Introducing Safarium

I recently switched to Chrome after using Safari for almost 3 years, and have been quite happy so far with the results: the memory footprint seems to be much better than Safari, everything feels incredibly snappy, and I’m now completely addicted to the unified location bar. But there were a few things that drove me absolutely crazy, and apparently I was not alone.


In Safari, when you hit <TAB> it moves your cursor’s focus between form elements, making it easy to navigate the page wthout using the mouse. In Chrome (and FireFox), however, <TAB> instead cycles through all clickable elements on the page: links, form elements, etc. When you have been hitting <TAB> for years to, say, skip directly to the search field on Amazon and then discover you need to hit <TAB> 14 times in Chrome to reach the search box, this becomes a killer feature.


This is another feature of Safari that I used on a regular basis. When you are within a form and hit <COMMAND-ENTER> in Safari, it will be submitted into a new background tab, allowing you to continue working in your active tab. This behavior exists elsewhere in Chrome: <COMMAND-ENTER> in the location bar will open the page in a background tab, and you can even <COMMAND-CLICK> a form’s submit button to open a new tab! But when you <COMMAND-ENTER> from a form element… nothing happens.

Safarium to the rescue!

After just a few days using Chrome, I became frustrated enough that I broke open the Chrome Extensions documentation and put together my own extension: Safarium. Right now it provides the <TAB> and <COMMAND-ENTER> features which I missed so much, and will provide more as seems necessary. It’s not up on Chrome’s extension site, yet, because it needs a logo and some other things, but you can use these intructions for now to get up and running:

First download the extension’s ZIP file. If it wasn’t automatically extracted, make sure to do so now. Next, in Chrome, pull up your extensions list (Window > Extensions). There should be “Developer Mode” link on the right which when clicked will reveal a few buttons. Click ‘Load unpacked extension…’, select the unpacked Safarium extension you downloaded, and that’s it! Happy <TAB>ing!