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Older browser behavior changes in Google search Web Browsers
As of August 29, 2014, Google has decided to intentionally break old browsers. They say it's not a bug, it's by design here, even though Google's support page says it accepts Safari 4 as a fully supported browser.

If you want Google searches to go back to the modern style, you need to change your User-Agent string. For Safari, enable the Develop Window and use an option in there that works. Internet Explorer 9 (Windows) works, for example.

[crarko adds: I don't have an older system active at the moment to try this. It's inevitable that older software becomes obsolete, the same way older hardware does. I think the actual hint here is a reminder that if a site misbehaves, changing the user agent can be an effective troubleshooting tool.]
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Open new tab in Safari on the left Web Browsers
This script opens a new Safari window if none is open, maximizes the front window if minimized, and opens a new focused tab on the left with your bookmarks, with the text caret in the address bar.

I Googled for such a script to no avail so I made it myself. Bound it to ⌘T and scope Safari in Quıcĸsıɩⅴεʀ (of course you're using Quıcĸsıɩⅴεʀ, what else?) or any other lesser hotkey application. You can still use New Tab menu item to open tabs on the right by changing the shortcut in the Keyboard Shortcuts section of System Preferences, say to ⇧⌘T.

If you open bookmarks:// you may notice a flicker when setting the focus on the first tab. It may be due to the applescript command used — if you find a better method put it in the comments. Also, I used clicking "Open Location…" instead of setting the "AXFocused" attribute because the item hierarchy changes when in full screen mode.

tell application "Safari"
	if windows is {} then
		make new document
		tell first window
			if miniaturized then
				set miniaturized to false
				make new tab at beginning with properties {URL:"bookmarks://"}
				set current tab to first tab
				tell application "System Events" to tell process "Safari" to tell menu bar 1 to tell menu bar item "File" to tell menu 1 to click menu item "Open Location…"
				make new tab at beginning with properties {URL:"bookmarks://"}
				set current tab to first tab
				tell application "System Events" to tell process "Safari" to tell menu bar 1 to tell menu bar item "File" to tell menu 1 to click menu item "Open Location…"
			end if
		end tell
	end if
end tell
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Get back online at restaurants that boot you off the Wi-Fi after 30 minutes Web Browsers

You’re at a fine establishment which offers delicious, free Wi-Fi in addition to delicious, for-pay food. Perhaps served in bread bowls. But like your soup, the Wi-Fi eventually dries up: Restaurants and coffee shops that want to get customers out so that new ones can come in might boot you off the Wi-Fi automatically after thirty minutes.

But you’re not like other customers! You’re going back up to the line to buy another beverage and perhaps a scone. You deserve to get back on that Wi-Fi, dagnabbit. And there’s a way.

We’ve covered changing your MAC address via Terminal before. But now you know that you can use this trick to get back online at Panera Bread and other establishments with time-limited Wi-Fi.

First, get your current MAC address. You can find it in many places; one such place is System Preferences -> Network -> Wi-Fi -> Hardware tab. But since you’re about to get down and dirty Terminal, you can instead launch it, and type:

sudo ifconfig en0

Note: en0 might not be right for your Mac. You might need en1 instead; if your Mac has an ethernet port (i.e., isn’t a MacBook Air), that port owns en0, and your Wi-Fi card is en1. If you’re not sure which to use, try typing just

sudo ifconfig
and pressing Return: The device listed with “status: active” is probably the one you want to work with. So if you need to use en1 and not en0, tweak the instructions below as needed.

After you press Return and provide an administrator password, look for the line labeled “ether,” and note the colon-separated string of letters and numbers. It will look something like: q3:2x:17:08:43:8f. Copy it to your clipboard. Paste it somewhere special. Don’t lose your real MAC address.

Change one thing in the address. Perhaps tweak the last letter to the next one in the alphabet, or increase the final number by one. In my example, I might make my new, fake MAC address q3:2x:17:08:43:8g.

To save that new address, perform these commands in Terminal:

sudo ifconfig en0 ether PUT YOUR NEW MAC ADDRESS HERE
sudo ifconfig en0 down
sudo ifconfig en0 up

Presto-change-o! Your Mac’s now using a new MAC address, and you should be able to reconnect to the restaurant’s Wi-Fi. But if you do so and you don’t buy more food at the same time, you’re earning all kinds of bad karma.

Just remember to change your MAC address back again when you’re finished, using the same steps in Terminal.

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Generate a list of Reading List URLs Web Browsers
Perhaps you use Safari's Reading List feature to save various Web articles for later reading. But maybe your Reading List is so overwhelming that you'd prefer to export a simple list of URLs to keep track of—or to open in an app besides Safari.

Over at StackExchange, Rob Mathers offers up a quick Python script to do just that. Copy Mathers's Python script into a plain text document, and name it something like Next, make it executable; you can use the Terminal command chmod +x

Run the script—which loops through the proper section of the ~/Library/Safari/Bookmarks.plist file where those URLs are stored—and it will generate a list of the URLs in question. If you'd like to save the URLs to a file, use a command like ./ > urls.txt to do so.
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Enable the Develop (Debug) menu in Safari 6 Web Browsers
While this isn't strictly a hint anymore, it was back in 2003 and 2009. The Safari Develop menu - formerly called the Debug menu - offers a number of nifty features for web developers. In addition, it's been greatly enhanced under Mountain Lion.

So, to activate this, you no longer need to run a Terminal command; just go to Safari > Preferences > Advanced and check Show Develop menu in menu bar.
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Fix PDF display in browser issues Web Browsers
Some users have issues displaying PDFs in their web browsers. In some cases, when clicking on a link to a PDF, they get a blank black or white page. These issues can be caused by certain PDF browser plug-ins.

Michael Cohen has written an article for TidBITS discussing this issue, and explaining which plug-ins to remove.

I haven't seen this issue myself, but for those having problems, this is a simple fix. It's worth noting that, over time, you may have browser plug-ins that you don't need, so it's worth having a look in ~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins and /Library/Internet Plug-Ins to see what's there.
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Use emoji within Safari Web Browsers

Safari displays emoji perfectly: on web pages, in tabs, and in the titlebar (if emoji are used in a page title). This makes it unique amongst the main OS X browsers: Firefox displays them in the title bar but not in tabs or on the page, while Chrome displays them in tabs but not on the page. There's a screenshot on my blog where I discuss this in more detail (the blog posting is an example that can be used to test browsers).

I played around a little with encoding settings in Firefox and Chrome but couldn't fix it. Maybe others will have more luck.

One issue I'm not clear about is what's required on the web backend to display emoji. UTF-16 encoding? Does anyone know?

[kirkmc adds: It even works here, with Geeklog. 😄]
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View hidden web passwords Web Browsers
Have you used your keychain to store your passwords? Do you wish there was an easy way to see what the password for a specific site is? Here are two different ways to accomplish this task without leaving your browser!

Both of these methods utilize the same functionality: they change the type of text box a password is entered into from a "password" box (masked with asterisks or •) to a "text" box, displaying its contents.

The first method can be done in Safari or Chrome (since they're both WebKit). Right-click or Control-click on the masked password field and select Inspect Element. Within the Inspector, you'll find the input HTML tag is highlighted. One of the attributes there will be type="password". Simply clicking on password will allow you to change it; type in text and, without closing the Inspector window, look at the password field to see your password revealed.

The second method is even easier, and does what is described above, just using Javascript. Drag the text below to your Bookmarks bar or menu. Whenever you're on a page with a password field whose text is hidden, click on it or select it to reveal the password.

[kirkmc adds: A couple of points. First, you can find your passwords in Safari 6's Passwords preferences. Check Show Passwords, and enter your user account password, and the'll all display. However, sometimes you're on a website where you have several logins, and it can be useful to see which one is getting entered by the keychain.

Second, bear in mind the security risk here. Assume you add this bookmarklet to your Safari bookmarks toolbar; anyone who comes to your computer could eventually click on it if they're on a page where your keychain has entered a password. Of course, they'd already have access to the page, if your keychain was unlocked, but them seeing the password could be more serious, if you tend to use the same password on multiple sites.]
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Safari 6 ".com" shortcut Web Browsers
Before Safari 6, you could navigate to a URL with having to type ".com". The same can be done in Safari 6 with one extra keystroke.

Entering "apple" in the location bar of Safari 6 will yield you Google search results for those terms. However, including a trailing slash will cause Safari to add the .com TLD to a logical location in the address, and take you to that URL. So, "apple/" will take you to

[kirkmc adds: This is fine, if you're trying to get to .com sites. If you're in a country and want to get to local sites, it won't help you. It's worth noting that you can enter any number of slashes and still get this to work.]

Update: As per a comment below, here's how to make it work when you type a /. For example, if you type "apple/ipod/" Safari will go to, if you do the following. Go to System Preferences > Network, click on Advanced, then DNS. In the Search Domains section, click on + and add .com. Click on OK, then on Apply.
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Fixe Camino 2.1 for compatibility with web sites Web Browsers
If you use Camino 2.1.2, you'll see warnings about it being an "out of date" browser or that there are incompatibilities with code, even though it uses a recent version of the Firefox Gecko engine. GMail notably displays these warnings. This fix solves the problem without "spoofing" the user agent to look totally like Safari or Firefox.

We want websites to know that we use Camino so they'll continue to support it. There's a simple change that will let you keep "Camino" as the user agent while enhancing compatibility.

  1. In the Camino address bar, type "about:config". If necessary, click OK to be allowed to edit the settings.
  2. In the search bar at the top of the settings list, type "user". This will shorten the list.
  3. Double-click the setting called "general.useragent.extra.notfox". At this point, it probably has the value "(like Firefox/3.6.28)"
  4. Edit that value, changing it to say "(like Firefox/13.0)"
  5. Save, quit and restart Camino.
On my machine, this changed only the last part of the browser's agent string, from:

Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.7; en; rv: Gecko/20120308 Camino/2.1.2 (like Firefox/3.6.28)


Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.7; en; rv: Gecko/20120308 Camino/2.1.2 (like Firefox/13.0)

This fixed our problems with GMail and Blogspot.

This works because Camino 2.1.2 truly has the same core version of the Gecko web browser engine as Firefox 13.0. And Firefox 13 is modern enough for nearly every site on the Internet today, while Firefox 3.6.28 looks ancient.

Hopefully the maintainers of Camino will address this soon. But if you're having trouble with Camino, try this fix before switching to Safari or Firefox.

[kirkmc adds: I didn't test this; I don't use Camino.]
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