5 Tips for Using Safari 8 in OS X Yosemite

El Capitain in Yosemite National Park with Safari compass logo

With the OS X Yosemite update, Apple’s Internet browser also received its own update. Safari 8 now matches the simple, flat look and feel of Yosemite as well as a myriad of performance improvements. The newest version of Safari is more than just a pretty face, though. Apple made some pretty interesting functionality updates and even added a few “improvements” that you may want to reverse, too.

Not only is Safari much faster than before, but it works seamlessly with your iOS 8 devices as well as with Handoff. With so many integrated features between iOS and OS X, using Safari really is your best bet. With this in mind, here are five tips for using Safari in OS X Yosemite so you can get the most out of the new browser.

SEE ALSO: 6 Professional Habits You Should Adopt Today

Tip 1: Show the Full Website Address in Safari

In a bid to make Safari look cleaner and simpler, Apple made it so the address bar in the browser only shows the main domain name, no matter what page you’re on. If you click in the field you can see the entire URL to copy, but it doesn’t show by default.

While this may be fine for most people, some of us need to see the URL to know where we are in a site. You can make Safari show this automatically; you just need to adjust a few settings.

Click on the Safari menu, then Preferences. On the Advanced tab, just click the checkbox next to Show full website address and bam! Now you’ll always see the full URL.

Advanced tab of Safari Preferences window

Tip 2: Show Tabs as Thumbnails

Tabs work basically the same way they always have in OS X Yosemite, with each new tab in Safari appearing at the top of the browser window as, well, tabs! Safari 8 allows you to take tabs one step further. Instead of just seeing a small name on a tab, you can now view your tabs as thumbnails, similar to how they appear in iOS.

To see how this works, open a few tabs and then click the Show All Tabs button, to the far right of the address bar in Safari. It looks like this:

Closeup of Show All Tabs button icon in Safari 8
Clicking this button will show you a list of all open tabs, with tabs from the same site grouped together:

Safari tabs shown in thumbnail view

In this view you can select the tab you want to view as well as close tabs or open new ones. If you have pages open on your iOS device, they will show at the bottom of this page, too.

Tip 3: Adjust Sharing With New Apps

A big feature in the OS X Yosemite version of Safari is the ability to add, remove, and adjust extensions for sharing. Now you don’t need to add toolbar icons or third-party applications that run outside of Safari to use RSS readers and social media sites for sharing Web pages. You can have these apps and services show up directly in your Share menu in Safari.

RELATED: How to Change Up the iOS 8 Sharing Panel

To access these and to add or remove available services, click on the Share button (first in the group of three in the right half of the bar) in the Safari address bar. Here you’ll see the currently available services. To add/remove them, click the More button at the bottom of the list.

Scrubly homepage in Safari, with apps showing in drop-down menu of Share button

In the window that appears, you can check or uncheck any of the available items. Add the items you want and drag them around to get the order that works best for you. Close the window when you’re finished.

Duplicate contacts killing your productivity? See how Scrubly can help in this 100-second video.

Tip 4: Show Favorites

The new Safari has changed how your favorites are displayed. Instead of finding them under the address bar as they once were, you now access them by clicking into the URL field at the top of the window. If you click here and don’t type anything, you’ll get thumbnails of your favorites.

Favorites shown in thumbnail view in Safari 8

If you’d rather see these in the Favorites bar where they used to be, it’s pretty simple to fix. Click the View menu and select Show Favorites Bar.

Tip 5: Use Reading List as an RSS Reader

While the Reading List isn’t necessarily a new feature in Safari 8 and OS X Yosemite, it works even better now. And yet it’s very underutilized by most users.

With the death of Google Reader, many people stopped using RSS readers altogether. Safari actually fills this gap nicely with its Reading List. All you have to do is add a site with a valid RSS feed to the Reading List and you’re subscribed. New updates to the site will automatically populate in your reading list, making it your one-stop shop for website reading.

Best of all, Reading List syncs seamlessly between Macs and iOS devices, so you can take your list with you automatically and never miss a beat.

To add a site subscription to your Reading List, navigate to the site you want added, then click the Sidebar button in the address bar (directly to the right of the forward/back buttons) and click the @ symbol. Here you’ll see a list of links found in your social media accounts by default. Click the Subscriptions button in the bottom left to continue.

Reading List shown in Safari 8 browser sidebar

Under Subscribed Feeds click Add Feed. As long as the site you’re on has a valid RSS feed, it will populate automatically.

Adding RSS feed to Safari 8 Reading List
Now you should see your new feed listed. If you don’t want to see your social links mixed in with your subscribed items, just uncheck the boxes next to each. Click Done and you’ll have a shiny new RSS list.

Scrubly blog posts showing in Safari Reading List RSS feed

Have a favorite tip for using Safari 8 that we didn’t mention? Leave it in the comments below.

Scrubly social-sharing menu.

Scrubly sign-up.