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Hands-on with OS X Mavericks: Safari and iCloud Keychain

Jason Snell | July 15, 2013
Sure, Safari is its own app, but new OS X versions tend to bring new versions of Safari, and Mavericks is no exception. Safari 7 offers a new sidebar, plug-in management, a redesigned Top Sites page, performance improvements, and a new feature designed to remember your passwords without compromising security.

Sure, Safari is its own app, but new OS X versions tend to bring new versions of Safari, and Mavericks is no exception. Safari 7 offers a new sidebar, plug-in management, a redesigned Top Sites page, performance improvements, and a new feature designed to remember your passwords without compromising security.

Sidebar full of links
The Mountain Lion version of Safari offered three features that could be accessed via buttons on the far left side of what it called the Bookmarks Bar: Reading List, Bookmarks, and Top Sites. Safari 7's newly rechristened Favorites Bar features only two: Sidebar (which somewhat confusingly still uses the Bookmarks icon of an open book) and Top Sites.

The new Sidebar is the new home of Bookmarks, Reading List, and the new Shared Links feature. It's a gray bar (minimum width: 300 pixels) that lives on the left side of the browser window. To open it, click on that book-shaped Sidebar icon on the toolbar, or choose Show Bookmarks Sidebar, Show Reading List Sidebar, or Show Shared Links Sidebar from the View menu. (There are also keyboard shortcuts--Command-Control-1, 2, and 3, respectively. You can toggle the Sidebar on and off by pressing Command-Shift-L.)

Bookmarks in Safari
Safari's sidebar, full of Bookmarks

In previous versions of Safari, going to the Bookmarks view replaced the contents of your browser window with a bookmark editor, where you could drag and drop bookmarks and rename them. That window is still there if you choose Show Bookmarks from the Bookmarks menu, though it's now a hierarchical view full of folders, instead of the weird old interface where different folders were in a separate sidebar of their own. If you want to do organizational work on your bookmarks, this is still where you need to go.

But in parallel there's this new Bookmarks tab in the Sidebar, which gives you one-click access to your bookmarks. Just click on a bookmark in the Sidebar, and Safari loads that page on the right side of the same window. Click on a folder to show or hide its contents. You can drag items around can edit them by Control-clicking on them and choosing Rename Bookmark or Edit Address. You can change the name by clicking and holding for a few seconds. There's also a search box above the top of the list, if you need to find a specific bookmark.

The new Bookmarks tab seems like a nice approach for people who want one-click access to more bookmarks than will fit on the Favorites Bar, or as an alternative for people who simply prefer the Sidebar to the Favorites Bar. And it's a much more accessible way to organize your bookmarks than the old view. As for me, my Favorites Bar handles my most important bookmarks just fine, and the Bookmarks menu does a decent job with the rest. I'm not sure I'll be spending a lot of time in the Bookmarks tab of the Sidebar.

 

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