Create a replacement Reload button for Safari 4

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In the final release version of Safari 4, Apple relocated the Reload button from the right side of the URL entry area to within the URL entry area, at the far right edge. Many users find this very annoying, as it’s hard to spot the button, and even harder to hit it with the mouse. Personally, it doesn’t bother me all that much, because I use Command-R to reload a page.

If, however, you prefer the button on the left, Mac OS X Hints reader Isaac Lim has come up with a workable alternative. In Safari, open any web page—it doesn’t matter which one, as you won’t be keeping it around for long. After the page loads, create a new bookmark (Command-D, or Bookmarks -> Add Bookmark). In the dialog that appears, name the bookmark Reload (or Rld or something similarly short).

For an extra special touch, rename it to a symbol instead of a name. Select Edit -> Special Characters to open the Character Palette. In the search box near the bottom, type open circle arrow then wait until you see a drop-down menu appear with two entries. Use the mouse to select the Clockwise Open Circle Arrow entry and press Return.

A 'fake' reload button in Safari 4

Make sure you’re still in the name section of the new bookmark dialog, and then click Insert on the Character Palette. The end result should look something like the image at left, which shows the symbol next to Safari’s Top Sites icon.

Whether using a name or a symbol for a name, make sure the pop-up menu is set to Bookmarks Bar, then click Add to create the new bookmark.

Your newly-created bookmark should now appear in your Bookmarks Bar; drag it all the way to the left if it’s not there already. Control-click on the Reload bookmark and select Edit Address from the contextual menu. Replace the address that you bookmarked with this simple bit of JavaScript:


Close the Bookmarks window (Command-Option-B), then load any Web page. Once it’s done loading, click on Reload on the bookmarks bar to reload the page. While this isn’t quite the same as putting the actual Reload button back on the left side of the URL entry area, those who have tried it seem to like this alternative. As a side bonus, you can now use Command-1 to reload a page, assuming you dragged the bookmark to the leftmost position on the Bookmarks Bar; this is the standard Safari shortcut for the first bookmark on the Bookmarks Bar.

If you ever tire of the new Reload button, just Control-click on it and select Delete from the pop-up menu.

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