Browsing the Net - Mac Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts in easy steps (2015)

Mac Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts in easy steps (2015)


Browsing the Net

Safari is a great browser and you can adapt it to your own needs very easily.

Change your Default Browser

Safari is the default browser in OS X. This is not surprising since it is the only browser installed with OS X and it is Apple’s own. However, you may have installed Google Chrome, Firefox, or another browser, yet every time you click a web link Safari opens!

How to choose another default browser

imageOpen System Preferences > General > Default web browser

imageSelect the browser you wish to use as your default browser


Sharing web pages

There are several ways in which you can share web pages. The latest version of Safari allows you to:

•Add to reading list

•Add bookmark

•Email this page





You can find these options on the toolbar to the left of the main address bar. The icon is an arrow pointing up and to the right.

Select another Search Engine

Google is the search engine installed with Safari. You may wish to change this to Bing, Yahoo! or DuckDuckGo and this is very straightforward.

Changing the default search engine

imageOpen Safari

imageGo to Preferences > Search

imageLook for Search and you will see Google is the default option

imageClick Google and a dropdown menu will show Yahoo!, Bing and DuckDuckGo

imageChoose the engine you wish to use and, from now on, any searches you do will be carried out using your chosen search engine



DuckDuckGo is a recent addition to Safari. This engine provides private searching, i.e. no history and no tracking of your activities.

Save Web Pages for Later

Quite often you will look at a number of websites but not have time to read the entire content at each site. It is very easy, using the reading lists, to add websites for off-line reading later.

Adding a web page to the reading list

imageOpen Safari

imageNavigate to the web page you wish to save

imageGo to Bookmarks > Add to Reading List

imageAlternatively, press Shift + ⌘ + D

imageThe web page will be added to the Reading List (found on the main Safari web page on the extreme left of the toolbar)


Clear Safari History

After you have been using Safari for a while, you will collect cookies, images and other temporary items whilst browsing many websites, which will be stored in your User Library. You may also have filled in online forms and generated passwords for websites which you will obviously want to keep. However, it is a good idea to reset Safari from time-to-time to clear out all of these unwanted files, but leave the autofill and password data.

Clearing history

imageOpen Safari

imageGo to Safari > Clear History and Website Data…

imagePress Clear History



Clear the browsing history in Safari (or any browser you use regularly) to stay secure.

Get rid of Cookies!

Cookies are small pieces of data sent by websites to your browser where they are stored. Cookies provide useful information to companies about your browsing habits, shopping habits and other information. Cookies allow web pages to show you adverts likely to be of interest to you based on your past browsing history. Some people feel that cookies are intrusive and many people block cookies at all times.

Modern browsers have an option to block cookies and you may wish to activate this in Safari. Some websites will not allow you to browse the site unless you accept a cookie. In general, it is a good idea to remove cookies from time-to-time.

Removing cookies from Safari

imageOpen Safari

imageGo to Preferences > Privacy

imageClick the button Remove All Website Data… next to Cookies and website data:

You also have the option within this window to block cookies From third parties and advertisers, Always, or Never. You also have the option to ask websites not to track you.


Using Safari Tabs

Having tabs in Safari is very useful because you can open 10 or more individual websites, and if you activate tabbed browsing, you can have all of these websites active and running, each within its own tab, along your tab bar underneath the toolbar.

Before tabbed browsing became possible you had to live with multiple web pages being open on your screen, stacked on top of each other, which made navigation very difficult.

Tabbed browsing is much more elegant, and in Yosemite there is even an option to show all the tabbed web pages side-by-side.

Create a new tab in Safari

imageWith Safari open, click ⌘ + T and a new tab will be placed to the right of the initial tab

imageIf you press ⌘ + T again, a third tab will appear to the right of the tab you just created

imageIf you tap the icon to the extreme right of the tab bar, you will see your tabs side-by-side in a scrolling window which you can navigate, right and left, using two fingers on the trackpad


Organize your Bookmarks!

Over time, you will collect many bookmarks in Safari. If you are organized, you will create categorized folders to store your bookmarks in their respective categories. If you do not create folders you will simply have a long list of bookmarks and it will be impossible to find anything!

Unfortunately, Safari does not make it easy to sort your bookmarks, since there is no way of making your bookmarks alphabetical, although there are third-party apps which will do this for you. So, unless you use one of these apps, you will be forced to sort the lists manually.

Managing your Bookmarks

imageOpen Safari and click Bookmarks

imageClick Show Bookmarks

A complete list of your bookmarks will appear, showing various folders, with all unfiled bookmarks at the bottom of the screen. From here, you can delete and file the bookmarks.


Search Google in any App

Google is a useful search engine for Safari or any other browser. With Yosemite you can search Google within any application, e.g. a browser, word processor, and many other types of app.

Searching Google within a word processor

imageOpen the word processor and double-click the text you wish to search

imageRight-click the selected text

imageGo to the bottom of the dropdown menu and choose Search in Google

imageYou will then be taken to Safari, or your preferred browser, and Google will have searched for the words you highlighted


Download YouTube Videos

YouTube is very popular and many people like to download the videos from YouTube. Unfortunately, this is not as straightforward as it sounds, since there is no YouTube downloader built into Safari. A number of browsers, including Safari, have add-ons which allow YouTube videos to be downloaded. In addition, there are third-party apps where you can drop in the YouTube URL and the app will go to YouTube and download the video for you. One such app is iFunia, which you can download from


Installation is very straightforward and you simply drop the URL onto the interface and iFunia does the work for you.