Merge and split windows in Safari 4


Merge and split windows in Safari 4
Mac Tip #390, 24 June 2009

Have Safari windows multiplied all over? Merge them all into one. Or break Tabs out into separate windows.

Note: this Tip was written using Safari Version Version 4.0.1 (5530.18) on Mac OS 10.5.7. If you’re using older versions of Safari or the Mac OS your experiences may differ.

How links open

Set Safari to open links into a new tab, instead of a new window.

Set Safari to open links into a new tab, instead of a new window.

Every day as I read Twitter or my RSS feeds I find myself clicking links to interesting things my pals have mentioned. Before long my screen seems to be covered with open Safari windows.

One solution, of course, is to set the Safari preference to open links from applications in a new tab in the current window. But if, like me, you’ve forgotten to do that, there’s a way to deal with all those open windows: merge them.

Screenshot: The General Settings tab of the Safari Preferences window allows you to choose how links open.

Merge All Windows

Merge windows in Safari 4.

Merge windows in Safari 4.

Safari 4 makes it stunningly simple to combine all those open windows: choose Merge All Windows from the Window menu.

As soon as you let go of the mouse you’ll find all windows except one have been closed. The one that remains now contains all the web pages you previously had open, one per tab.

Screenshot: The Merge All Windows item in Safari.

Rearrange tabs in Safari 4

Don’t like the order of the tabs? Point to the middle of a tab in the Tab Bar and drag it to the left or right into a new sequence.

Break Tabs out into windows

If you’d rather view web pages you have open in tabs as separate windows ‘tear off’ the tab downwards into the window. As you drag downwards a thumbnail image of the web page ‘unfolds’ from the Tab Bar. Drag that image to anywhere on your screen and it opens as a new Safari window.

To change your mind mid-drag press the Esc key and the thumbnail returns to the Tab Bar.

Practical MacTips YouTube movie

I realised these Tips would be most easily demonstrated with a movie. I’ve set up a new YouTube channel called Practical MacTips that I aim to use with future Tips too.

The first (silent) movie shows how to merge windows, move Tabs and break Tabs out into separate windows.

I welcome all feedback and comments. For future movies I may include a voiceover soundtrack.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR0TktGUAGs

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8 Comments

  1. Gryphon said:

    Thank you so much for pointing out this now obvious tip! wow. so great.

  2. Curtis said:

    Do you know if there is a way to make the downloads window into a tab?
    I really hate small floating windows, it reminds of spam popups. . . .

  3. amanda said:

    THANK YOU! I’ve been hoping Mac would do this for awhile and who knew they already did!

  4. Miraz Jordan said:

    Hi Tony, can you explain this in a bit more detail?

    For example: you’re viewing a page in Safari and that page has a link on it. You click that link (without holding down any additional keys) and expect it to open in a new Tab, but instead it opens in the same window or a new window?

    Is that what’s happening?

  5. Tony said:

    I am trying to find the “hack” to make the standard open new links in tab because even though I have that checked under “preferences” in my settings, doesn’t follow suite??!

  6. Miraz Jordan said:

    Hi scott122, thanks for this.

    I was a bit confused at first by what you wrote, but after some experimentation I see what you’re getting at:

    if you have 2 (or more) windows open on screen drag a Tab from the Tab Bar of one window into another open window. That Tab then ‘merges’ into that other window.

    Great addition to the Tip. Thanks.

  7. scott122 said:

    Re.”Break Tabs out into windows
    If you’d rather view web pages you have open in tabs as separate windows ‘tear off’ the tab downwards into the window. As you drag downwards a thumbnail image of the web page ‘unfolds’ from the Tab Bar. Drag that image to anywhere on your screen and it opens as a new Safari window.

    To change your mind mid-drag press the Esc key and the thumbnail returns to the Tab Bar.”

    Or if you change your mind after the action is completed, drag a tab down into the center of the screen and they will re-merge.

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