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Mac 101: Navigating Safari Tabs


TUAW reader Jason wrote in asking us how to switch between open tabs in Safari. If you're using tabbed browsing in Safari, it may not be immediately obvious how to navigate other than to click on the tab you want to view. Fortunately, Apple did build in keyboard shortcuts: to cycle left between tabs, type Command-Shift-Left Arrow or Command-Shift-[. To cycle right, use Command-Shift-Right Arrow or Command-Shift-].

Firefox uses a different approach. To select a tab, hold down the Command key while pressing a tab number. Command-1 selects the first tab, Command-4 the fourth. (For the curious, in Safari, this Command-Number approach selects the nth item in your Bookmark bar that is not a folder.)

More after the jump...

If you don't have Safari's tabbed browsing enabled and want to give it a try, open preferences (Command-,), click Tabs and check "Enable Tabbed Browsing"

Other tab-fu tricks:

Open links in new tabs: If you have a scroll-wheel mouse, click the link with the scroll-wheel button. If you have a regular mouse, command-click the link instead. Add the Shift key to select the new tab after opening it. If you always want to select new tabs as they are created, open Preferences (Command-,) and check the proper option in the Tabs pane.

Create a new empty tab: Type Command-T or select File -> New Tab.

Open a folder of bookmarks into separate tabs: Control-click (right-click) a folder in your bookmark bar or Bookmarks window and choose "Open in Tabs".

Closing tabs: Click the close "X" in the corner of the tab to close it. Holding down option closes all tabs but the current one.

Navigate tab history: Each tab has a separate history. You can navigate through the history using Command-Left Arrow and Command-Right Arrow (alternatively, Command-[ and Command-]).

Check out the command cheat sheet: Open the Tabs pane in Safari Preferences (Command-,) and pay attention to the bottom of the pane. You'll find a four-item cheat sheet showing you the various Command-click options with modifiers. These change based on whether you have enabled tabbed browsing.

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