Tabbed Browsing

Tabbed Browsing
Mac Tip #136/11-Feb-2004

When I first ventured into “tabbed browsing” I wondered what the fuss was about. Now I’m hooked.

Unfortunately Safari ships with Tabbed Browsing disabled. To enable it look at the Preferences, under the Safari menu. Locate the Tabs item and check the Enable Tabbed Browsing setting.

I like to set mine to Enable Tabbed Browsing and Always show tab bar but not to automatically Select new tabs as they are created.

Notice how the Help at the bottom of that window explains the effect of your choices.

Now when you look at an empty Safari window you’ll see a Tab called “Untitled” below the Bookmarks Bar.

If you press Command T another tab will appear. Both tabs will now show a small x to the left of the “Untitled” which will close the tab.

The tab on the left will be a little darker as it’s “behind” the one on the right which will seem a little lighter.

Now choose a bookmark or enter an address, for example and press Return to activate it.

While it’s loading click on the other tab and enter another address, for example then activate it.

Notice how the tab shows a spinning ‘cog’ while it’s loading. Then the title of the page is displayed. You can be reading one page while keeping an eye on how the other one’s doing.

But here’s the really useful part: opening links into tabs.

Let’s say you’re reading an interesting article on a web page and it contains some links to other interesting things you’d like to read.

Hold down the command key while you click on a link and it will start loading into a new tab behind the one you’re currently reading. Just keep doing this as more links come up.

By the time you’ve finished reading all those other pages will be nicely loaded into tabs of their own and you can just click a tab and start reading. When you’ve finished with a tab click the small x to close the tab.

If you come upon a link which is so interesting you want to read it this second then hold down Shift while you Command-click. This opens the link into a tab and also brings the tab to the front so you can read it immediately.

If you really want a new window instead of just a tab then hold down Option or Option and Shift as well as Command and a new window opens either behind or in front of the one you’re reading.

The best thing to do is to experiment. I think you’ll find you like tabs.

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