I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

Beyond Safari

I was going to apo­lo­gise for this post being a bit off top­ic, but then I decided it was­n’t! Mainly because my blog is for me and is meant to reflect me, so this post is reflect­ing the geeky/tech side of me, hehe! Any­way, I had a couple of friends who recently switched to OS X ask me for a few tips with Safari, so I set out to find the free answers I had dis­covered for myself and make note of the solu­tions for my friends(and any­one else who needs them). As I’m a stu­dent and funds are sparse, these solu­tions are free, and unlike oth­er Safari enhance­ment posts, this one does­n’t cov­er the reg­u­lar exten­sions like Saft, Pith­Hel­met and SafariStand which I found to either cost me money or be very con­fus­ing! Either way I hope you find this help­ful, if some­thing isn’t clear or if you think I missed some­thing, drop a comment.
These first two items star­ted off with a couple of pet peeves I had about the browser. The main one was tackled with a well known plu­gin called Inquis­it­or.

My peeve was that the search box used Google.com and there was no pref­er­ence to switch it to Google.co.uk. I had seen Inquis­it­or around while it was Share­ware, but with the release of the beta ver­sion for Inquis­it­or 3 it was made free, of course I jumped on the band­wag­on but had I real­ised how much I would use it the chances are I would pay for it. As well as giv­ing me the oppor­tun­ity to cus­tom­ise where I search, Google, Yahoo, Wiki­pe­dia, Amazon, Flickr among oth­ers, it gives me the chance to live­search the inter­web. As a res­ult it has kind of changed the way I use the search func­tion. I now tend to use it to launch sites I just dis­covered but am unsure wheth­er they are worthy of a book­mark. It’s little counter that tells me how many times I have used that search and chosen the site, let me judge just how much I’m using it. It’s kind of like a Quick­Sil­ver or Spot­light for the web and has the eye­candy to match!
The second issue I had invovled tabs, win­dows and acci­dent­al apple-w’s (thats close tab/window) or apple-q’s (which quits Safari). I was forever acci­dently clos­ing win­dows or tabs, so I hunted out a little exteniosn called For­get­MeNot which gave me the option to restore tabs and win­dows. It even remem­bers what tabs were open when I quit Safari, so long as there is no re-boot inbetween! It’s very use­ful and effect­ive in what it aims to do. It adds an undo-tab func­tion under the edit menu and an UnClose Win­dow option under the file menu.
The third issue that I wanted to solve was the lack of an Ad-Block fea­ture, spe­cific­ally for flash/animated adverts. The first exten­sion I tried was Safar­iB­lock, which had a decent go at things, gradu­ally it built up a list to block, but it was manu­al input and I had to right click on an advert and tell it to be blocked. The draw­back was when it came to flash adverts, right click­ing these only brought up the flash con­tex­tu­al menu, which meant I was unable to block the ad’s, so I had to seek out an altern­at­ive. This led me to Safar­iPlus. As an ad-block­er it is extremely effect­ive. It blocks flash con­tent on the site under the set­tings I have, which can be a draw­back when it comes to watch­ing YOU­tube video’s, it also blocks mov­ing images and freezes them, they still dis­play, but in a com­bin­a­tion with Safar­iB­lock it can gradu­ally remove adverts from web­sites. Safar­iPlus also does a lot more, but this is mainly what I use it for.
So that’s the main issues I had with Safari that developed from gen­er­al brows­ing, and ones which I hope will be tackled in the next ver­sion of Safari, along with the option to re-arrange tabs from drag ‘n’ drop (if any­one knows of an exten­sion for this that is effect­ive and free, drop a comment).
These next two exten­sions came about through a later issue I had when want­ing to syn­cronise my Safari book­marks between iMac and iBook. The first one, which the second derives from, is meant to to tackle this. The first of these exten­sions, Safar­iDe­pot gives .Mac style syncing to Safari. You need your own piece of web­space to upload your book­marks too, but it’s not a very big file so can eas­ily be achieved with free host­ing (like orgfree).

If you couple this with the Safar­iScripts enhance­ment, it gives you easy sync options for Safari. Safar­iScript adds a small AppleScript icon to the menu bar of Safari, and lets you store vari­ous scripts with­in it. Adding the two default scripts that come with Safar­iDe­pot means that you can eas­ily sync the book­marks of the browsers on laptops and work/home computers.

Note: At present, there appears to be an error with Safar­iDe­pot if your ftp user­name con­tains an @ sign. I con­tac­ted the developer for help as the small app was­n’t work­ing for me, con­tinu­ally giv­ing the same error, he respon­ded ask­ing if my user­name had an @sign. but has­n’t replied since. It’s fixed and works very well. Big thanks to the developer Karl­Heinz for the quick work!

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