6/10/09
10:26 am

MacMost Now 251: Safari 4 Top Sites Feature

Take a look at the Top Sites feature of the new Safari 4. It gives you a 3D preview of your most visited sites which you can customize to suit your needs. You also get a searchable coverflow view of your browsing history.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Gary Rosenzweig: Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. In todayís episode, letís investigate the new Top Sites feature in Safari 4.
So now that Safari 4 is out and public and everybody should have it, weíve got the new Top Sites feature as our new home pages. Well you donít have to have it as your home pages. Weíll take a look at all the different options and how to get the most out of Top Sites.
So hereís Top Sites. Itís a 3D preview of some of the websites you visit most often. You can go ahead and select any one of these sites and click on it to go directly to it. Youíll also notice a couple things like these stars in the upper right hand corner of a couple of the pages. This means that thereís new content on those pages. So for instance, like a new site like CNN right here, you can see that the siteís been updated.
Now to get to Top Sites at any time you can use this button here in your bookmarks bar. You can get right back to it. You also can set Top Sites as your homepage. In Safari preferences, you can set new windows to open with and you can set it to be several things. The first choice is Top Sites. You could also set it to be your homepage which is a page that you choose and an empty page, the same page as the one youíre looking at now when you select new window or a list of your bookmarks. If you want to set a homepage you can set it right here. Also you can set what new tabs do. You can also set that one to Top Sites as well.
Now inside of Top Sites you can edit what you see there. So click the edit button in the bottom left hand corner. Now you get two options at the top left of each of these. One is an X another is a push pin. If you click on the push pin it will go ahead and make sure the site remains there in your Top Sites. So in other words it wonít vary depending upon how often or not that you visit that site. If you click the X itíll remove that from Top Sites and fill in another one at the bottom right. And it will never add that site again to Top Sites unless you specifically do it. Another option youíve got here is small, medium, and large at the bottom right. Click on small and you have much smaller previews room for more. Click on large and you have much larger previews, room for less. But you can actually tell whatís going on in the large preview which is one of the reasons I like it.
Now, you can also in edit mode move these sites around. So for instance, if I wanted to move this one over here, I could. I can move them around and that way I can actually really customize this and just put pages I want on here and not leave it up to the ones that I visit most and having Safari decide which ones those are. Now if you want to go ahead and specifically add something to Top Sites, the way to do that is to open up a second window and go to a page and in the second window youíve got the address bar here and you have the little icon which is near the address bar. You can click that and drag that into your Top Sites window there and it will add it right there and then close this window. Now we have that one there and click done and it will remain there. You have to do that in edit mode and once youíre there or course, it automatically is push pinned since you added it there manually but you can always delete it there with an X. So if you do actually delete something with an X and you want to add it back, you can add it back manually and it will forget that you ever hit the X and in fact add a push pin to it. You can also remove these push pins at any time by clicking on it again.
Now, in conjunction with Top Sites youíll see at the bottom right hand corner a little search history thing. So instead of actually just looking at your history in a list you can actually click on that and it will bring up a coverflow view of your history. And you can go ahead and search it as well and it will limit what it shows in your search history and you can still view it via this coverflow view showing previews of the pages and also it shows at the bottom, just like Top Sites the URL and the page title. You can also click the clear history button right there if you want to start all over again and you can also reset Top Sites using that clear history button. But use those with care because then youíre starting all over again with all your presets and your customized pages gone out of your history and off of Top Sites.
Thereís a quick look at the new Top Sites feature in Safari 4. I really recommend that you try it. Try setting your open new page and open new tab to Top Sites and try it for a week or two. I found that after a little while I grew used to seeing the previews displayed like that and it was kind of convenient.
Til next time this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 2 Responses to “MacMost Now 251: Safari 4 Top Sites Feature”

    Daniel
    6/10/09 @ 8:38 pm

    Gary,
    You forgot to mention that Bookmarks in Safari 4 can be viewed in cover flow view
    by default now.
    Customize Toolbar looks like it may have a few more buttons but not sure on that one.

    Bob Hill
    10/18/10 @ 9:38 pm

    Top Sites is a fancy version of Microsoft’s FAVOURITES!
    Setting, resetting & adjusting those sliding windows is impossible!
    Has this difficulty ever been reported by anyone else?
    Add cheese & heat. Voila, Mac & Cheese! The most over rated & useless system. Or just buy a Microsoft unit. Bare bones Macs are too costly, when adding useful programs, that are included with Billy Gates machines.
    BH

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