Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Easily paste and match style anywhere Web Browsers
Frequently, I will copy something from a formatted web site, but I want what I paste to just match the formatting of where I paste it. Some browsers have an Edit » Paste and Match Style command, but I've found that it frequently doesn't work. This is a speedy workaround that is guaranteed to always work.

Anything that you paste into the address or search bar of any Web browser is automatically converted to plain text. Pasting plain text will always cause it to match the formatting of the destination.

So, to quickly and easily make text match the destination formatting when pasted, just do this:
  • Paste it into the search bar.
  • Copy it back.
  • Paste it into your destination.
You can do this all with a keyboard sequence, of course.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. I'd probably use BBEdit for the conversion but this will work too.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (18)  
  • Currently 2.75 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (12 votes cast)
[10,785 views]  View Printable Version
Chrome three-finger gesture Web Browsers
I am currently using the developer version of Google's Chrome browser (v. 11). In it, 3 finger grab gesture (pull 3 finger across top-to-bottom) on your Macbook, you get a window within the current window that shows all of your open tabs.

On a Macbook, if you perform a 3 finger swipe gesture in Chrome browser (top-to-bottom NOT left-to-right or right-to-left), you get all the open windows within your current tab. You can click on any window to jump to that tab.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. I presume this is referring to the nightly builds of Chromium, which is the open source basis of Google Chrome. It may be a while before this feature appears in the release version (currently 9.x). But much as people download the nightly builds of WebKit (Safari) it can be handy to stay on top of where Chrome is heading.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (8)  
  • Currently 3.25 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (8 votes cast)
[15,582 views]  View Printable Version
An extension to add any search engine to Safari 5 Web Browsers
It was fairly incredible to me that Safari still does not support extending its search bar with additional search engines beyond Google, Bing, and Yahoo, or that it does not support searching from the address bar like every other modern browser. There have been SIMBL-based extensions that add these missing features, but many of us shy away from these because they seem somehow unclean.

Thanks to Apple's official extension API introduced in Safari 5, there are now several native and free extensions that alleviate, if not entirely eliminate, these Safari shortcomings. The one I wrote is called PopSearch. It makes adding arbitrary search engines to Safari pretty easy; and using them, fast and convenient.

Now, you have to understand that native Safari extensions are not allowed to modify the address bar or the search bar, so PopSearch will still not let you search from the address bar. Instead, it does what seemed to me to be the next best thing: when you press a customizable hotkey (Command+K by default), a small search bar pops up, where you can enter some search terms, select an engine, and press Enter to execute the search.
read more (279 words)   Post a comment  •  Comments (8)  
  • Currently 2.57 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (7 votes cast)
[9,520 views]  View Printable Version
Integrate the MacOS sandbox into an executable Firefox application Web Browsers
Following up on the ideas of this previous hint, there is also a possibility to make an application which starts with the sandbox already activated, so there is no need to run a shell script every time you need the sandbox.
read more (200 words)   Post a comment  •  Comments (4)  
  • Currently 3.57 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (7 votes cast)
[5,727 views]  View Printable Version
Google Chrome duplicate tab shortcut Web Browsers
You can open the page you are currently viewing in a new tab or window without closing it, using this shortcut. Basically you are duplicating the tab.

Click the address bar, alternatively you can press Command+L to set the focus on the address bar and then press either:

Option+Return » duplicates the tab into a new tab, or

Shift+Return » duplicates the tab into a new window.

I tested this with Chrome version 9.0.597.94 beta.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (4)  
  • Currently 3.17 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (6 votes cast)
[14,371 views]  View Printable Version
Safari loses all your open pages: recover using Time Machine Web Browsers
Power users often have dozens of documents open in Safari at any one time, some possibly for months at a time, and it can be infuriating to have Safari crash or for some other reason lose everything you had open. Here's how to get it all back.

I tend to accumulate too many open web documents. Right now, I have ten windows up, each of which has four or more open web pages, and that's only because I just went through and closed a bunch I didn't need. I've had some open for months, because I haven't gotten around to reading them, or because I've been actually using them this whole time (on and off) for a project.

As far as browsers go, Safari isn't too bad, but its crash protection is basically nonexistent, or at least it was when I started using Tiger. At the time, I installed Saft, and I never looked back. Even with Saft, however, Safari isn't perfectly reliable. There are a number of ways that your session might be lost. Safari or an in-process add-on might corrupt memory, thereby corrupting your session info. There might be a kernel panic at just the wrong time. Another sure way to destroy your session is to quit the browser while in Private Browsing mode. (No session info gets stores on quit, so when you reopen, 'Reopen All Windows From Last Session' gives you nothing or junk.) And another way is to start Safari with no internet connection, try (and fail) to reload your last session, and then quit. (Now, connection errors are your last session.)

This hint assumes that you do very regular backups. I have a Time Capsule and therefore backup every hour while at home. This is important. If you don't have a backup from just before you lost your session, you're out of luck.

If you are not using Saft, then the file you need to find is:


If you ARE using Saft, it seems to interfere with sessions being saved in LastSession.plist (mine contains mostly Top Sites tabs), and in any case, it stores its session restore info in an entirely different place:


First, quit Safari. Then find whichever one is right for you and make a backup copy. Click on the filename, and then enter Time Machine. Now, the trick is to figure out how far back you have to go to find the most recent valid session. This may take a few tries. Restore the file from backup to its original location. Then restart Safari. If you're using Saft, the session will restore automatically. If not, you'll have to select 'Reopen All Windows From Last Session' from the History menu. You may have to try again if you picked one that was too old or too new (corrupted or post-corruption).

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. It is a use for Time Machine I might not have thought of on my own.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (10)  
  • Currently 3.25 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (4 votes cast)
[13,564 views]  View Printable Version
Download an MP4 file in Safari Web Browsers
A recent video project required me to download MP4 files from our streaming partner's site. When I would click a link, however, the video would play in Safari, and there wasn't a way to right-click on the link and download it, as you can do with other kinds of files. So how do I download the MP4?

Open the Downloads window in Safari and paste the URL into it. The download will start immediately.

[crarko adds: This is generally worth trying for hard to download files.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (11)  
  • Currently 2.88 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (8 votes cast)
[48,603 views]  View Printable Version
Disable Smart Scroll zooming in Firefox Web Browsers
When Apple introduced smooth scrolling it conflicted with my use of the Control key in the shortcut to change Spaces. I would scroll down a page and then switch sSaces. This would cause the page to be zoomed in/out when I returned to Firefox. The following prevents this behavior:
  • Enter about:config in the Firefox address bar. Click to get through the warning page.
  • Search for mousewheel.withcontrolkey.
  • Set the mousewheel.withcontrolkey.action to 0.
  • Set the mousewheel.withcontrolkey.numlines to 0.
  • Ensure mousewheel.withcontrolkey.sysnumlines is false
You can find further documentation of the about:config page here.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (0)  
  • Currently 3.80 / 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  (5 votes cast)
[5,918 views]  View Printable Version
Restore subpixel antialiasing to Apple's websites Web Browsers
Somebody at Apple seems to be on a crusade against LCD subpixel antialiased font rendering. Recent versions of WebKit, included with Safari 5, introduced an unfortunate CSS option for web developers to override your preferred choice of text smoothing.

A setting of -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased is now in Apple's global base.css file, effectively degrading text readability on all of Apple's web properties, including all of, the iTunes Store or the Mac App Store.

Thankfully, just as it is overriding your choice through CSS, Safari offers a mechanism to add your own CSS rules to have the final say. Create a plain text file with the following contents:

* { -webkit-font-smoothing: subpixel-antialiased; }

(Instead of subpixel-antialiased, you may also simply use auto, which is the default.)

Save it as a .css file, and you can enable it in Safari » Preferences » Advanced, in the Style sheet drop down.

That fixes the Apple website, and it turns out you could adopt the fix to iTunes and the Mac App Store as well, despite not having the option exposed in their Preferences windows. Read on to see how.
read more (119 words)   Post a comment  •  Comments (10)  
  • Currently 4.22 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (9 votes cast)
[10,503 views]  View Printable Version
View Safari page source in an external editor Web Browsers
To complement robg's recent hint, here's an AppleScript to view Safari's page source in

It adds the <base> tag to the <head> and ensures .php files will display as HTML in case you wish to preview the (edited) source.
read more (317 words)   Post a comment  •  Comments (1)  
  • Currently 2.83 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (6 votes cast)
[5,762 views]  View Printable Version