Modify Safari's Bookmarks menu behavior

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If you’re a regular Safari user, by now you’re probably familiar with the various tab- and window-related keyboard shortcuts—hold Command while clicking a link, for instance, and Safari opens the link in a new window (or tab, depending on your preferences). But did you know you can use keyboard shortcuts with the Bookmarks menu as well? Using a couple of different modifier keys, you can force Safari to open sites in the Bookmarks menu in new windows (or tabs), either in the foreground or the background. It works like this…

To force a Bookmarks entry into a new window (or tab), hold down the Command key prior to selecting the Bookmarks menu. The Command key need only be held down while you click the Bookmarks menu; once the menu is onscreen, you can release the Command key. Now when you select a bookmarked site from the menu, it will open in a new foreground window (or tab). To force it to open in the background instead, hold down Shift and Command prior to clicking on the Bookmarks menu.

Note that this feature might work somewhat differently depending on your tabbed browsing settings (in Safari’s Preferences -> Tabs section). When you enable tabbed browsing, Safari defaults to opening new tabs in the background, unless you check the “Select new tabs as they are created” box. In the default background mode, Command-opening an entry in the Bookmarks menu will open the selected item in a new background tab; using Shift-Command will force that tab to the foreground. If you have enabled the “Select new tabs are they are created” option, then the behavior is as described for new windows above—Command alone will open the new tab in the foreground, and Shift-Command will open it in the background.

The trick to making this all work is to press the modifier keys before selecting the Bookmarks item. If you press them afterwards, even while picking an item from the menu, they won’t have any effect.

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