Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Browsing and searching the web, part of Mac OS X El Capitan Essential Training.
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- There are lots of applications that come preloaded in Mac OS X. In this chapter, I want to focus on Safari. Safari is the web browser that comes with OS X and a web browser, of course, is the application that you use when you visit web pages on the internet. There are other web browsers that you could use like Chrome and Firefox but Safari is the one that comes bundled in OS X so it's worth getting familiar with it. I'm going to start by launching Safari. I've got it in the docks so I can just click on the icon there in the dock. I want to really get familiar with the basics of the interface here.
There are really two main interface elements we want to start with. First, there's the main part of the window, the big rectangle that we see here. Inside of this main rectangle, I can toggle between favorite sites and top sites. Now, you may or may not see what I'm seeing here. You might see a web page already loaded. This page is the default startup page in Safari so if you have not setup your own startup page, this is what you'll see. From here, I can toggle between favorites, and favorites are pages that have been bookmarked, and later we'll talk about making your own bookmarks, and top sites is a just a list of popular websites that you might want to visit.
If I click on any one of these, it will load the web page here in the main part of the window. This is, generally, what it looks like when you visit a web page. Now, the other interface element I want to talk about is this thin bar across the top. We have a few buttons on the left and a few buttons on the right and then the main attraction here is the address bar. This is the address for the web page that you're visiting. Think about the real world, if you go to somebody's house or you go to a store, pretty much any place you would go in the real world has a street address.
The same is true on the web. But on the web, you're not able to go to a web page unless you know that address or you find that address in a search. Let's say I want to go to a different page. The long way to do it would be to click on the address bar up here at the top, you'll see it highlights the current address that's in the address bar, I can hit the delete key and then I'll type in the address for that website. And I said I'm going to go the long way so I'm going to type in the full address here.
This is the format of a website address. But you really don't have to type all of this when you visit a website. In fact, you never have to type in this http part so I'm just going to delete that. This might look a little bit more familiar, www.amazon.com. This is the address for a very popular shopping website. Usually, a website will begin with www, not always but that's pretty common, then it'll have some word and then it'll have an extension at the end which would be .com, .org, .edu, something like that.
Of course, those different sections of the address are separated by periods. This is pretty typical but, again, you don't have to type all of this either. If the address for a web page begins with www., you don't have to type that either, you can just remove that. The computer will assume www. So if I want to go to amazon.com, usually, I could just type in amazon.com, press return, and that's enough of the address to take me to that web page. So that's pretty typical. Let's say I wanted to go to apple.com.
I could just click on the address bar, type in apple.com, hit return, and I go to that address. But sometimes you don't know the address for the website you want to visit. Maybe you don't even know the name of the website you want to visit. The address bar will double as a search bar. If you type in something that does not immediately conform to the format of a web page address, it will assume that you're typing in a search. I'm going to type in two words here, explore california.
I'm looking for a web page for this Explore California travel company. When I hit return on this, it performs a Google search. It searches the internet for those search words. Here, I can find a bunch of web pages that might relate to this search. Actually, one of them is the website that I was looking for. Whenever you see something where you roll your mouse over it and it turns into this little hand with a pointing finger, that means it's a link that you can click on. So I'm going to click on this and it loads that web page.
That's pretty much the standard experience of browsing the web. Either you type in the address for a web page you want to visit or you type in a search term and then you find the web page. Once you're on a web page like this, usually there are links. Again, when you see your mouse cursor change to this little hand with a pointing finger, you can click on it and it'll take you to another page. I could click on another link and go to another page. And now I'm surfing the web. I want to look at another important thing up in the bar up at the top. you've got a back button and a forward button.
If I hit the back button which is the button pointing to the left, it takes me to the immediately previous page that I was looking at. And now that I've gone back one step, now the forward button is lit up and I can go forward to the page I was looking at before I went back. Now, I cannot go forward again because there is no more page forward in the timeline. So those are the primary features of the interface. If I go into the View menu and I hit Show Sidebar or Show Bookmarks Sidebar, it opens up this sidebar here which is something we're going to be talking about later in this chapter.
But I wanted you to see there is the opportunity to see more of the interface. For now, I'm going to go back into the View menu and I'm going to hit Hide Sidebar. Finally, Safari works great as a full screen application. If you hit the green button up here in the top left, you jump to the full screen mode and then you can browse the web without any distractions. If you want to get out of full screen mode, of course, you can point your mouse cursor at the top of the screen, hit the green button again, and you're back in windowed mode. We're off to a pretty good start with Safari. What we've seen here in this movie should be all you need for normal everyday web browsing.
The rest of this chapter will get into more specific features in Safari.
- Setting mouse and trackpad options and gesture controls
- Connecting to the Internet
- Organizing your Mac OS X desktop
- Browsing files and folders with the Finder
- Launching and quitting applications
- Using Split View and multitasking
- Searching for files with Spotlight
- Browsing the web with Safari
- Setting up Mail, Calendar, and Contacts
- Connecting to others with Messages and FaceTime
- Working with notifications
- Installing apps
- Sharing over a wireless network
- Backing up your Mac