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Computers

Safari for Beginners

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
This post is part of a series called Mac for Beginners.
Google Chrome for Beginners
iTunes for Beginners

Using a Mac for the first time can be a daunting proposition, especially for those with no prior computing experience. In this tutorial I will show you how to navigate the Internet using Apple's Safari web browser from the perspective of a complete beginner, whether you have limited knowledge, or have never so much as switched on a computer before.


Safari Explained

Safari is a web browsing application that is bundled with every Apple computer, tablet, and smartphone. Like Internet Explorer and Firefox, Safari can be thought of as your window to the web, displaying text, images, and video in the form of a website.

Safari's greatest asset is that it can synchronise all of your favourite websites, across every iDevice that you own, using iCloud. The Safari browser itself is fast-loading and, more importantly, secure -- ensuring that your personal data is safe and sound from unauthorised access at all times.


Browse the Internet

For the purpose of this tutorial, I am going to visit a website named Google, which is an Internet search engine. You may navigate to another website if you wish.

Each website is assigned with a unique address, known as a Uniform Resource Locator (URL), identifying that page's exact location on the World Wide Web. For example, Google's URL is http://www.google.com, although the extension (.com) may vary from country to country.

Step 1: Launch Safari

Launch Safari by clicking the icon resembling a compass in the Dock.
Launch Safari by clicking the icon resembling a compass in the Dock.

Launch Safari by clicking the icon resembling a compass in the Dock. The Dock is the icon bar situated at the bottom of the screen.

Step 2: Enter a Website Address

Enter a website address into the address field running along the top of the screen.

Enter a website address into the address field running along the top of the screen.

Enter a website address of your choosing into the address field running along the top of the screen, and then press the Return key.

For the purpose of this tutorial, I have visited Google, an Internet search engine.

For the purpose of this tutorial, I have visited Google, an Internet search engine.

Once the website in question has loaded, you are free to browse or, alternatively, repeat this step to navigate to another website.


Create a New Window or Tab

Occasionally, you may wish to view more than one website at a time. This is achievable through creating a new window, which is another full-frame Safari browser screen, exactly like the one you are looking at right now, or a tab, which is essentially a window inside of your current window.

Here is an example of tabbed browsing. You can jump from tab to tab by clicking on the tab's title.
Here is an example of tabbed browsing. You can jump from tab to tab by clicking on the tab's title.

Launching a new tab rather than a window is generally more convenient as it saves on space, leaving you to browse each website from a single window rather than several, which can look somewhat cluttered.

Click File and then New Window to open a new window.

Click File and then New Window to open a new window.

Click File and then New Window to open a new window, or File and New Tab to create a new tab.

You can also click on the + icon in the right-hand corner of the screen to create a new tab, too.

You can also click on the + icon in the right-hand corner of the screen to create a new tab, too.

Alternatively, you can also click on the + icon in the right-hand corner of the screen to create a new tab, too, in addition to pressing and T simultaneously on your keyboard, or and N to open a new window.

Here is an example of browsing the Internet using multiple windows.
Here is an example of browsing the Internet using multiple windows.

Add a Bookmark

Bookmarking a website is similar to bookmarking a physical book, albeit digitally. Safari will keep a record of every website that you bookmark, ready to be viewed at a later date, meaning that you do not need to memorise an ever-growing list of website addresses.

As I previously mentioned, iCloud will automatically sync your bookmark collection across every iDevice that you own, so long as you are signed into your iCloud account.

Step 1: Share

Click on the Share icon and then Add Bookmark.

Click on the Share icon and then Add Bookmark.

Click on the Share icon situated to the left of the address field and then Add Bookmark.

Step 2: Choose a Location

Save your bookmark to the Bookmarks Bar or Menu.

Save your bookmark to the Bookmarks Bar or Menu.

Save your bookmark to the Bookmarks Bar or Menu by selecting your desired location from the drop-down menu and then click Add.

Step 3: Access Your Bookmarks

You can view your saved bookmarks via the Bookmarks Bar or Bookmarks Menu.

You can view your saved bookmarks via the Bookmarks Bar or Bookmarks Menu.

Websites added to the Bookmarks Bar are displayed directly underneath the address field, while websites saved to the Bookmarks Menu can be viewed by clicking Bookmarks and scrolling down the menu. Simply click on the website name to view.

Click Bookmarks and then Show All Bookmarks to access your entire bookmark collection.

Click Bookmarks and then Show All Bookmarks to access your entire bookmark collection.

You can access your entire bookmark collection by clicking Bookmarks and then Show All Bookmarks, or by clicking the Book icon situated on the Bookmarks Bar.


Add a Website to Your Reading List

Safari’s built-in Reading List makes it easy to save pages and articles that you’d like to read later. If you want to learn more about Reading List, you could always bookmark our quick tip How to Use Safari’s Reading List to come back to later.

By adding a website to your Reading List, you can access it offline for later use. This can prove to be especially useful on long commutes where an Internet connection is scarce, for example, or if you would simply prefer to save a specific article to read at a time convenient for you.

Click on the Share icon, then select Add to Reading List.

Click on the Share icon, then select Add to Reading List.

Visit the website you would like to add to your Reading List and then click on the Share icon. Select Add to Reading List and Safari will then download and store that particular website for offline use.

Tip: Clicking the Share icon also enables you to share a website with friends and family via Twitter, Facebook, iMessage, or email.

Click View and then Show Reading List to view your Reading List.

Click View and then Show Reading List to view your Reading List.

To view your Reading List, click View and then Show Reading List, or click the Glasses icon situated on the Bookmarks Bar. Click on a website within your Reading List to access.


Manage Your Browsing History

Safari will keep a log of every single website that you have visited within a certain timeframe. This is known as your browsing history.

View Your History

Click History and then Show All History.

Click History and then Show All History.

Click History and then Show All History. This will draw up a list of every website you have visited recently, categorised by date.

Show All History will draw up a list of every single website you have visited recently, categorised by date.

Show All History will draw up a list of every single website you have visited recently, categorised by date.

Search History

If you would like to search for a specific webpage, type a keyword into the Search box.

If you would like to search for a specific webpage, type a keyword into the Search box.

If you would like to search for a specific webpage, type a keyword into the Search box located in the top right-hand corner of the screen and then press the Return key on your keyboard.

Clear History

To clear your History, click Safari and then Reset Safari.

To clear your History, click Safari and then Reset Safari.

If, for whatever reason, you would like to erase your History, click Safari and then Reset Safari.

Check the Clear History box and then click Reset.

Check the Clear History box and then click Reset.

Check the Clear History box and then click Reset.


You Did It!

In this tutorial, I introduced, for the beginner, a number of features to help you navigate your way around the Internet using the Safari web browser, and I explained their basic function. Did you find this tutorial helpful? Please feel free to ask questions below.

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