Safari: Saved Searches & Finding Text on Pages

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Using Command-F in Safari to find search terms on a page is pretty much the most helpful thing in Web browsing since—well, since ever, really. It’s the kind of very basic trick that, if you show it to your technologically impaired uncle, he’ll practically explode with glee about the magic of it all and the wizardry that you embody. But did you know that Safari makes finding things even easier than using that keyboard shortcut? Let’s check it out.

So first, type whatever you want to look for in Safari’s search bar. (I’m resisting the urge here to call it “Safari’s Google search bar” mainly out of respect for the seven of you who are using Bing as your default instead.)

Then click on a link from your search results to bring up a page. After you do so, Safari will have helpfully stored your search term. It won’t tell you that it did, but believe me, it’s there. If you hit Command-F at this point, you can verify that whatever you wanted to find is already populated in your “find on page” field. 

OK, why is that so awesome? It’s because after you’ve searched for something on the Web, you don’t even need Command-F at all, thanks to the joy of Safari’s Find Next and Find Previous commands.

So let me paint you the full picture. You do your Web search in Safari. You click on a link to open a page. Instead of messing around, you immediately hit Command-G, and Safari pops you right to the first result on the page. Hit Shift-Command-G instead, and you’ll be taken to the last result on the page. As each result is found, it’ll be highlighted in yellow briefly and then fade to grey all nice-like.

You can continue tapping either shortcut to cycle through all of the times your word appears, and you’ll quickly have whatever piece of information you’re looking for. Techno-happiness, commence!

Techno-depressingly, though, I have a couple of caveats for you. First, Safari will only auto-find the first word you searched for. So if you Google “Ocarina of Time,” the term that’ll be used when you hit Command-G is “ocarina,” not the full phrase. Which is kind of a bummer.

That is, unless you’re clever enough to realize that putting the phrase in quotes makes Safari see the whole thing as a single search. Hooray for easy solutions!

Your second (albeit very minor) caveat is that this won’t work if you use the search bar on Google’s page (or any other) instead of Safari’s built-in one. 


Nope, this won’t do the same thing at all.


I suppose you can see how doing searches this way is much faster than trying to use Command-F and having to type stuff in all of the time. And that’s how you make finding things on a page as easy as falling off a log. Which, from what I hear, is pretty easy. Never tried it myself, but I have fallen off of some other things. Do wagons count? 

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If you are searching for a word or phrase that is on a webpage, in a document or email that you simply want to know more about or find a definition, you can right-click on the highlighted text and select “Search with <default search engine>”. Absolutely no typing whatsoever.

Lee Dronick

Thanks Melissa and mblaydoe!


Too neat, too cool, so much fun to read. I could have used your trick for searching out styles of mouse traps.

We had a wee mouse in the house a few weeks ago and it was so clever I got to calling it Melissa. But that night I couldn’t sleep knowing that Melissa might get squished, impaled or stuck to a board, walk the plank over the toilet, be electrocuted, or be be made a snack by the neighbour’s cat. So I gave Melissa a short stay of execution and the next day borrowed a humane mouse trap, placed my plank walk over a dry container and returned the cat to the neighbours.

We now have a family of mice in a gerbil house in the garage so Melissa is indeed a gal. My little guy is delighted and wants to play with Melissa. This spring, she and her descendants will be released and the naming of rogue mice in this house will be more carefully chosen; and I already have an appropriate one in mind. No need for a google search for that one.


In Safari, ‘command f’ will open the drop down Safari search menu
showing the last search entered and the number of times it appears in the
current page (or tells you “not found”). At this point you can type in a new
search string and proceed as you have stated above.

Melissa Holt

Thanks to Bluewing and mblaydoe for the tips!

And you’re welcome as always, Lee. smile

Melissa Holt


If you could see what your comment has caused this morning, I think you’d be very pleased. I insisted upon reading it aloud and have been chuckling to myself about it ever since. Well done, fine sir or madam! You win my Internets Award for the day.



Command+option+f gets you directly into the search bar without having to place your cursor there manually.

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