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How to minimize Safari's UI to the bare essentials - Browser Tip

Minimal Safari

When it comes to paring a browser's UI down to the smallest possible size, the discussion always seems to focus on Firefox. Granted, Firefox is a very customizable browser, and with the right extensions cleverly applied, you can minimize its UI. But as John Holdun notes, often overlooked in this regard is the fact that Safari is very capable of being pared down to almost nothing, and you don't need any add-ons to do it.

In fact, if you're comfortable with keyboard shortcuts, all you need to do is learn a few key ones and you'll be able to minimize Safari to a Title bar and tab bar. One warning - I've only tried this using Safari 4.0 on a Mac; I don't have easy access to Safari running on Windows, but I imagine that there are equivalents for the keyboard shortcuts I'm about to discuss.

Firstly, let's get rid of the Toolbar -- that is, the bar with the back and forward buttons, address bar, and search field. To hide the toolbar, click View > Hide Toolbar from the menu, or simply press the Command-| shortcut key. Don't worry, if you need to enter a web address quickly, you can either show it again using the same shortcut key combination, or better yet press Command-l to have the cursor automatically placed in the address bar. Type something and press enter, or tab to the search field and type something and press enter, and your page will open, and the Toolbar will immediately hide again. Slick.

The other desktop real-estate offender is the status bar at the bottom. Hiding it is just as easy - the shortcut key combination is Command-/. Like John, I tend to like to use the status bar to snoop on the destination address of links by hovering over them. This takes an extra step now, but the extra room gained by not constantly showing the status bar is worth the occasional inconvenience for me.


Tags: browser, browsertips, customize, keyboard, safari, shortcuts, status bar, status-bar, tab bar, tab-bar, toolbar, UI

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