Safari: Better Browsing Through Command-Clicking

| TMO Quick Tip

You people must think I spend my computer time endlessly clicking on everything, holding down various modifier keys as I go. That’s pretty much true. What’s also true is that more often than not, doing so yields me awesome shortcuts that I didn’t know about before. One of the examples of this is that Command-clicking on the page title in Safari pretty much changed the way I browse, and I’m hoping that this tip will do the same for you. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that you’ll look like a Mac ninja to anyone who’s watching you.

As TMO’s own Jeff Gamet already told us, you can Command-click (or right-click, if you prefer) a Finder window’s title to get a hierarchical view of where you are. It’s like a virtual trail of breadcrumbs leading you back to where you came from.

The neat thing is that this behavior is mimicked all throughout Mac OS X. For example, you can use it in Terminal to find out what your working directory is and where it lies in the hierarchy of your drive.

You can use it in Mail, too. Double-click a message to open it in its own window first, and then use this trick to see what folder that e-mail is in.

It’s also handy in document-creation programs like TextEdit and Pages to figure out where you’ve saved the current file, especially with Lion’s Auto Save feature doing most of the work for you. After all, when it’s been six weeks since you last saved your document, where you originally put it may slip your mind.

But the best implementation of this feature (in my relatively humble opinion, at least) is in Safari. Command- or right-clicking the name of your Web page in the toolbar shows you the hierarchy of the page you’re on, regardless of whether you’ve visited the home page or subsequent pages in the list.

As you can imagine, this is darned useful for navigating through sites and popping into a different place if you need to. It’s much faster than deleting the text you don’t need from the URL bar, that’s for sure! Now go forth, my ninjas, and astonish those who would watch you browse. Just be certain to clear your history first if someone is indeed gonna be watching you, OK?



Hi Melissa!
Again, another great tip.
Though I knew the trick works in finder, I did not know it was so universal within Mac OS X. Cool!

BTW, I use Safari with Tab bar always showing many tabs, have multiple windows open, AND in Full-screen mode.
Do you know a way to use this ‘command-click’ feature in Full-screen & Tab mode?

My ‘command-click’ in Safari, is to open a link into a new tab, not into the same window/tab.



Lee Dronick

Thanks! I never knew the webpage name trick, it can be real handy.


The Safari trick doesn’t work in full screen mode because there is no heading to click on. Is there another option?

Melissa Holt

You’re welcome, Lee! Thanks for reading.

Melissa Holt

PV and Dr.MORO,

This trick should work just fine with tabbed browsing (that’s what I use), but as far as I can tell, there’s no way to show that title bar in full-screen mode. What I usually do is hit the shortcut to exit full-screen mode (it’s Command-Control-F), do what I need to do, and then hit the shortcut again to go back to full-screen. It’s the long way around, but what are you gonna do?

I’ll keep messing with it, and if I figure out something, I’ll let you know.


Lee Dronick

I too have experimented with it in full screen mode, but have not yet found a way to do it.

John Dingler, artist

Right-clicking (for those with non-Apple mice) does the same.


Closely related, Spotlight (system search) used to show you the path to a file, but that pathway is no longer shown with Lion. Do you know of a way to get Spotlight to show file locations?

Melissa Holt

Do you know of a way to get Spotlight to show file locations?

Hey danvdr,

Yep! (Check out the last paragraph.)

You can also Command-click any item in Spotlight, and it’ll show it in the Finder rather than opening it.



Thanks. It’s a little annoying that you have to do the extra key strokes, but at least it’s there.
Happy clicking.


Melissa, you Lady Macs rule the clever tongue at TMO.

I?d forgotten the ol? ctrl title page click trick, which I believe has been round since the age of Gil in some incarnation or other. But fog brain is my second name.

Now, if you could service us (me) in search tricks in finder I would save a bundle in aspirin and tissues.

Melissa Holt

You’re welcome, danvdr!

mhikl, thanks for the compliment. smile

Now, if you could service us (me) in search tricks in finder I would save a bundle in aspirin and tissues.

Maybe this will help? It’s on the “All My Files” feature, which I use for searching sometimes. You could also check out this tip, which may be useful for understanding search tokens (Finder now uses a similar feature).

Hope that helps!


Now I have an excuse to get out of not only vacuuming (Particle Debris) but more numbdane Saturday household chores. We (I) have a priority Saturday list (Ava has the other six days of priority lists, dang)?thankfully, French metrics failed to give us the ten day week. (Boy, those guys know how to push a good idea off a cliff.)

August was holiday month and you were new to TMO so the long-in-tooths took priority.

Not any moooore.

Melissa Holt

I am happy to be of service, mhikl?and I’m always excited to get someone out of chores! wink

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