Disable Safari's URL tooltips

In Safari 2, if you hover over a link for a second or so, a small yellow box (called a “tooltip”) will appear displaying the URL associated with that link. While this is a very useful feature—you can see where you’ll be taken before clicking a link, for instance—some people find the yellow boxes distracting. In this previous blog entry, we offered one solution: change the delay until the tooltips appear.

However, for Safari, there are a couple of other alternatives. First, if you like tooltips in general, but would like to make them disappear without using your mouse, just press Return or Enter and the tooltip will vanish. This is especially useful if you’re reading a long block of text with lots of links and accidentally leave your mouse over a link too long. Instead of reaching for the mouse, just press Return or Enter and the tooltip will vanish.

The other alternative is to permanently disable tooltips, but only within Safari. Quit Safari, open Terminal, and type this command:

defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitShowsURLsInToolTips 0

Press Return when done, then relaunch Safari. Bingo—no more tooltips. If you ever want them back, just repeat the above command, but change the 0 at the end into a 1.

Note that the Safari 3 public beta seems to ship with tooltips disabled by default. If you prefer to see URL tooltips, run the above command with 1 at the end instead of 0 (and make sure you quit Safari 3 first).

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