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Getting started with Safari

Christopher Breen | June 14, 2013
In this week's Mac 101 lesson, Chris Breen introduces the Web browser you may very well be using to read these words.

Note: Safari treats each new window or tab as a separate journey. So, for example, if in Tab 1 you've visited Sites A, B, and C, and are currently viewing Site D, clicking and holding on the Back button will produce links to A, B, and C. If you open Tab 2 and visit Sites E, F, and G, clicking Back will show you only E and F. This tab is wholly unaware of A, B, C, and D because they never appeared within it.

However, you have a way to see every site you've visited recently, regardless of which window or tab you used. That's the purpose of the History menu. Click it to find a list of the sites you've visited. The list will display just under 20 sites. If you've visited more than that, select Earlier Today to display any other sites you've visited in a submenu. And if you need to go farther back still, choose an earlier day from one of the commands that appear near the bottom of the History menu.

If those results are still too recent, choose History > Show All History. The Bookmarks window will open, History will be highlighted, and you'll see a long list of days below. Click the triangle next to the one you wish to explore to see its contents. Optionally you can enter a keyword or site name in the Search field. Any history items that match will appear in a list underneath.

One other traveling shortcut to keep in mind is Command-Option-S (or History > Search Results SnapBack). If you've conducted a search and taken a series of winding paths in your exploration but would like to return to the original search results quickly, press this key combination.

Leaving tracks
What I've told you so far will serve you well during a single Safari session, but Web browsers aren't the sort of application that you launch only every couple of weeks. We use them day after day and tend to revisit favorite sites time and again. And because we do, it makes little sense to type in a well-visited site's address every time we want to see what new things Site X has to offer.

And so, instead, you create bookmarks. Like their real-world counterpart, Safari's bookmarks serve to mark a place to which you intend to return. For example, if you're interested in reading these Mac 101 lessons each week, it would make sense for you to bookmark their home: Just travel to that page, select Bookmarks > Add Bookmark (Command-D), and in the sheet that appears, choose where to store the bookmark. Your choices include the Bookmarks Bar, Top Sites, within one of the folders in your Bookmarks Bar, or in the Bookmarks menu. If, in the field beneath, you find the suggested name to be too long, enter one of your own and click Add. The bookmark will be added to the location you chose. To revisit that site, just select the bookmark, and you're on your way.


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