How Do I Make Safari Open Pages in a New Tab?

Introduction
You most probably have ran into this situation: there is a web link in a page you are viewing in Safari and when you click it, Safari will open the page in a new window. This behavior kind of defies the point of having a browser able to open pages in tabs. So what can you do? One thing you can do is right-click the link and select ‘Open in a New Tab’ (if you do not have a two-button mouse simply hold down the ctrl key while clicking the link). Alternatively you can hold down the Cmd-Key while clicking the link. This does works perfectly well for single links. How, however, can you make Safari open every link in a new tab without having to right-click or cmd-clicking?

What You Need
This works with Apple’s Safari Browser 4.x and on a Mac only. If you use Safari on Windows this will not help you.

Change Safari’s Beahaviour
To force Safari to open every link in a new tab you need to use an utility you already have installed on your Mac: the Terminal. To open the Terminal open the Finder, navigate to Applications, from there into the folder Utilites. In this folder you will find the Terminal application. Start it and type in the following text (best copy and paste from here):

defaults write com.apple.Safari TargetedClickCreateTabs -bool true

NOTE: you will have to restart Safari for the change to have effect.

Undo the Change
To undo the change simply open the Terminal again and type in the following (it’s the same command as before with the parameter changed from ‘true’ to ‘false’)

defaults write com.apple.Safari TargetedClicksCreateTabs -bool false

NOTE: you will have to restart Safari for the change to have effect.

Summary
Having Safari open links in new Tabs by default can save you quite a bit of time and will reduce desktop clutter tremendously. And, it was not hard to do, was it?
Brian Leanza

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