How to enable the Safari Web Inspector

by Volker Weber


This is a neat tool I stumbled across today at TUAW. Close Safari, open Terminal and type:

defaults write WebKitDeveloperExtras -bool true

Now you can got to Develop/Show Web Inspector which will show you all files used on the current web page.


If you need this, you'll find *many* improvements in the nightly development version ( The inspector is available in Chrome, too, since it's a part of Webkit. Doesn't need to be enables there, though.

David Richardson, 2008-12-15

David, would you mind sharing how the WebInspector is launched in Chrome?

Ragnar Schierholz, 2008-12-15

You can invoke the WebInspector by clicking on any element on the website and selecting "element information" from the context menu. The element is highlighted in the source and the rendered view.

There is also the notable network timeline showing how load times of dependant resources accumulate.

Timo Stamm, 2008-12-15

Thanks Timo, I should have found that by myself... duh.

However, I don't see the content of the resources. If I try to replicate vowe's example by going to Ed's blog, I only see the statistics and time line and so on, but I don't get to see the content of the JS or CSS, for example. Images are being displayed on the right pane though.

Am I missing something? Or could it be because I'm behind a proxy? (I don't see why that should matter, but who knows)

Ragnar Schierholz, 2008-12-16

@Ragnar: The release version of Safari uses a *very* old version of WebKit, Chrome uses an *old* version of Webkit. The Safari version of the inspector is obsolete, the Chrome version is moving towards the new one, but is incomplete. The current WebKit nightly releases have had the complete next-generation inspector for several months. Recommended.

Firebug provides much the same functionality for Firefox, but it certainly doesn't look as nice as Safari. I use both almost every day.

There's no reason not to use the Safari nightly releases - they're extremely stable and light-years beyond the release version.

David Richardson, 2008-12-17

Follow the TUAW link once again and note the update. ;-)

Olav Brinkmann, 2008-12-17

Old archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


Paypal vowe