It’s been a busy few days at the Software Update corral. First Mac OS X 10.2.5, then Safari Beta 2. There’s lots of discussion about the former, so I want to give you a brief overview of my three favorite features in the latest version of Safari.
What you’ll hear the most about in this beta are tabbed browsing, AutoFill forms, and Privacy Reset. Even though tabbed browsing is helpful, especially for those with 12″ screen laptops, I really have been waiting for AutoFill, and the Privacy Reset is a pleasant surprise.
After you download the new beta via Software Update or from the Safari page, go directly to Safari’s preferences. You have a few new items to adjust.
First stop is Tabs. Check the enable box and decide on which options you want. One cool thing Apple does here is give you the keyboard commands for controlling Tabs right there in the preference window. Basically, the tabbing works as you’d expect. One clever touch that tickles me is the little spinning “loading wheel” that occupies the right side of the tab telling you that the page is still rendering. Cute.
Next, go to AutoFill (Yaay!). Gosh I’ve missed AutoFill. Safari uses your “Me” card in Address Book for its AutoFill. So I recommend that you click the Edit button and make sure your info is the way you want it. Generally speaking Safari uses the top entry in any given category to complete the form. So, arrange your various email addresses accordingly. Then when you encounter a form, the command to fill it is under the Edit menu. There’s also a new button on your menu bar, as well as a new keyboard shortcut if you want to use that: SHIFT/CMD/A
But wait, there’s more. You can also have your web accounts and passwords available (stored securely in your Keychain). What a terrific way to help manage all those secure sites that have become a big part of our online life.
But I wouldn’t be quite as pleased about the password feature had Privacy Reset not been added too. The feature is included under the Safari menu as “Reset Safari…”. When you choose it, everything gets wiped: history, cache, downloads, Google search entries, cookies, saved names, passwords, and AutoFill text.
Now that’s thinking. So even though I welcome tabbed browsing with open screen real estate, AutoFill and Privacy Reset are my personal favorites here.