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Published 19 November 2015, last updated 1 December 2016

Safari quick-start overview

Here’s a quick look at some of the key features in Safari:

Tour of the Safari Home page

Your Safari home page gives you quick, personalized access to the vast content in Safari so you can quickly find content that is relevant to you.

In Your Queue

Here’s where you’ll find books, videos, and tutorials you’ve already set aside for future use. You can easily add items to or remove them from your queue right from this page by clicking the queue icon and you can also access the queue from the Queue mobile app .

Recent Items

You can quickly pick up where you’ve left off in recently accessed titles.

Popular in your Topics

When you first logged into Safari, you picked a few topics that interested you. These selected topics will drive what titles are recommended to you in this section. Add or remove topics to fine-tune these recommendations (here’s how).


A Safari Tutorial is a learning path covering a specific topic that takes you through essential content in the Safari library. Tutorials are curated by subject matter experts, so you’ll get the information you need to understand a topic and start applying your new-found knowledge right away. Click on a tutorial to get started, or read more about tutorials here.

Editors’ Picks

Here you’ll find a “list of lists” curated for users like you, to give you another angle on exploring the library. Click on a list to see the titles within it, and start queuing and reading/viewing ones that look interesting!

Early Release Titles

Through our relationships with our publishing partners, we often have access to work-in-progress titles before they are officially published. These titles are the cutting edge of new technology and knowledge to which you’ll have access to before the general public does.

New in Safari

Keep up to date with the most recent titles to read and watch in this section. New titles are added on a daily basis.


In the Trending section, you’ll see the most popular titles in all media and all topics, across all Safari users.


If you’d rather have someone else read to you, browse our selection of audiobooks. Audio titles use the same controls as our videos, including variable speed playback.

Popular Videos

This section gives you the video-only slice of our trending content. Read more about finding and playing videos here.

Recommended For You

This area shows your personalized recommendations, based on how you’re using Safari – including titles you’ve added to your queue and topics you’ve selected.

You can fine-tune your recommendations by adding and removing topics (learn how).

Safari Topics

Topics are a way that content is organized in Safari, and they inform the recommendations that are presented to you within the site.

When you first activate your account, you’ll be prompted to select a few topics of interest to you. You can also add or remove your selected topics at any time:

  • Click the Topics icon from the left navigation bar (or the “find” link on the Settings > Topics page).
  • Pull down the “Jump to Topic” menu to browse all topics.
  • In a topic box, click “Follow” to add the topic or “I’m not interested” to remove a topic
  • You can also remove topics by clicking the Settings icon in the left navigation bar and click the “Your Topics” link on the left side. Click a topic to remove it from your list.

Search and advanced search

There are a few different ways you can search for content in Safari.

First, you can use the “quick search” box in the upper right corner of many pages (though not within a book or video - more on this below). You can simply type in terms and hit your Return key, or you can choose to focus your search to title, author, or publisher (just activate the pull down menu by clicking on the word “Everything” or the down arrow next to it).

When you get to the search results page, you’ll be presented with other search and filtering options, to narrow your results by media, topics, and publisher, and choose how the results are sorted. You also still have the same filtering you had in the quick search box, to limit the search to title, author, or publisher. To access each of these menus, click on the gray text in the boxes.

Your choices for media include text and video (or all media). In topics and publishers you can select one or more topics from the pull-down list. To remove an item from the list, just click the x next to it. (Removing all items means your search will not be limited by this parameter.) You can sort by relevance, popularity, date added, or publication date to change which results appear at the top of your list. Changing any of these search parameters will immediately refine (or expand) the search and update your results in the page.

The search box also accepts boolean arguments so you can target your search even more precisely. Here are examples of some operations that are accepted:

  • "Terms in double quotes" – the terms have to be matched in sequence to return results.
  • AND, OR, NOT. The query john OR jon matches documents containing either of the two names. The query java NOT javascript matches documents containing java and not containing javascript.
  • Parentheses ( ) are useful for grouping terms.
  • Prefix a field with a colon (:) to restrict your search to that field:
    • author:C matches authors having the initial “C” in their names (but not books about C).
    • author:"John Smith" matches authors named “John Smith” unless they have a middle name.
    • author:John Smith matches authors called “John” whose books contain the word “Smith” anywhere.
    • publisher:Bantam matches publishers called “Bantam”.
    • publisher:O’Reilly Media Inc (no quotes) matches publishers called “O’Reilly” where "Media" and "Inc" occur anywhere in the same document.
    • title:(chicken soup code) matches titles with all three words chicken, soup, and code. A book titled "Code Soup: when developers play chicken" would match, for example.
    • title:"chicken soup code" matches books with those three words in sequence such as “The Chicken Soup Code Manual”.
    • publisher:O’Reilly text:java matches books published by O’Reilly having “java” in their text.
  • To restrict your search to audio book titles, add (“audio book”) to your search string.

You can also search inside a book while you are reading it.

Navigating videos and audio books

There’s a wide selection of videos and audio books in Safari, and they use the same full-featured player. You can also play videos in the Queue mobile app.

Searching/browsing for videos

On any browse screen, whether on your homepage, a topic page, or the recommendations on the bottom of a book chapter, you may see video or audio book content, which is signified for videos with the video camera icon:

...and for audiobooks with the speaker icon:

You can start watching or listening to this content right from these blocks, using the righthand button on the bottom. You can also add them to your queue with the queue button or get info on the content with the info button.

If you’re looking for something specific, you can narrow search results by media type “video” or type the phrase, including punctuation (“audio book”). (See here for more searching tips.)

Navigating clips

Video clips and chapters from audio books play in the item’s main page with its table of contents. You can scroll up and down through the table of contents and select a clip to play. When you finish playing a clip, you will be auto-advanced to the next clip. As you watch complete clips, your progress is indicated with a checkmark:

You can add or remove entire videos or individual clips to your queue using the queue icon.

Transcript/other tabs

Below the player window you’ll find one to four tabs with additional information:

  • Contents (the default tab) lists the clips available, which you can access directly.
  • Description (where provided) gives you a brief summary of what’s covered in the video or audio book.
  • Resources (where provided) are listed and linked here, including things like a link to the publisher’s website and errata pages
  • Transcript (available for select titles) gives you access to the written script of the video.

Player controls

Play/pause: controlled by either the button on the far left of the controls or by clicking in the middle of the video screen

Volume/mute: Roll over the speaker icon to reveal the volume slider, and click on the speaker icon to mute or unmute.

Progress bar/timecode and slider: The number on the left shows your position (minutes:seconds) in the clip, and the number on the right shows the total length of the clip. Grab the slider button and move it right or left to slide through the video or audio, or click on another point in the progress bar to jump there.

Closed captioning: When available, clicking this button will turn on subtitles for the clip. If there are no subtitles, clicking on that button will reveal a “no subtitles” message.

Variable speed playback: A really handy feature in the player is the variable playback speed. Click on the “1x” to reveal the options for playing the clip faster or slower than normal. You can play clips as slow as half speed (0.5x) or double speed (2.0x).

Quality settings: Use the quality settings tool to adjust the quality of your video for your screen size and bandwidth. Higher pixel numbers (and “HQ” next to a number) give the highest resolution and quality, but use the most bandwidth.

Full screen: This button toggles between the default video player size and full-screen display. To exit full screen, you can either click your browser’s “Exit full screen mode” button or hit your keyboard’s ESC key.

Highlights and notes

When you run across specific passages you'd like to mark for future reference, write a note about, or share, you can use the highlight/notes tool. Simply select a portion of the text you're interested in (which will highlight it in yellow), and the highlights popup will appear:

Click on that popup icon and the Highlight dialog box will open, showing the text you selected, with a text box you can (optionally) type notes into, and a choice to make the note public or private (it’s private by default, but you can change that in your settings). Click save and that highlight/note will be saved. You can see your own highlights (public and private) by clicking on the Highlight icon in the lefthand navigation. You can also share your public highlights by sharing the URL of your highlights page (copying it and pasting it from the address bar in your browser). Regardless of how you filter the page for your own view, it will only show your public highlights to other users.


With the share button you can find in the right-side navigation when you're reading a book, you can share a link to the chapter you're reading with your friends and followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, or you can share the link through email. If your recipients don't have a Safari account, they will see a small snippet of the chapter and will have the opportunity to sign up for a free trial of Safari. If they do have a Safari account and are logged in, they will be brought to the chapter to which you linked with no restriction on the content.

Here’s where you’ll find the share tool:

And here's what it looks like expanded:

You can also use the highlights and notes tool to share publicly (see here).

Managing your queue

Your queue in Safari is where you can save your favorite titles, or ones you want to read, watch, or listen to later. It's really easy to add titles to your queue, and access them later.

This is the queue icon:

Adding titles to your queue

Anywhere you see the gray queue icon associated with a title, you can click it to queue (or if it's orange, click to unqueue) the full title, chapter, or clip. You'll see this icon on your home page, in search results, within books and videos, and in recommendations. Here are a few examples of where you'll see the icon around the site:

Accessing your queue

Your queue appears on your home page for easy access, but you can also click on the queue icon in the left navigation to access your full queue. Within your queue page, your queued titles are automatically organized by topic so you can quickly find what you’re looking for.

You can also access your queue from within the Queue mobile app for iOS and Android, and even add titles from within the app for offline reading.

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