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Get more from web browsing with Firefox and Safari

Hidden features and third-party apps to make life easier

Getting frustrated with keeping track of tabs or pages that just won't load when you're browsing the web? These tips will help you ensure your time on the net is spent far more efficiently.

Improve site support

Once in a while, you might encounter a site that refuses to display properly or that generates an error message telling you your browser's not supported. However, you can sometimes outsmart such sites by switching the user agent setting, a trick that lets one browser masquerade as another. For instance, a site that doesn't work in Safari might work if you change the setting to Firefox.

If you're trying to log into a site that doesn't like Firefox, the User Agent add-on will let you pose as another browser. In Safari 3.1.1, you must first enable the normally hidden Develop menu. Choose Safari: Preferences, click on Advanced, and select the Show Develop Menu in Menu Bar option. If you encounter an unsupported site, select Develop: User Agent, and choose one of the browsers listed. Then, in the same tab, re-enter the URL you originally tried to visit. If you use Firefox, download the free User Agent Switcher add-on. This appends the User Agent Switcher submenu to the Tools menu; from here you can select a different browser.

If you're using a Mac, unfortunately, this trick won't always work. Some sites rely on features built into Windows, such as ActiveX controls or a PC-only plug-in. The only way to view these sites is by running Windows through Boot Camp or in a virtualisation program such as Parallels' Desktop 3.0 for Mac or VMware's VMware Fusion 1.1.2.

  1. Hidden features and third party apps that make life easier
  2. Tips for finding pages
  3. Keep bookmarks in sync
  4. Improve site support

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