Software

How to search between Safari tabs on macOS

If you're a browser power user who frequently works with more open tabs than necessary, you'll be pleased to know that Safari makes it easy to find the tab you need.

If you work with a MacBook Pro or any other recently released Apple laptop, you might understand that there is only one browser truly fit for use— Safari. Although it is not the best choice in browsers, Safari is the only browser optimized so that it won't drain the MacBook battery like a kid on a juice box, which oftentimes makes it the only viable option.

However, Safari does actually offer a number of pretty interesting features. One particular feature is the ability to search all open tabs from one convenient location. Before you get too excited, this feature only searches through the tabs URLs and meta descriptions. This feature doesn't actually run full-on searches through every page you have open. Even with that limitation, it's incredibly handy when you tend to keep a large number of tabs open—making it nearly impossible to see which tab is which.

I want to demonstrate how to use this handy feature, so you can gain even more efficiency when working on your MacBook.

Tab Switcher Page

The first thing we must do is open the Tab Switcher Page. From within this page, you can give focus to any tab you currently have open. This page must be opened, in order to run the search. To open the Tab Switcher Page, click the [Shift]+[Command]+[\] key combination. You should now see thumbnails of all your open tabs ( Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

The Tab Switcher page open and ready.

Remember that shortcut. It's especially handy if you work with a lot of tabs open.

Searching the tabs

In the past, you've most likely hit the [Command]+[F] combination to run a search query on your open page. However when you have the Tab Switcher Page open, that search doesn't dive into the individual pages. Instead it only searches URLs and meta descriptions.

When you hit the [Command]+[F] combination and type your search query, any tab that matches your search will remain ( Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B

Querying my tabs for "news" gives me four open sites.

If you have a ton of tabs open and you're looking for one specific, simply type in a portion of the tabs URL and it will appear alone ( Figure C). Click on the revealed tab and it will come into focus, ready to work. So much easier than guessing or squinting.

Figure C

Figure C

Searching for the TechRepublic tab in a massive haystack of tabs.

No more guessing

And that's all there is to making use of the tab search feature in Safari. It's not a make or break option, but when you're a power user looking to make the MacBook experience as efficient as possible, it can go a long way to helping you work with ease. No more having to guess which tab is which—especially when you have dozens of open tabs.

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Image: Jack Wallen

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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