4:07 am

MacMost Now 575: Productivity Extensions for Safari

Take a look at four extensions that you might find useful. You can discover web page-specific keyboard shortcuts. You can select and jump to links using only your keyboard. You can lock tabs. You can make it easier to generate shortened URLS.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode, let's look at some Safari extensions that could increase your productivity. So you can get Safari extensions by going to Safari, Safari Extensions Gallery, and one of the main categories there is productivity. There are a lot of cool things under that. Let's take a look at some of them. When you go into your Safari preferences, and then click on Extensions, you can see which extensions you have installed. So let's take a look at these four. The first one I want to look at is something called Access Keys. Now, some websites have keyboard shortcuts that work on the different web pages. These are embedded into the code for the pages. The only problem is that you don't always know what these are. What Access Keys does is it puts them up at the top in a toolbar. So, for instance, I can see in here that there's a bunch of different access keys for this Wikipedia page. So, if I wanted to jump right to the discussion, I just need to use t. So, I would use command, option and t, and it will take me to the discussion page. So having this extension is a great way to discover which pages that you regularly go to have access keys, and then you can see what they are. Next, we've got one called Type To Navigate, which is another way to quickly get around a web page. So, when I have this extension installed, I can see a link on a web page, and instead of using my mouse, I can just start to type the characters in the link. And it will highlight it just like that, and I can hit return to jump right to that web page. So you see here in addition to return to jump to the link, I can use command G to jump to the next link on the page, command C to copy and command I to send it to Instapaper if I use it. So, here's a relatively simple one called Tab Lock. Now what this will do is it will lock a tab so you can't jump away from it. So I'll open three tabs here and let me go to a page, and say I want to stay on that page, I don't want to accidentally close this tab, I can hit the lock button that appears up here, I have a L in there and I can jump to the other tabs and if I try to accidentally close this tab, I get a box here making sure that I really want to close it. Finally, we have URL shorteners. Now, there's a whole category in Safari Extensions for these. They're not under Productivity, but this one called Shortly is a good one, and it allows you to use Google, Bitly or Tiny URL. So what you could do of course is you've got a long link like the one up here, you want to paste that into a tweet or an email, you just click the button it gives you and it will generate a short URL that you can then copy and paste into an email. It even works if the page itself has a short URL, like for instance the posts at MacMost.com do. It'll use those rather than creating one from one of these services. So, there's a look at some productivity extensions for Safari that I found useful. Till next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 2 Responses to “MacMost Now 575: Productivity Extensions for Safari”

    8/1/11 @ 9:13 pm

    Hi Gary.
    My eyes are not the same as when I was younger, and I’m having some trouble to enjoy the internet because of the font sizes they use.
    I use Firefox only because there’s an extension (they call it “add-ons”) that allows you to choose a percentage of increment on each page you use frequently, and also a global one.
    Now I’m trying Chrome, because it comes with this function integrated.
    But, as I use a Mac, an iPad and an iPhone, I would love to use Safari, so my bookmarks can keep automatically synchronized. However, as far as I know, there’s no extension for Safari that lets you set a default increment, and the setting in Safari that allows you to set bigger font sizes, produce wrap around mess.
    Do you know of any extension for Safari that might help me for this purpose?

    Last: thank you for your great podcasts! I’ve being following you since Omnifocus, and I think yours are -by far-the most intelligent, comprehensive and simple. Congratulations

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