Mac os tips

Customize Safari Theme

When you first use Safari on your Mac, you’ll see the standard white and grey interface. This is fine, but it can get a little boring for some users. Fortunately, you can customize your Safari theme in several ways.

Set Custom Safari Icon

If you want to customize your Safari icon, doing so is surprisingly straightforward.

  1. While holding down the Ctrl button, click the Safari logo and select “Options -> Show in Finder.”
  2. When Finder loads, you’ll find yourself on the Applications page. Click the Safari logo again while holding Ctrl and choose “Get Info.” to the top-left corner of the Get Info window, you’ll see a tiny Safari icon next to “”. Click on it to highlight it, then drag your replacement icon image to replace it.

Safari Reader

Safari Reader strips away all of the distractions from any site where it’s available, allowing for an uninterrupted view of your chosen content. Note that it does not work on every website but definitely works on many.

  1. To activate Reader, click on the four-line icon that appears next to the “+” button to the left of the URL.
  2. A single press of that button will enable Reader view. Clicking on it again will take you out of reader view.

Reading List

Bookmarks were yesterday’s news. Today, it’s all about Safari’s Reading List. We have all come across interesting articles that we want to read but don’t have time at the moment. Across all Apple devices, Reading List is enabled via the Sidebar icon on Safari on Mac or by using the book icon on Safari on iOS/iPadOS. You can choose the eyeglasses icon to view your entire article list. To add a new article, you have two options on Mac.

  1. The first is to hit the “+” sign that appears next to the website URL. The article or site will automatically save itself to your reading list.
  2. Alternatively, you can click on the Share Sheet icon, and the first option in the drop-down is “Add to Reading List.” Select that and the article will automatically save itself to your Reading List. If you want to read these articles offline, say while you are on a plane, go to “Safari -> Preferences -> Advanced” and click on “Save articles for offline reading automatically.”

Handoff Continuity

As Safari is the default browser for iOS and Mac, Apple has long explored how to make it seamless between the two systems. Enter Handoff, Apple’s solution for starting an email on Mac and picking it up on iOS. This also works incredibly well with Safari.

  1. Start by signing in to your iCloud account on both devices.
  2. On your Mac computer, go to “System Preferences -> General,” and click on the box next to Handoff to allow it.
  3. On iOS or iPad OS, go to “Settings -> Handoff” and move the switch so that it’s active.
  4. Once activated, you can go about your regular browsing business on your Mac. When you want to pick up wherever you left off on your Mac on your iPhone or iPad, a little icon will appear above your Safari icon. Tap on Safari and it will allow you to select whatever page you want to continue browsing.

Save Pages as PDFs

If you ever need to export a website as a PDF, Safari makes it super simple. Head to the page you want to save, then click on File and “Export as PDF.” The last remaining step is to choose where on your hard-drive you want to save the page. You can then refer to the PDF at any time, and it will automatically open in Safari, Preview or your PDF viewer of choice.

Change Your Search Engine

Safari, like most browsers, will let you choose between a few different default search engines. Google is the default search engine in Safari, but it’s not your only available option.

  1. Go to “Safari -> Preferences” and open the Preferences window.
  2. Click the “Search” tab.
  3. You will immediately see a drop-down that allows you to choose between Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ecosia, or DuckDuckGo. At this time, there is no way to add your own search engine. For now, Safari has chosen to add the most popular options.

Customize Safari Toolbar

The Safari toolbar is where your most important buttons will go for daily use. That includes your Home button, Sidebar, Tab overview, and so on.

  1. Right-click anywhere on the toolbar and select “Customize Toolbar.” You can then drag any item into the toolbar.
  2. Once you have dragged all of the icons you want to use, click “Done.” Then, all of your changes will be saved.

Rearrange Tabs

For anyone who has more than a few tabs open at a time, organization can become an issue. To help with this, Safari enables you to get at least some semblance of order.

  1. Open the “Window” menu on the Mac bar.
  2. Choose “Arrange Tabs By.”
  3. You can now choose between “Title” and “Website.” For many, choosing to sort by website will be the most useful. That way, if you have multiple tabs open, they will all be next to each other.

Mute Tabs

We have all been there as you open a new tab expecting to read new content and are instead hit with an auto-play video. In Safari, when a new tab is opened with audio playing, you’ll see a little speaker icon in the tab. Click the speaker icon, and it will automatically mute the tab.