Mac OS X to the Max: Going Further on the Web

There is a lot you can do to take your browsing on the Web to the max, including using keyboard shortcuts, checking out other Mac OS X Web browsers, and exploring useful Mac and other Web sites.

Using Internet Explorer Keyboard Shortcuts

Table 13.3 lists keyboard shortcuts for Internet Explorer.

Table 13.3. Keyboard Shortcuts in Internet Explorer
Action Keyboard Shortcut
Open Location graphics/symbol.gif+L
New Window graphics/symbol.gif+N
Open File graphics/symbol.gif+O
Close Window graphics/symbol.gif+W
Save As graphics/symbol.gif+S
Print graphics/symbol.gif+P
Select All graphics/symbol.gif+A
Find graphics/symbol.gif+F
Find Again graphics/symbol.gif+G
Show/Hide Explorer Bar graphics/symbol.gif+T
Minimize Window graphics/symbol.gif+M
Open or Return to Explorer Window graphics/symbol.gif+1
Open or Return to Favorites Window graphics/symbol.gif+2
Open or Return to History Window graphics/symbol.gif+3
Open or Return to Download Manager Window graphics/symbol.gif+4
Cycle Through Open Windows graphics/symbol.gif+~
Open Internet Explorer Preferences graphics/symbol.gif+;
Hide Internet Explorer graphics/symbol.gif+H
Quit Internet Explorer graphics/symbol.gif+Q
Add Page to Favorites graphics/symbol.gif+D
Update Subscriptions graphics/symbol.gif+U
New Favorite graphics/symbol.gif+K
Delete Favorite or Folder, no warning graphics/symbol.gif+Delete
Delete Favorite or Folder, with warning Delete
Move Forward graphics/symbol.gif+[
Move Backward graphics/symbol.gif+]
Refresh Page graphics/symbol.gif+R
Collapse Toolbars graphics/symbol.gif+B
View Source graphics/symbol.gif+E

Downloading Files Better with Interarchy

Many sites from which you can download files use the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to provide files to you. Your Web browser can handle FTP downloads, but a dedicated FTP application will handle FTP downloads much better than a Web browser. The speed at which FTP applications can download files is many times greater than a Web browser can achieve?for this reason alone, you should use an FTP client whenever possible. When it comes to FTP on the Mac, there are several excellent FTP applications. My favorite is Interarchy.

You can download, install, and configure Interarchy so that it is used to download files via FTP automatically. For example, you can configure it so that when Internet Explorer attempts to download a file using FTP, it will launch Interarchy and use it to download the files instead. The result for you is much faster and more reliable downloading.

First, download, install, and configure Interarchy.

  1. Go to

  2. Download the latest version of Interarchy. When the file has been downloaded, its disk image will be mounted on your machine.


    You can download a free evaluation version of the application. At press time, the Interarchy license costs about $45. If you don't like to wait while files download, this might be one of the better investments you can make.

  3. Open the mounted Interarchy disk image.

  4. Drag the Interarchy folder to the Applications folder or other location.

  5. Launch Interarchy.

  6. Choose Interarchy, Preferences. You will see the Preferences window. In the Protocol Handlers area, the "Use Interar chy for FTP" check box will be checked by default.

  7. Check the "Internet Explorer uses Interarchy for FTP" check box.

  8. Confirm the switch by clicking Switch in the resulting dialog box.

  9. Repeat the process for Netscape if you use that Web browser.

  10. Click Save and quit Interarchy.

Depending on the application for which you have configured Interarchy to be used, you might have to do some additional configuration in the application so that Interarchy will always be used for FTP or you can configure the application to use Interarchy manually. For example, when you configure Internet Explorer to use Interarchy from within Interarchy, Internet Explorer will still handle FTP files because it defaults to handle any files that it is able to handle directly rather than using Interarchy. You can use the following steps to configure Internet Explorer properly. You can also use similar steps to configure another application to use Interarchy for FTP (such as another Web browser).

  1. Open Internet Explorer and then open its Preferences window.

  2. Open the Protocol Helpers Settings window.

  3. Scroll down the window to see the FTP protocol. If you used Interarchy to switch the FTP settings, you might see it listed as the application used to help with FTP. However, if there is a check mark next to the application listed, this means that Internet Explorer will handle the protocol itself if it can, which in the case of FTP, it can. You want Interarchy to be used for all FTP transactions so you need to modify this setting.

  4. Select the FTP protocol on the list and click Change. You will see the Protocol Help Editor window.


    You can change the application used for any protocol by clicking the Choose Helper button and then selecting the application that you want to handle that protocol.

  5. Uncheck the "Use current application if possible" check box.

  6. Click Choose Helper.

  7. Use the resulting dialog box to move to Interarchy, select it, and click Open.

  8. Click OK.

  9. Click OK in the Internet Explorer Preferences window.

When you download files from the Web browser that are provided via FTP and you have configured the browser to use Interarchy, Interarchy will be launched and will download the file rather than the Web browser (see Figure 13.11). The result is that the files will be downloaded much faster and more reliably.

Figure 13.11. The Download button in Internet Explorer was clicked, but Interarchy is downloading the file.



Interarchy can do more than just download files for a Web browser. You can also interact with FTP sites directly. For example, in Interarchy, choose Home, List Bookmarks. You can open any of the folders you see to work with those FTP sites.

Using Internet Explorer Tricks

You can speed up your Web browsing by using the three tricks described in this section.

Using Contextual Menus

Internet Explorer provides a contextual menu you should use regularly to speed your access to a specific set of commands. As in other areas, to view the contextual menu, hold down the Control key and click the mouse button or you can simply hold down the mouse button for a moment or two (see Figure 13.12). This menu enables you to do much of what you may want to do without ever taking your hand off the mouse.

Figure 13.12. This contextual menu (for a Favorites bar item) enables you to quickly open a page in a new Web browser window.


Some options will not be selectable until you are in a position where selecting that option makes sense (for example, you can't choose the image commands unless your cursor is over an image). As you use this contextual menu, you will become familiar with the situations in which it can be helpful.

Opening More Windows on the World

You can have multiple Web windows open at the same time. What's so great about this? The windows in Internet Explorer are independent. That means that you can do different things in each?simultaneously. You can load related pages and see them side by side (for example, to comparison shop). You can be loading one page while you are reading another. You can browse a page in one window while you are doing a search in another. You will find this to be very useful, and after you use this technique, it will quickly become indispensable. The number of windows you can have open is limited only by your computer's processing power and memory and your screen's real estate. To open multiple Web windows, choose File, New Window, or better yet, use the contextual menu. You can use the new window just like any other one; enter a URL or click a link to move to a Web page.


You can open a link in a new window by holding down the graphics/symbol.gif key while you click it.

The downside to using multiple windows is that each must share the total bandwidth you have available because they all download at the same time (you can fit only so much data through your connection). With multiple data streams being downloaded, each stream will slow down somewhat compared to its speed if it were the only stream being transferred to your Mac. This isn't a big deal for two reasons. One is that your connection is used much more efficiently because data is constantly being downloaded to it (as opposed to when you are using a single window and much of the time no data is being transferred). The second is that you are doing something while the data is being downloaded (such as reading a page that already has been downloaded) and so your time is not being wasted staring at a partial page while it is being downloaded.

Although opening a new window and moving to a different site is useful, using multiple windows really shines when you are searching or when you are following multiple links from the same page. Try it a few times, and you will find that this technique will dramatically improve the speed at which you use the Web.

  1. When you find a link you want to follow, point to it, hold down the Control key, and click.

  2. From the contextual menu, choose Open Link in New Window. A new Web window will open, and the page will begin to download in it.

  3. While the Web page is downloading, move back to the first page and continue to read it (you can click the page in the background if you can still see it or choose it from the Window menu).

  4. When you find another link you want to follow, repeat Steps 2 and 3.

As pages finish downloading, you can jump to them to read them. This keeps you from wasting time staring at a page while it is downloading.

Customizing the Internet Explorer Toolbars

You can customize the Internet Explorer window in several ways, including the following:

  • Turn the various bars on or off. For example, you can get rid of the Button bar by choosing View, Button Bar.

  • Collapse all the toolbars by clicking the Collapse Toolbars button located just above the tabs, choose View, Collapse Toolbars, or press graphics/symbol.gif+B. This mode maximizes your viewing space (see Figure 13.13).

    Figure 13.13. With the toolbars collapsed, you get a lot more viewing space.


  • Quickly add a site to your Favorites toolbar by dragging the icon next to its address in the Address bar onto the Favorites toolbar.

  • Customize the toolbars by choosing View, Customize toolbars. You will see a Web page with additional buttons. You can drag any of these to the Button bar to add them to it. You can move buttons on the bar by holding down the graphics/symbol.gif key while you drag the buttons. Remove buttons from the Toolbar by holding down the graphics/symbol.gif key while you drag the button to the Trash.

Using Other Mac OS X Web Browsers

Although Internet Explorer is the default Web browser installed with Mac OS X, it is by no means the only Web browser available for it. Two Web browsers were released almost simultaneously with Mac OS X: iCab and OmniWeb.

Browsing with iCab

The iCab Web browser was one of the first released for Mac OS X. It offers features that are similar to those of Internet Explorer, but the interface is a bit different (see Figure 13.14).

Figure 13.14. The iCab Web browser is an alternative to Internet Explorer that is worth exploring.


Some users feel that iCab is quite a bit faster than Internet Explorer, but it seemed about the same to me. Web browsers are mostly a matter of personal preference.



If you would like to check out iCab, download a copy from

Browsing with OmniWeb

OmniWeb is a Cocoa Web browser published by The Omni Group, which is a leading Mac OS X developer. Its interface is the most "Mac OS X?like" of any of the browsers (see Figure 13.15).

Figure 13.15. OmniWeb is a Cocoa application and takes full advantage of Mac OS X's architecture and interface.




You can download OmniWeb from

Exploring Great Web Sites

Table 13.4 provides some Mac and other Web sites you might find useful.


Explore the default favorites that are included with Internet Explorer because there are many good Mac sites you can visit with them.

Table 13.4. Mac and Other Web Sites
URL Description Comments
Mac Sites Macworld magazine's Web site You can read the latest Mac news as well as search for information on specific topics. Apple Computer's Web site You can shop in the Apple Store as well as get support and read the latest Apple and Mac news. Home of MacCentral Online More Mac news. Ted Landau's MacFixIt site One of the best sites for help with Mac problems. Web home of MacHome magazine Read the magazine, download files, and more. Ric Ford's MacInTouch site An outstanding source of Mac news, especially for troubleshooting and update news. Home of Small Dog Electronics Check this site whenever you need Mac hardware or software. Part of the TechTracker Support Network You can find information on version updates for all sorts of Mac software and you can also download lots of software.
Other Sites Home This is the ultimate stor for books (and just about anything else you can mention). Home of Fox News This is a great site to help you keep up with the news. DVD Research site If you buy DVD movies, you must check this site out. You can find the lo est prices on any DVD. You will also get infor tion about sales and special deals that are offered by many sites. U.S. Library of Congress Web site An amazing collection of important documents, all available on the Web. Home of Que Publishing This is the company that brought you this book. Quicken's Home page All the financial news and tools you need in order to keep your finances in top condition.

    Part I: Mac OS X: Exploring the Core
    Part III: Mac OS X: Living the Digital Lifestyle