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Posted on March 4, 2015 at 12:29 pm

Safari best practices: shortcut your bookmark favorites

Although ATPM.com is no more, every once in a while I get a hankering to write something that would have been well suited to the late e-zine. That hankering hit me recently when a coworker saw the bookmarks in my Safari web browser’s Favorites bar and wondered why I had numbers in front of each one, as follows:

My current Safari Favorites bar with number 1-9 followed by a pipe character preceding the first nine bookmarks. (Click to enlarge.)

My current Safari Favorites bar with number 1-9 followed by a pipe character preceding the first nine bookmarks. (Click to enlarge.)

What are those numbers and how did they get there? Well, how they got there is fairly obvious—I simply edited the name of the bookmark and placed the number and a pipe character in front of each one. (Yes, pipe character—the horizontal bar you get when holding Shift and typing a backslash \ character.)

But why did I do it? Turns out that unless you edit the default keyboard shortcuts, Safari assigns ⌘1, ⌘2, ⌘3, and so on to the first nine shortcuts in the Favorites bar. So by inserting the number in front of the name in a manner that minimally increases the width each bookmark occupies, I have a visual reminder that I can, for example, press ⌘5 to quickly access the web site for my office’s stock image vendor.

Addendum

With the release of Safari 9.0 (part of Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan), Apple has made the ⌘1 through ⌘9 shortcuts instead select the respective open tab, and you have to add the Option key to select the first nine bookmarks. But it’s easy to reverse this behavior and get the simpler shortcut back to bookmarks. Just head to Safari Preferences and click the Tabs section. In there, you’ll find a checkbox that says you can use ⌘1 through ⌘9 to select tabs. What it doesn’t say is that it’s really a toggle. When unchecked, holding Option while using ⌘1 through ⌘9 is now assigned to tabs, and just plan ⌘1 through ⌘9 goes back to the former (and more desirable, in my opinion) behavior of selecting bookmarks in the Favorites bar.

Head to Safari Preferences > Tabs to toggle the ⌘1 through ⌘9 behavior of selecting open tabs or loading bookmarks in the Favorites bar. (Click to enlarge.)

Head to Safari Preferences > Tabs to toggle the ⌘1 through ⌘9 behavior of selecting open tabs or loading bookmarks in the Favorites bar. (Click to enlarge.)

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One Response to “Safari best practices: shortcut your bookmark favorites”

  1. Lee Bennett on March 4th, 2015 at 12:42 pm says:

    Okay okay, for those voyeuristic enough to want to know:

    1 – Office web site
    2 – Office web site editor
    3 – Tool to sign off support staff hours worked
    4 – Records database for my office
    5 – Stock image service
    6 – Map of Florida area codes
    7 – Index of all Florida’s limited-access highway exits
    8 – Hemingwayapp.com writing tool
    9 – Where I fulfill new business card orders

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