Safari Refresh Button

This no longer works for Safari 4.0 – sorry

After reading a recent post on Daring Fireball about the problems with the Safari Tabbed interface present in Safari 4, it reminded me of a quibble that I have of my own.

The new tabs always annoyed be, so from the minute that I started using the new Safari 4 beta I quickly Google-searched 1 for how to turn off this new behaviour. I came across this page Safari 4 Hidden Preferences which has instructions for turning off quite a few of the features.

I immediately reverted the tabs to the previous tab layout as I found the new look tab bars to be annoying at best and definitely echo-ing the thoughts expressed in the Daring Fireball article

Then, I was happily browsing around the internets2 trying to build up motivation for the redesign of this site. Today, the motivation was at an all time high so off I went to start the redevelopment of synapticloop. Hopefully this will organise the site a little better and enable me to complete some of the many projects that I am working on.

So with the re-design was back on schedule, I went to work. Now as a developer I constantly click on the refresh button to reflect the latest changes to the design. With Safari 4 this is what I get to look at on the interface:

Safari 4 Refresh Button

Safari 4 Refresh Button

Note the tiny little button, right next to the RSS feed.

Although I have been using Safari 4 since it was released, the tiny inkling of something odd and annoying didn’t really hit until I was starting up the development process that I discovered what that tiny little itsy-bitty niggly annoying thing was.

It was that damn refresh button.

Why does it annoy me you may ask?

On the button size, firstly, it is smaller, and secondly when the page is loading and the mouse hovers over it, there is a subtle change in the icon, from a spinner to a cross. This subtle change is enough to distract my attention momentarily.

More importantly is the impact on how I work with a new site.

Browser Layout

Safari always opens up in the same location, and more specifically the top left hand side of the browser is in a constant position relative to the screen. This is a good thing, the close, minimise and maximise buttons are always in the same position. The back and forward buttons are always in the same position, the font resize buttons are always in the same position and until recently, the refresh button was always in the same relative position.

With the update of the new refresh ‘button’ location, this also is in the same relative position to the screen – albeit at the top left of the screen – until of course the browser is re-sized.

Unfortunately for me, I constantly resize my browser to test flow and layout, this in turn leads to the refresh ‘button’ changing with the length of the URL field. So instead of using muscle memory and going straight to the location I find myself scanning the URL field for the left hand side and then moving the mouse to the refresh button.

This extra fraction of time and effort on my part is simply not conducive to a good work environment and all those little fractions add up until I once again had to revert to the old ways.

So, back to the Safari hidden preference pane page to put back the refresh/stop button in the correct place. As a side note, when you enable both of these:

$ defaults write DebugSafari4IncludeToolbarRedesign -bool NO
$ defaults write DebugSafari4LoadProgressStyle -bool NO

You will then have to customise the toolbar and add back the button until you have:

Safari 'old skool'

Safari 'old skool'

Much better, I may well be a creature of habit, but habits (both good and bad) are hard to break.


  1. I know that most people use ‘Googled’ however Google is trying to stop people turning their brand name into a verb, so I am just trying to be nice!
  2. I really like this term

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