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How To: Get Vertical Tabs on Safari 4 [10.6]

Ever wanted to give Safari 4 a fresh new feel? Or, have you ever wanted to use vertical tabs instead of horizontal tabs?

As MacStories readers, you should probably know how much I’m in love with Mozilla Firefox. Most of all, I absolutely love that addon called Tree Style Tabs, which allows you to display all your open tabs as a “tree” in a sidebar.

Finally, I’ve managed to get a similar result on Safari 4, under Mac OS 10.6.1 (but it should work fine on 10.6 as well). Well, it’s a sort of a workaround, but it definitely works.

All you have to do is download a Safari plugin called SafariStand and install it as a SIMBL plugin (and yes, SIMBL works again on Snow Leopard). Then relaunch Safari and set the tabs sidebar through the plugin settings.

Now, as you may notice, there’s a problem. Despite the plugin correctly displays your open tabs, Safari.app still displays them as well in the tab bar. That means that you have both a sidebar and an horizontal tab bar.  This happens because the plugin simply adds a sidebar, but doesn’t force the browser to remove the normal tabs. That’s not good.

But - as I said before - there’s a workaround. I’ve managed to fix this problem by editing with Interface Builder the Browser.nib file located into Safari.app (and it was difficult, I’ll post soon a tutorial about how to edit .nib files on Snow Leopard) removing the Tab Bar View. And, as you can see, it works.

screen-shot-2009-09-15-at-105525-pm

screen-shot-2009-09-15-at-105525-pm

All you have to do is download this file, right click on Safari.app -> Show Package Contents then navigate through Contents->Resources->English.lproj (or whatever language you use) backup your existing Browser.nib file and replace it with the custom one I made. Then, quit and relaunch Safari. You should only see SafariStand sidebar.

Don’t hesitate to leave a comment for any problem you have. Please note that I used Safari 4.0.3 for this tweak.

Enjoy :)

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