February 9, 2020

Unleash the potential of Safari reading lists

The Safari reading list is a relatively overlooked feature on macOS and iOS. This feature originally appeared in the OS X Lion and iOS 5 systems in 2011, but except for the offline cache that was added the following year, it basically remained the same for these eight years Compared with full-time read services such as Pocket and Instapaper.

I myself rarely used the reading list function before, but used inoreader to solve the needs of reading later. However as a native feature of the system, Safari reading lists have privileges that third-party applications can't reach. The "Add to Reading List" option is almost ubiquitous and always prominent in the first-level menu, and new links don't require more than two clicks at any time. Not only that, the reading list as a system service can always be running in the background and synced across devices almost instantly via iCloud.

After discovering these advantages, I have tried to make more use of the Safari reading list in recent months. I mainly use this function as a temporary storage space to process some pages that do not need to be saved for a long time

Although the reading list feature is relatively poor, this simplicity also makes it an ideal place to stage web pages. For pages that you occasionally encounter when you browse and want to save them temporarily, it ’s a bit of a waste of time to bookmark and tag them; many pages are not in the category of articles, so reading tools later is not the right place to go. In these cases, the reading list becomes the ideal choice.

The use of the reading list is very simple, there is nothing that needs special instructions, and unfamiliar users can read Apple's official support articles ( iOS version , Mac version ) for a more comprehensive understanding. However, the reading list function also has some relatively hidden techniques. After memorizing, you can further improve the efficiency of using it as a link temporary storage tool.
  • In Safari for iOS, the fastest way to add to the reading list is to long-press the bookmark icon in the toolbar and select the option; on Mac, the fastest way is to use the shortcut key ⇧⌘D.
  • On the iPad, the reading list interface supports drag and drop, and can be operated in batches: you can select multiple links from other applications and add them to the reading list, or you can select multiple items from the reading list and drag them out.
  • In Safari for Mac, you can add all the currently opened tabs to the reading list in batches via the "Bookmarks"-"Add this x tabs to the reading list" menu item; this feature is particularly suitable for those Use scenarios can to some extent make up for the lack of OneTab and other plug-ins in Safari .
  • Safari Reading List supports offline caching, but it is not turned on by default.
    • On Mac, this option is located under the Advanced tab in Safari preferences and is turned on by ticking "Automatically save articles for offline reading".
    • On iOS, this option is located in "Settings-Safari Browser", then open "Automatic Offline Storage" under "Reading List".
    • iOS doesn't seem to clean up the reading list cache in a timely manner. To manually clean up, go to Settings-General-iPhone (iPad) Storage-Safari Browser, and swipe the "Offline Reading List" item to the left.
  • Swipe down from the top of the reading list interface to see the search box, whose search scope includes page titles, links, and summaries.
  • In Safari for Mac, right-click an empty space in the reading list to find the option to clear the reading list.
  • After reading the bottom of a webpage, continue scrolling down to jump directly to the next webpage in the reading list; scrolling up from the top of the webpage jumps to the previous webpage. On Mac, you can also switch items in the reading list with the ↑ / ↓ shortcut keys.

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