|We've tried to make Lightning as fast and simple to use as possible.
All keyboard shortcuts are documented in the
application menus and interface. There are a few hidden aspects
which are less obvious however. If you have a laptop trackpad, swipe and
pinch events are supported to navigate forward and backwards, between
tabs and to zoom in and out. Enable "Lightning Lookup" in System Preferences
Keyboard/ShortCuts/Services Preferences and you can select text in any
application and type command-@ to look it up on the web. Use command-u to restore
all tabs to when you last exited Lightning.|
Your history and bookmarks are stored as normal html web page files in the
directory ~/Library/Application Support/Lightning. When the bookmarks page
is displayed it is editable like any normal document. Use the "Save Bookmarks"
menu item to make your changes permanent. If you would like to add search
engines to Lightning, edit the application's setup file config.txt in the
directory above. Add the url of your search site with the search term
replaced by %@. To clear cookies or to set Lightning to be your default
browser you can select it in System Preferences/General.
|New to version 2.3 is "browser sharing" also known
as "Co-Browsing". Once you have given your browser a name you can easily link up with
a friend's Lightning browser and navigate internet sites/sights together. Connections are
normally made using notifications though you can also just share your browser and
wait for incoming connections for presentations. Connections are symmetric in that
navigation will propagate both ways but always point to point so connections from one
browser to two others will require a third connection between the two others to be truly
A note about tabs which sometimes confuse people. Lightning aggressively caches web pages
which can be shared between tabs. By analogy when Lightning opens a new web page it effectively
uses a new piece of paper to show it rather than erasing the current page and redrawing it.
This is why it is so fast returning to previously viewed pages as they just need to be switched
back onto the screen rather than redrawn. When you create a new tab this stack of papers with
your history is copied and the new tab takes up navigating where the previous one left off.
Your browsing history is now searchable from the address bar and sites where the
URL or title matches will be suggested if you pause in typing in your new search term or URL.
Use the up and down arrow keys to select one of the elements shown. The preference "History
Searchable" controls the number of 2MB history pages to be searched. Larger values will
allow you to search further back into your history but slow Lightning's start-up.|
The usability of the unique "Split View" feature has been considerably improved. Pressing the
"Dual Head" icon will split your web view into two halves where links clicked in the left half
will generally be displayed on the right hand half. This is useful for working through search
results and news sites. Not all sites work in a way that supports this feature however.
The new "site watcher" functionality complements the RSS reader giving you the option of
automatically polling individual sites or blogs for changes effectively creating a type of
synthetic RSS feed for the site. Differences in the text of the site are displayed in a
style you can set in the app's preferences.
New to Lightning is the "reader" mode which displays a summary version of most web pages by
detecting the article header and zooming out until it finds the article text. You can control
the font used and it's color by specifying it's name in web format in the application's
preferences. You can further control formatting using the "reader.head" file in Lightning's
configuration directory opened using the menu item "Manage/Reveal".|
Complementary to reader mode is the "Link Viewer" best suited perhaps to idle browsing of
Wikipedia. It is activated by either visiting wikipedia.org or using the "Manage/Links Button"
menu item. This displays in a graphical form the names of links on a page giving an overview
of associations between pages.
The final key new feature is the site analysis function which shows you all the components which
are fetched to display a web page. By clicking on the link to display the "tracker report"
you can block individual domains which look as if they might be tracking your web browsing
for targeted advertising. Open the "Analysis View" by pressing the star shaped icon to the
right of the title bar.