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Change the default web search page in 10.2 Web Browsers
Apple took the user interface for setting the default Web Search page out of the Internet preferences panel. That means you have to override the built-in default in each Web browser, if you don't want to use Excite. I prefer Google, so my example uses Google. To change the default search page, open Terminal, and enter the following (immensely complicated) command all on one line:
defaults write "Version 2.5.3" = 
  { "ic-added" = { WebSearchPagePrefs = {"ic-data" =
  ""; }; }; }; "ic-deleted" = (); };
Unfortunately, this hint will break when Apple bumps the version number. To learn the version number, do this:
defaults find Version | grep -2 internetconfig
Shame on Apple for removing this from the GUI.
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Resize the Google search box in Safari Web Browsers
This is one of those obvious tricks I stumbled upon by accident: if you click on the dot between the URL entry box and the search box, you can drag and resize both of those fields.

[robg adds: Hmm, guilty of overlooking the obvious here as well -- never tried that, and I'd wanted to have a slightly larger Google box in Safari!]
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Auto-zoom new Safari windows to near full-screen Web Browsers
Aren't you tired of needing to resize Safari (or other browsers) to the maximum size everytime you open a new wondow? Well, I found this script. Have it as your Home Page and it'll zoom the window for you.
[robg adds: I'm not sure I understand the need to zoom every browser window to full size, but this scriptlet will definitely do the trick. Personally, I prefer tabs, so that I set my window size once and then don't pay any attention to it, but I know tabs vs. windows is a matter of personal choice!]
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Change Safari's default search engine - revisited Web Browsers
This hint describes a way of changing Safari's default search engine. Unlike the method which was posted a couple of days ago, this method does not block normal access to This hint assumes you are familiar with the vi text editor. First, quit Safari and make a backup copy of the application. Then follow these steps:
  1. Launch Terminal, and use the vi editor to open the Safari executable file. The command will probably look like this for most users:
     % vi /Applications/
  2. Search for the text google. The first occurrence will be a string that looks like this:
    This is the string that needs to be modified.

  3. Change the string to the search engine you'd like to use. When changing this string, two things need to be kept in mind. First, the length of the new string must be the exact same length as the original. Second, you need to have two %@ sequences in the string. The second %@ should represent where your "query" would go in the URL. Here is an example. To make Yahoo! the default search engine, replace the string:
    The way I figured this out was by performing a search at for "apple". The URL of the results page was:
    So to keep my length constant, I needed to expand the string a little. I added a %@@ at the beginning of the URL. Putting "something@" at the beginning of a URL will not affect the loading of a site. This allowed me to take care of the first %@ sequence I needed to retain. Then I replaced apple with another %@. This is obviously where my 'query' fits into the URL. Finally, I needed to add a bogus (unused) form field to the URL, so that the string would be the correct length. I added &a=0. So if you take a look at the original string, and the new one, the lengths of both strings are identical, as seen above.

  4. Save your changes and quit the editor.
The next time you use Safari's search box, your favorite search engine will be used. Note that if the string you enter is not of the correct length, Safari will fail to launch.
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Download large files directly to CD-R volumes Web Browsers
I don't know about you, but I hate downloading Developer Tools to my hard drive, and THEN copying the humongous image file to the mounted cdrom in the Finder. So here's what I do. First I go into Safari's Preferences under the General icon. In the "Save downloaded files to:" pull down menu, I select "Other" and select the CD-ROM mounted volume in the box. Then I do the download. Safari downloads directly to the CD-ROM mounted volume in one shot.

Only thing you have to remember afterwards is to reset the preference back to the Desktop.

[robg adds: I assume the author has a CD-R mounted, not a CD-ROM, as that wouldn't make any sense. However, I didn't want to change the context of the hint without knowing for sure, so I left it as is -- but I think the essence of the hint is that you can download a file directly to a CD-R then burn it, saving one huge copy step. I don't have a spare CD-R to test this with right now, so if someone tries it, please let us know if it worked.]
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One method of changing the search engine in Safari Web Browsers

If you like the idea of the search bar in the Apple Safari web browser but want to use an alternative search engine (some good reasons why you may want to do this can be seen here), with a little work you can change the search engine it uses. There seem to be only two search engines which can interpret Google's query format:

Firstly, you must obtain the IP address of the relevant host for the search engine you want to use. To find their IP numers, open a terminal window and type nslookup Replace with the relevant host listed above for the search engine you want to use. The answer will appear like this:


Non-authoritative answer:

Copy the IP address from the last part (after "Non-authoritative answer:") into the clipboard. Then, type into the terminal (you must have set up a root account) su echo >> /etc/hosts followed by exit. Replace with the relevant IP address by pasting the IP address you obtained from the first step.

[robg adds: This method does quite a bit more than changing Safari's search engine -- it basically re-maps to the search engine you specify through the use of the hosts file. This means that any request for is going to get redirected elsewhere. I'm not aware of any specific Safari-only methods of avoiding google, however -- anyone know more on the subject?]

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Open any bookmarked sub-folder in tabs Web Browsers
I was looking through MacOSXHints today and I realized that nobody had documented a great feature that I found using Safari.

If you are in the bookmarks window in Safari (you know, the one that appears after clicking the little bookmark button at the far left in the bookmarks bar), you can open any sub-folder (a folder within a bookmark folder) of bookmarks in tabs simply by control-clicking on the folder and selecting "Open in Tabs." This is similar to the option that is shown at the very bottom of any bookmarks bar folder after clicking-and-holding on it in the bookmarks bar (or at the top with a control-click on the folder), but it applies to any sub-folder anywhere in your bookmarks.

Note that this does not apply to bookmark folders in the "Collections" list, but only to folders that appear in the right pane of the bookmarks window.
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Force Camino to use user-specified fonts Web Browsers
By adding the following line:
  user_pref("browser.display.use_document_fonts", 0);
to ~/Library -> Application Support -> Chimera -> Profiles -> default -> xxxx.slt -> user.js, it will force Camino to display web pages with font settings in the Preference panel, as opposed to the fonts specified by the page itself. To reverse the behavior, change the 0 to a 1.

[robg adds: This hint is another in a long line of hidden preference tricks, previously discussed in this hint (and the search URL in that hint that lists a number of others).]
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Recover from an accidental group tab opening in Safari Web Browsers
Have you ever opened up a folder full of tabs in Safari accidentally (ie by Command-clicking on a bookmark folder), which then overwrites any tabs already carefully opened in the current window? Don't sweat about re-loading all the links you were looking at previously.

Simply hit the Back button, and Safari will immediately close any erroneously opened tabs and revert back to the set of tabs you had opened before.

Simple, yes, but has saved me a couple of times!
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Temporarily override Safari's 'Block Pop-Up Windows' setting Web Browsers
In Safari, the pop-up window blocking is not designed very well, as it does not take into account if the user clicked on a link and so on.

I sometimes use web sites that need pop-ups, and under Mozilla it is OK because it will notice if you click on a link, and load any pop-ups related to that mouse click. However, Safari will not do this. I used to just turn pop-up blocking on and off as I needed it (by hitting Command-K), but found the other day that if you hold down the Command key and click the link, it will force the pop-up to open.

I have tabbed browsing enabled, but I'm not sure if this matters.
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