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Smart text highlighting in Safari Web Browsers
In Safari, you can highlight text using traditional click-drag selection method. But there is one more way of highlighting text in Safari! Instead of a single-click to begin the highlighting, use a double-click, hold, then drag. As you drag on, Safari will highlight by word, not by a single character proximate to the cursor.

This makes selecting much easier and more accurate (assuming that you want to select words in their entirety).

[robg adds: This is actually a standard feature of Cocoa, and should work in any Cocoa application such as Mail and TextEdit. We have run a couple of other hints about Cocoa's text editing features (1, 2) if you'd like to read more about them.]
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Smart text highlighting in Safari | 14 comments | Create New Account
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The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Smart text highlighting in Safari
Authored by: diamondsw on Mar 11, '03 10:43:33AM

This is a standard feature of Carbon and the old Mac OS Toolbox as well. As far as I know, everything back to TeachText has done this.



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Smart text highlighting in Safari
Authored by: rusto on Mar 11, '03 10:54:59AM

You can also triple-click-hold-drag to do the same thing in line-by-line chunks.



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Smart text highlighting in Safari
Authored by: filburt1 on Mar 11, '03 10:55:10AM

Windows usually works like this as well.



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Smart text highlighting in Safari
Authored by: diskgrinder on Mar 11, '03 11:23:28AM

and this comment is a macOS X hint because?

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I am largely flat



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Smart text highlighting in Safari
Authored by: Hanji on Mar 12, '03 01:40:57PM

Windows ONLY works like that. If you want to select one word, and half of another one (And this happens more often than you might think), you're out of luck.



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Smart text highlighting in Safari
Authored by: buserror on Mar 11, '03 12:52:24PM

Ahum.

This exists since 1984. The tripple click was introduced by MPW in the 80's too.



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Dumb text highlighting in Safari
Authored by: bog on Mar 11, '03 01:28:20PM

Safari's text highlighting is actually quite "Dumb". Firstly, a triple click should select a paragraph, not a line as it does in most other applications. Secondly, if you attempt to extend your selection by shift-clicking, it starts a new selection at your click point. This is very non-standard.



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Smart text highlighting in Safari
Authored by: russh on Mar 11, '03 07:40:47PM

Well done! I've been a Mac user since 88 and if I ever learned this over the years -- I don't remember it! I knew about double clicking to select a word, triple clicking for a line, etc -- but not that double-click hold -drag would change the selection to select by word.

Schweet! Thanks! I'll use this every day.

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russh



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Smart text highlighting in Safari
Authored by: vdubya on Mar 11, '03 11:43:18PM

You'll also notice that the "triple-click-drag" works the same way; highlighting a whole line at a time!



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Old news, and yet...
Authored by: pbx on Mar 12, '03 02:01:08AM

What's astounding is that Camino (formerly Chimera) <b>doesn't</b> do this. It's one of the only "real" Mac apps I've ever used that doesn't.



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Old news, and yet...
Authored by: greed on Mar 12, '03 03:29:07PM

What's even weirder is that this is [also] ancient standard behaviour on X Windows, and Mozilla on Linux doesn't do it either. Yet good ol' xterm or rxvt work as expected.

Mozilla/Chimera/Camino do WEIRD THINGS to the user interface.



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Old news, and yet...
Authored by: revargent on Apr 18, '03 12:38:33PM

The reason that Camino doesn't do this is because it's not a
"real" MacOS X program. The user interface in Mozilla and
Mozilla-derived browsers is implemented using style sheets and
javascript and themes. What you see in Camino isn't a MacOS X
application, it's a MacOS X "theme" for Mozilla.

I agree with jwz's comments about the desirability of "themable"
applications. If you want to "theme" your user interface, do it at
the user-interface level, like Kaleidoscope on the old Mac OS
did.

[insert rant about the stupidity of the 'metal' look, and a devout
wish that Jobs be granted an infusion of user-interface humility]



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Smart text highlighting in Safari
Authored by: bluehz on Mar 12, '03 11:54:50AM

Why is it the shift-drag in Safari does not work though. I may be using the wrong terminologybut... try this... shift click to start a selection on a page... scroll down and you shou be able to shift+click one time and everything is selected between where you started and where you just clicked. Doesn't work - - starts a whole new selection.



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Too smart (Re: Smart text highlighting in Safari)
Authored by: revargent on Apr 18, '03 03:57:56PM

Speaking of Safari and Text...

I have "Full Keyboard Access" turned on and "Hilight any
control" checked, and Safari only lets me tab to text fields, just
like it was an old Classic application.

Is there any way to get Safari to honor the keyboard preference
settings?



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