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Add iPad to the list of User Agents in Safari's Develop menu Web Browsers
If you're curious about how iPad-specific versions websites of your favorite websites are rendered, but don't actually own an iPad yet, here's a way to view those pages using your Mac's version of Safari.

Caution: This tip requires that you modify a file within's Resources folder. I cannot guarantee this will not cause you grief, or break the application's code signing.

This tip also requires you to install the Developer's Tools (for the use of Property List, or at least be familiar with editing .plist files.
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Use Fluid to Create an NPR player application Web Browsers
In time for the iPad introduction, NPR has introduced a tablet-optimized version of their website, which uses HTML5 instead of Flash. Combined with Fluid, it makes an awesome NPR app on the Mac. The tip itself is rather easy and somewhat obvious, but it is nice to see that the app works even though NPR only advertises it for Chrome, and it makes a really good standalone application.

The process is easy. If you don't have it, download Fluid. Open Fluid, and create a new app for URL, and name it NPR or something else. If you want to, you may want to Google for a high-resolution copy of the NPR logo, so that you can use that as the icon for the app. For that, in Fluid choose Other in the Icon pop-up menu.

After the app is created, launch it, open the application's preferences, select the Behavior section, and make sure the box next to 'Closing the last browser window' ('only hides the window') is checked. That's it.
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Always launch Google Chrome beta with integrated Flash Web Browsers
This hint is to allow people to use a command-line argument automatically when they launch an app (a bit like Windows' shortcuts). I use Google Chrome's new integrated Flash mode as an example, since it's been asked often enough on the Chrome blog.

I already wrote this in a comment on the Chrome blog,but I thought it could be a useful hint, so here is a more readable version. Enter these commands in Terminal (the $ is the prompt; don't enter that):
$ cd "/Applications/Google"
$ sudo mv "Google Chrome" Google.real
$ sudo printf '#!/bin/bash\ncd "/Applications/Google"\n"/Applications/Google" --enable-internal-flash "$@"\n' > Google\ Chrome
$ sudo chmod u+x "Google Chrome"
You need to have write access to your /Applications folder for this to work. The only minor inconvenience is that the real executable is now Google.real, so you have to reauthorize it with LSD or your firewall. And, of course, you can do this with others' apps.

[robg adds: I tested this, and it seems to be working as expected.]
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Run Firefox in a protected sandbox Web Browsers
OS X has a built-in sandbox feature for applications, which can restrict their access to certain parts of the system. There isn't a lot of documentation available on the sandboxing system, but I've successfully been able to sandbox Firefox. It has some limitations, but my plug-ins and add-ons work though yours may not.

If you have issues, you'll have to search for the directories where your plug-ins are housed, and give read or read/write access permissions in the firefox-sandbox file. There is only write permission to the ~/Downloads directory, so if you want to save files in a different location, you will have to change the firefox-sandbox file or move them after the download has finished. First, create the following file and save it somewhere as firefox-sandbox:
(version 1) 
(deny default)

(allow file-write* file-read-data file-read-metadata
  (regex "^/Users/user_name/Downloads")
  (regex "^/Users/user_name/Library/Application Support/Mozilla")
  (regex "^/Users/user_name/Library/Application Support/Firefox")
  (regex "^/Users/user_name/Library/Preferences")
  (regex "^/Users/user_name/Library/PreferencePanes")
  (regex "^/Users/user_name/Library/Caches/Firefox")
  (regex "^/Users/user_name/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems")
  (regex "^/Applications/")
  (regex "^(/private)?/tmp/"))

(allow file-read-data file-read-metadata
  (regex "^/dev/autofs.*")
  (regex "^/Library/Preferences")
  (regex "^/Library/Internet Plug-Ins")
  (regex "^/Library/PreferencePanes")
  (regex "^/usr/share/icu")
  (regex "^/usr/share/locale")
  (regex "^/System/Library")
  (regex "^/Applications/")
  (regex "^/usr/lib")
  (regex "^/var")
  (regex #"Frameworks/SDL.framework")
; Our Module Directory Services cache
  (regex "^/private/var/tmp/mds/")
  (regex "^/private/var/tmp/mds/[0-9]+(/|$)")
  (regex "^/Users/user_name"))
(allow mach* sysctl-read)

(import "/usr/share/sandbox/")
(deny file-write-data
   (regex #"^(/private)?/etc/localtime$"

(allow process-exec 
  (regex "^/Applications/"))
(allow network*)
Replace the /Applications/ parts with the path to Firefox on your system. Also replace user_name with your username. Next, open up a Terminal and execute this command:
sandbox-exec -f firefox-sandbox /Applications/
Make sure the firefox-sandbox file is in the directory where you run the above command, and Firefox should launch in a protected sandbox.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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Use one bookmark to load different versions of a site Web Browsers
I have several sites that I access on both my iPhone and desktop, so I like to have quick access to them via the Bookmarks Bar. However, these sites have different versions for the desktop, for mobiles, and, in some cases, yet another version for the iPhone. Usually, the full version doesn't work so well on the iPhone, and the iPhone version is undesirable on the desktop.

Instead of creating a plain bookmark, a little Javascript can make a bookmark context-sensitive, and allow you to have one bookmark that opens the right version of a page, depending on which platform you're browsing from. The basic idea is to use some client-side Javascript to check the browser's platform (a.k.a. operating system), and then tell the browser to access a URL based on that check. The code looks like this:
For Google Translate, which has a nice iPhone version if you open the right URL, but a stripped-down mobile version if you just go to on your iPhone or iPod, this looks like
To create this bookmark, copy the above code, create a new bookmark with the Bookmarks » Add Bookmark command, paste the code into the Address field, and give your bookmark a memorable name. Once you have one bookmarklet, you can make copies that work with the sites of your choice. Note that the URLs have to be enclosed in single quotes ('), and that spaces and line breaks will probably break the bookmarklet.

Using bookmark-syncing software, you should be able to use these bookmarklets in other browsers and on other operating systems.
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Download multiple files with Safari's Activity window Web Browsers
There are plenty of hints here involving Safari's excellent Activity window, like this one.

I managed, however, to find one more way to use it. I was downloading mp3's from my friends' alternative band music site. The player is in Flash, so I went to the Activity window and copied the first download file, which was at this URL: When I went to copy the next one, I noticed that the only difference was the sequential number at the end (i.e. .mp3-1.mp3, .mp3-2.mp3, etc.)

So I created a text file and copy and pasted multiple lines, edited the numbers, selected all, copied, and then pasted into Safari's Activity window. No surprise here -- it just worked!
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Disable the URL drop-down list in Firefox 3 Web Browsers
I was working on a video project a while back, and needed to show a URL being typed into the Firefox 3 URL bar. However, the (usually very useful) auto-complete drop-down messed up the capture; each time I started typing www, a long list of URLs appeared in the drop-down. I tried to clear it out by using the Tools » Clear Private Data menu item, but alas, even after wiping everything, the drop-down list still appeared.

After some Googling, I found the solution in this article in the MozillaZine Knowledge Base: The secret is the browser.urlbar.maxRichResults key in the Firefox about:config screen.

To remove the auto-complete drop-down in Firefox 3, type about:config in the URL bar, then press Return. You may see a warning about how this may void your warranty; if so, click the "I'll be careful" button to proceed. In the search box on the screen that opens, type browser.urlbar.maxRichResults, then double-click on that entry when it appears. In the pop-up dialog, change the 12 to a 0, and click OK to banish the auto-complete drop-down.

To get the drop-down back, just change the 0 back to 12 (or whatever number you'd prefer).
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Use a specific proxy connection with Chrome Web Browsers
I need to connect to a specific proxy server to access my university library services. I find it convenient to keep Safari for direct connections to the Internet, and another browser configured for access to the library via the proxy.

Firefox allows manual proxy configuration, but doesn't handle PDF downloads correctly from all journal suppliers' sites. Chrome handles the PDF downloads correctly, but there is no obvious way to specify a proxy in its preferences.

Extrapolating from a published hint for Windows, I found that launching Chrome from the command line while passing it --proxy-server=host#:port# works. There is nothing I could find in Chrome's help pages, or on the web, that addresses this issue, so it may be useful. In Terminal, the final command looks like this:
open -a /Applications/Google --args --proxy-server=host#:port#
Replace host# and port# with the host and port numbers that you need to use.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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Use true full-screen browsing mode in Firefox 3.6 Web Browsers
Just a quick note to mention that Firefox version 3.6 brings Firefox's 'Full Screen' feature for the Mac for the first time -- try it out by selecting View » Full Screen. Once enabled, it actually goes into true full screen mode just like its Windows counterpart: the menu bar disappears, the toolbar and URL entry area vanish, as does the Dock. Cool!

[robg adds: To exit full screen mode, just press Shift-Command-F again.]
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Edit Google Chrome's 'Other' bookmarks Web Browsers
Google Chrome for Mac (in beta) doesn't yet give you a way to mass edit bookmarks in your Other Bookmarks folder. (You can click the yellow star next to a bookmarked page once it's loaded to edit each bookmark one at a time, but that's tedious.) As a workaround, you can do mass edits in TextEdit (or most any other text editor).
  1. Turn off Bookmark Syncing If you have the developer build of Chrome (which allows you to sync your bookmarks to Google Docs), turn off Bookmark Sync by going to Chrome » Preferences » Personal Stuff, and click Stop Syncing This Account. You can turn sync back on after you've edited your bookmarks, but it will add back your old ones (the edited version will be kept, but the old one will be added as well).
  2. Quit Google Chrome
  3. Find the file to edit Go to your user's Library » Application Support » Google » Chrome » Default folder. Open the Bookmarks file in TextEdit -- this is the one with no extension, not the Bookmarks.bak file.
  4. Edit your bookmarks To edit things in your Other Bookmarks folder, scroll down to where a slightly less-indented line than the others says "other": {. I used the Find command (cmd-f) to find that section quickly. Now, find the bookmark you want to edit within that section, and edit it as follows:

    Change the name: Find the line that says, "name": "Gmail",, for example. Change the Gmail part to the name you want the bookmark to have.

    Change the URL: Find the line that says "url": "", for example. Change the to the URL you want the bookmark to lead to.
Things like Date Added, Date Modified, Type, and ID are not things that I know how to change. To delete a bookmark, remove all of the info about it, from the first { to the ending } (or }, if it's the last bookmark). Good luck, and happy bookmarking!
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