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Improved restoration of History in Safari 5.1 Web Browsers
Safari 5.1 is now more thorough in maintaining your browsing history when re-opening tabs or windows. In the past, restoring previous tabs or windows did not include the browsing history in the Back/Forward buttons. Now, when you restore tabs or windows that had been closed, Safari maintains your earlier tab/window history. This applies in at least two areas:

When you restore windows following a quit/relaunch of Safari, whether using the Lion feature that automatically restores windows or History » Reopen All Windows From Last Session, or if you close a tab and use Command+Z (or Edit » Undo Close Tab) to re-open it.

This feature is available to all users of Safari 5.1, so people running Lion or 10.6.8 can use it.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. Very nice. It appears enabling Private Browsing prevents this from happening, as you would expect.]
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Change the appearance of Safari Reader in Safari 5.1 Web Browsers
Safari Reader is a useful feature for making many websites more readable, but Apple doesn't provide any preference settings for Reader. Fortunately, it is easy to customize by editing the file Reader.html.

In Safari 5.0 it was easy to edit a file in the Safari.app package to set the preferences. In Safari 5.1, the file was moved to a non-obvious place:

/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Safari.framework/Versions/A/Resources/Reader.html

You can simply edit the stylesheet in this file to change the appearance of Reader. Any changes will apply to tabs that Safari Reader has not yet been used in, just open a new tab to see the new style. As always, be careful when editing system files, and make a backup of Reader.html first. Be aware that some of the styles appear to be overwritten before you see them. For example, changing the size of the body font has no effect. If you want to change the size of the typeface, you can use the zoom trick.

More details and examples, and a faster way to make the changes are in the expanded instructions.

Since Apple is likely to continue overwriting Reader.html with each update, I created a patch file for my changes. This can be applied using the patch command, as explained in the full version of this hint from the link above.

[crarko adds: I'm not a big user of Safari Reader, but it's good to have the ability to customize it. As the author points out on his site, Readability is also still an option for Safari 5.1, if you're not comfortable making the changes for yourself. Definitely read the examples of changes to the stylesheet if you haven't done this before.]
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The home/end key hint updated for Mozilla 5 Web Browsers
I submitted hint this hint way back when.

Recently, the Mozilla folks decided to change the organization of their apps reducing the (large?) number of jar files to just one. I've updated my page at http://bloodnok.net/MacOS/ with additional instructions plus a new version of the 'here' script.

My experience on two machines is Thunderbird 5 is totally busted on Lion, so your mileage may vary.

[crarko adds: Given the new release model for Firefox, it's difficult to forecast how quickly things will change. But if you used that older hint, you could try updating to the newer XML file from the hint author's site.]
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10.7: Gestures for back/forward in the Firefox Web Browsers
Just like the Option-3 (or 4) finger swipe brings back back/forward navigation in the Finder history, it also brings back back/forward navigation in Firefox (at least for version 5 -- the one I have).

For those who like the Magic Trackpad 2-finger back/forward navigation swipe in Safari and wish this would be implemented in Firefox, this is the next best thing.

[crarko adds: It's a good bet that over time many applications will incorporate gesture support, beyond the kind of generic type described here.]
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ClickToFlash for Safari 5.1 Web Browsers
As most of us have discovered, Safari 5.1 drops support for WebKit Plugins, which unfortunately includes the very useful ClickToFlash.

Per Apple, as of 10.7 the legacy WebKit plug-in architecture is no longer supported. Going forward, WebKit plug-ins have to be converted to Netscape-style plug-ins or Safari Extensions.

Fortunately, someone has converted ClickToFlash to a Safari 5.1 extension: ClickToPlugin, with the support of the original author. This extension will actually block any plug-in, with the ability to create an exclusion list like the older version. There is also a ClickToFlash-only version available.

When I grabbed this, the only difficulty I had was in accessing the preferences. I found there was a default keyboard shortcut Option+, that brought them up. You can change the shortcut once you're in the preferences.

[crarko adds: This is a public service type hint, but ClickToFlash is too valuable a utility do do without, in my opinion. Thanks to Marc Hoyois and all others involved for providing the updated extension.]
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Sorting the list of installed Safari extensions Web Browsers
I have read many posts and complaints online about how difficult it is to sort the list of installed extensions in the Safari preferences, and that they cannot be sorted by other ways than the enforced sort-by-install-date. It has been suggested that removing and reinstalling the extensions in the desired order is the only way to do it.

There is a better, simpler and quicker solution that does not force you to reinstall the extensions and lose configuration data.

The sort order is determined by the order of items in an array in the Extensions.plist file located at ~/Library/Safari/Extensions/Extensions.plist.

With the free trial version of PlistEdit Pro you can sort the list in the plist file with just a few clicks. Here is how:
  • Quit Safari and make a backup copy of Extensions.plist in case you need to revert any changes.
  • Open Extensions.plist with PlistEdit Pro.
  • Expand 'Root' and right click on 'Installed Extensions' and choose 'Sort By Subkey' at the bottom and 'Archive File Name' at the top of the submenu. Some visual aid can be found here.
  • Expand 'Installed Extensions' and some of its items to check that it looks correct and save the changes.
  • Open Safari and check out your sorted list of installed extensions!
Just repeat the steps above when needed and it is also possible to sort the list any way you like by dragging and dropping the items inside the array in the desired order.


As far as I know you only get a dialog delaying the startup of PlistEdit Pro after the 14 day trial has expired, so you can keep using it indefinitely. If you prefer a totally free solution, and can live with manual drag-and-drop sorting, you can always use Apple's own Property List Editor. The Property List Editor is installed with the Apple developer tools (Xcode) found on one of your Mac OS X install discs or online through Apple Developer (a free account is needed). The property List Editor has been integrated into Xcode 4, so if you want it as a standalone application or do not want to install all the development tools you can use Pacifist to extract it from an Xcode 3 install package (available from Mac Dev Center).

On a final note I would like to mention that this can of course all be automated since AppleScript supports working with property lists. But I leave the task of creating such a script to someone else, and you are more than welcome to share it in a comment below.

[crarko adds: I did it using Xcode, and it works fine but could be a pain if you have a lot of extensions. I also tried the described method with the trial version of PlistEdit Pro, and that was much quicker. In Lion, you need to be sure that the ~/Library folder is visible, or first navigate into it in the Finder Go menu (holding down the Option key) and then do an 'Open With' on the plist file to edit it.]
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10.7: Zoom on Safari window with Magic Mouse Web Browsers
If you are a Magic Mouse user, just double tap while on Safari to zoom on the section pointed by cursor.

Double tap again to restore the zoom at normal level.

Another feature inherited from iOS.

[crarko adds: It's probably worth trying any UI gesture from iOS in Lion to see what effect it has.]
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10.7: A work-around for Safari's odd full-screen behaviour Web Browsers
Like many others, I'm still getting used to Lion's and Safari's new features, particularly full-screen mode -- which is something I'd like to use more.

One rather uncomfortable feature of the latter's implementation results from the fact that, when closing the last tab of a window, the window itself closes and takes full-screen mode with it. Not only does this mean that the next time one later goes to a web site, Safari is now in 'windowed mode', but there's some disconcerting Spaces-swapping going on in the background, and Safari loses its dedicated space to switch to quickly when using Mission Control.

Safari really needs an 'always keep the window open' option, but until that's done we need a work-around. I don't want always to leave the last web page I read open, so I came up with this idea instead.

In Safari's General preferences, type 'about:blank' into the 'Homepage' field. Back in the main window, right- (or control-) click on the Toolbar, click Customize, then add the 'Home' icon onto the toolbar wherever you want it.

Now, instead of closing the final tab, just click on 'Home' and you'll get a blank page, still in full-screen view, ready for your next browsing. Not ideal, but it works.

[crarko adds: Obviously a kludge, but sometimes that's what you have to do if you don't care for the standard behavior. I haven't gotten used to full-screen mode all that much yet, either.]
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10.7: Remove Safari session auto-restore Web Browsers
This hint describes how to not restore your previous browsing session after force-quitting Safari in Lion.

I disabled System Preferences » General » Restore windows... almost immediately after I discovered that Lion wants to automatically restore reopened applications to their previous state. Today while browsing with Safari I encountered one of those 'YOU WIN' sites that had a popup where the popup window lacks any controls except an 'Okay' button. That window held exclusive focus for Safari. Oh, and no red 'Close this window' button at the top-left either. The only intended way past this window was to click the Okay button. Very annoying, and I refuse to trust these sites since you don't really know what JavaScript or other code lurks beneath that Okay button. Note that you can't even view the page source since the popup has exclusive focus for the application.

So I did a force-quit on Safari as I've always done pre-Lion. When I restarted Safari this time though, my earlier session was restored including the popup. And now I'm in an ugly loop. If I crash Safari again, I'll be right back here the next time I start Safari. And I will not click that Okay button. Here's one workaround for this issue.

Kill Safari and then remove the file:

~/Library/Saved Application State/com.apple.Safari.savedState

After I did this, Safari restarted 'normally' just opening my default page. I used a Terminal window to remove that file, but you could use the Finder if you know how to access ~/Library in the Lion Finder. Search for the previous hints about this.

The truly cautious among us will want to rename that file rather than deleting it.

If anyone knows of a startup key/mouse combination to avoid restoring from the savedState file for a previously crashed application, I'd appreciate hearing how to do that. I searched and did not find anything.

[crarko adds: Good to know this. If there are key combos to launch Safari in Safe Mode please put your discoveries in the comments.]
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10.7: Safari gestures for forward and back Web Browsers
Here's a quick way to go back and forward while using Safari on OSX Lion (10.7). It also allows you to peek at the webpage that you were on previously.

While using Safari in Lion, use the two finger left or right swipe will take you back or forward, respectively (the direction will be dependent on whether you use natural or reverse scrolling -- I use reverse scrolling). Doing the gesture slowly will give you a peek instead of doing a full back or forward.

[crarko adds: The trackpad on my old MacBook doesn't support these gestures, but if you have a newer machine give this a try, and post results in the comments if you want.]
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