The browsers Chrome, Safari, and Firefox come equipped with powerful built-in tools named “Inspect Element.” These tools allow any user to easily view and edit the underlying code of websites.
Learning this tool opens up many possibilities. Designers can preview tweaks to styles and layouts.
Developers can identify and fix bugs. Marketers can analyze how sites target keywords.
Beginners can understand how the web works under the hood. And anyone can quickly modify text or images to create perfect screenshots.
Mastering Inspect Element takes your ability to build, assess, and communicate about websites to the next level.
How to Enable Inspect Element in Apple Safari
Safari keeps its Inspector capability turned off by default on Macs. To activate it:
1. Open Safari’s Preferences > Advanced settings.
2. Check “Show Develop menu in menu bar.”
Now you can right-click elements and choose “Inspect Element” or use Command + Option + I anywhere on the page to open the tool.
Use the Web Inspector Toolbar
With Inspect Element enabled, an extra toolbar appears at the top of the panel. This contains handy utilities for analyzing and modifying webpages. Here is an overview – try each icon’s features by clicking on page elements after activation:
– Element Selector: Switch to selection mode. Click any content to reveal its code.
– Magnifying Glass: Zoom into parts of the rendered webpage.
– Crosshairs: Toggle pixel coordinate overlays.
– Device Mode Toggle: View responsiveness across screens.
– CSS Selector: Automatically locate code by element class/ID.
– Visualize Layout: See CSS box model measurements.
Browsers share these core icon functions, though Safari and Firefox have some differences like additional 3D rendering views.
Dig Into Website Code With Inspect Element
Now that you know how to bring up the tool, here is how web developers themselves utilize it:
See What Constructs a Page:
Explore the Elements panel to understand what HTML tags, classes, IDs, and other code makes up each section. See what images, videos, icons, and fonts are used where. Diagnose what CSS code styles certain parts.
Learn From Other Sites:
Inspect competing or exemplary pages to see what code snippets you could reuse. Study how they format elements that look nicely designed.
Quickly Test Changes:
Edit code values directly to immediately view appearance tweaks like colors, spacing, sizes, etc.
Check Mobile Friendliness:
Click the mobile icon to simulate how the page layout changes across device sizes to optimize responsiveness.
If a site is broken, Inspect Element can reveal errors stopping functionality or visual bugs.
Get Comfortable With Your Browser’s Inspect Element
Learning the basics of Inspect Element is simple with some hands-on practice. It opens up many opportunities from understanding web design better to streamlining your workflow.
Web developers rely on these built-in browser tools daily.
Go ahead, try right-clicking and tinkering with the code of your favorite sites. Just refresh the page when you’re done to revert changes.
Gradually explore all the tabs and features your browser offers. Before long, you will start seeing the web in a whole new way and improving your skills as a result.