • Appendix A: Update to Safari 5
  • Appendix B: Trackpad Gestures in Safari
  • Appendix C: Create a Web-Clip Widget
  • About This Book
  • October 12, 2012 -- We don't plan to update this ebook about Safari 5 again; however, we have created a new edition, Take Control of Safari 6.

    Take Control of Safari 5 covers Safari 5.0. Safari 5.1—which runs on 10.6 Snow Leopard but not on 10.5 Leopard—introduced a few features, including the Reading List, a different interface for working with downloads, and compatibility with Lion's full-screen mode and some Lion gestures. (If you are running Lion, if possible, you should upgrade to Safari 6.) If you are using Safari 5.1, once you buy this ebook, see Updates and More, at the beginning, to access the Ebook Extras and read the blog to get Sharon's detailed description of what changed in Safari 5.1.

    From AUSOM News, published by The Apple Users' Society of Melbourne

    My entire mess was due to the fact that I had not bothered to learn how to open new tabs where I wanted them, how to move tabs between windows, and how to move between tabs. Even my bookmarks were a mess... Sharon has obviously put a great deal of time into making the best use of Safari’s tab and/or window features. The description of the various options is clear and often in a table form, so different approaches are obvious at a glance. All I had to do was read a few pages of the book and I had a positive feeling that at last I understood this concept. —Pam