Safari Tip: Open targeted links in a new tab

Before I got my Mac I was a die hard firefox user. I used firefox for almost 99% of my web browsing. Even before I was a firefox user I was a die hard keyboarder (I hate slowing myself down by using a mouse). When I got my Mac Book Pro in 2007 for the Webmaster Jam Session, I soon found that maybe safari was a better choice for my keyboarding habbits. While firefox (in many ways) works the same on all operating systems, one little thing drives me crazy about it on the mac. It skips over several form elements while using the tab key (Drop Downs, checkboxes, radio buttons). This is what drove me to use Safari.

After a few months of getting used to clicking on the navigation compass instead of the phoenix fox surrounding the earth, I grew to love some of the features even more than firefox (especially the way that you can drag tabs in and out of workspace windows). There was one little thing that I could not find though. How to open targeted links in a new tab instead of a new browser window. This means that any link you click that has a target=”_blank” is automatically opened in a new window. This is fine until you have 15 different windows open. 15 tabs are much easier to manage. To make this change requires only one simple command be typed in a terminal window. Here is what you do:

  • Close Safari
  • Open Terminal.app (found in the utilities folder under applications)
  • Type in the following:

    defaults write com.apple.Safari TargetedClicksCreateTabs -bool true
    exit
  • Close Terminal
  • Restart Safari

Now targeted links will open in a new tab every time you click them. If you want to turn this feature off you can simply type the command again with -bool false instead of -bool true.

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