The next OS for Mac (macOS 10.12 Sierra) is in development and some public and developer testers already have it – but it won’t officially ship till (probably) September, so there’s still lots to learn about OS 10.11. Here are some tips for Safari.
I’ve said this many times, but unless you’re using tabbed browsing for your searches and other tasks in Safari, you’re not getting the best from your online experience. I’m not going to go through that again here, but here’s a nice easy How To to get you up and running if you’re not using this yet.
1/ Close other tabs — When you’ve got multiple tabs open, click on the File menu and find Close Tab – now hold down the Option key on your keyboard: Close Tab switches to Close Other Tabs. If you’ve opened up lots of links in tabs and just want to get rid of everything except the tab you’re currently viewing, this does it in one go. (The keyboard shortcut for this action is Option-Command-W– Command W being the standard and ubiquitous Close Window command).
You can also hold down the Option on your keyboard and click on the ‘x that appears on your tab (the little Close button each tab has) when you hover over it. A little tooltip will show up when you do so, warning you of what’s about to happen.
2/ Undo the closing action — If you’re playing around and accidentally close a tab, remember you can press Command-Z (Edit > Undo Close Tab – actually, XCommand Z is the universal and ubiquitous – and lifesaving, sometimes – Undo Last Action command and well worth learning anyway, as it works almost everywhere) to bring it back.
3/ Pinning sites — There are several ways to save sites you use a lot: add to favourites, bookmarking … but El Capitan’s Safari added ‘site pinning’. Pinning a site is easy – choose Pin Tab from the Window menu to move it’s button, while resizing it smaller, to the left side of your Favourites bar, or click on a tab’s title and just drag it all the way to the left of the tab. You can also hold down the Control key ion your keyboard (it may be labelled ‘Ctrl’) and click a tab, then choose Pin Tab from the pop-out menu.
The tab will become a small square on the left side of the tab bar, as in the thumbnail on the left here: it just shows a site icon. Pinned tabs remain open when you close and reopen Safari, and the sites in them run in the background, so you’ll hear sounds such as message alerts or videos running if they’re on that site.
4/ Safari keyboard shortcuts — Some of Safari’s keyboard shortcuts changed for El Capitan. Previously, [Command]+1, [Command]+2 and so on opened bookmarks from corresponding positions in the Favorites Bar; now these shortcuts switch between tabs you have open, including the pinned ones.
These shortcut actions can be reversed by turning off ‘Use [Command]-1 through [Command]-9 to switch tabs’ in Safari>Preferences>Tabs.
5/ Shutting things up — Some sites (bloody Macworld!) have videos that auto launch and noisily run even when they are in tabs that aren’t expanded (the ones you’re viewing the contents of). Now, Safari displays a speaker icon in the browser bar to mute any audio, as well as in the affected tab, letting you pick which tab to silence. Just click it.