Published Date
01 - Apr - 2008
| Last Updated
01 - Apr - 2008

Apple has a handful of software such as QuickTime and iTunes on Windows for some time now. The latest one to arrive—a Beta version of Safari—a few months back is now finally out. We took a closer look at the latest version—3.1, which just arrived a couple of days ago.

Setting The Right Font Smoothing

Anyone who has used a Mac will tell you that the font smoothing and rendering on Apple Macs is really something. Safari tries to bring similar font smoothing to Windows.

Safari\'s font smoothing might not work great with CRTs as it does with LCDs

While some might find the fonts very pretty, some find it rather distracting. To change this setting, click on Edit > Preferences > Appearance. Use the Font smoothing drop-down and select Standard if you want the effect turned down to minimum. The default setting—Medium is generally preferred for LCD users.

Creating Temporary Bookmarks Using SnapBack

Safari has a feature called Snapback, which allows you to mark a temporary bookmark while you’re browsing through a page. While on the page or site, click on History > Mark Page for SnapBack. Safari now remembers this page. Say you’ve proceeded several levels into the site and you want to return back to the main page on which you created the bookmark, click on History again and then on Page SnapBack.

Browsing Without Footprints

Safari has a feature called Private Browsing, which can be accessed by clicking on Edit > Private Browsing. This mode stops caching any of the pages that you visit from then on. No records such as history or passwords are maintained. This is useful for any user who might want complete privacy while checking their mail or while doing online transactions for example. To get back to the normal mode, go back to Edit > Private Browsing.

Bookmark Migration

If you like Safari, then you’re bound to move your bookmarks to Safari at some point in time. Start your original browser and then export the bookmarks to an HTML file as that is what Safari uses to import bookmarks.

Safari can easily import bookmarks from your other browsers through HTML files

Once that is done, click on File > Import Bookmarks. Select the file and click on the file you exported. A new windows view with all the imported bookmarks will now open. To have all the bookmarks accessible in the Bookmarks menu in Safari, select all the bookmarks and drag and drop them into the Bookmarks menu item in the left pane. Bookmarks can also be exported by clicking File > Export Bookmarks.

The other place where bookmarks can be displayed is the Bookmarks bar, which needs to be enabled by clicking on View > Show Bookmarks Bar.

RSS Feed Reader

Safari may be new to Windows, but Apple has still implemented some features such as feed reading into it. There is no separate feed reading window as we find in Opera to read feeds. When you visit a site with an RSS feed in it, click on the RSS icon in the address bar to read the feed right there. To save the feed, you need to add a bookmark as in any other page by clicking on Bookmarks > Add Bookmark. Controls for searching the feed, or changing the size of the preview or viewing feeds using a timeline are also present on the right pane.

Safari has a simple feed reading feature but one with well integrated functionality

To make changes to the refresh interval, click on Edit > Preferences > RSS and use the dropdown menu for Check for updates. There are also settings to automatically mark read items and highlight unread ones.

Monitoring Browser Activity

The activity tools allows the user to view the download status for all files in a page

Most of the loading status bars used to indicate the percentage of objects in a page loaded, are usually inaccurate. Safari allows users to see the status of all the elements being downloaded in a separate window. Click on Window > Activity. You can see a neatly sorted list of files and their download status for all the sites open.

Spelling And Grammar Check

Safari’s inbuilt spelling and grammar check can help avoid errors while writing mails or posting replies on a forum, for example. The checks can be enabled by clicking on Edit > Spelling and Grammar and click the menu items for spelling and grammar check. If you do make an error while typing, the mistakes will be highlighted by a red underline, which can be corrected by right-clicking on it and selecting the right spelling.

Reopening A Window From The Last Session

Unlike most browsers, where the last session can’t be loaded unless you save it, Safari remembers the last session’s sites and tabs. That means you can shut down Safari in a hurry without worrying about forgetting to bookmark those pages. To open the last session, click on Reopen All Windows from Last Session from the History menu. Other visited sites are also sorted according to dates in the same menu.

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