As a new convert to Safari, I am astonished by how unbearably ugly default page source view is.
The font is miserably small and unaliased, leave alone color highlighting.

Is there a way to enhance Safari's View Source feature or seamlessly replace it?

I'm looking for:

  • reasonable default font, customizable is better;
  • basic HTML/JS syntax highlighting;
  • working on Lion.

Please refrain from suggesting viewing source with Web Inspector: it is nice but isn't convenient for quick source browsing.

  • 1
    In fact, I just noticed Cmd + works in this window so it's not that bad. Once you zoom in, antialiasing turns on.
    – Dan
    Sep 28, 2011 at 15:38

4 Answers 4



It's similar to the view source in Chrome in a lot of ways:

  • It has syntax highlighting and line numbers
  • It's opened in a tab instead of a window
  • Uses the default monospace font specified in preferences instead of Monaco 12


  • Line numbers are included in selections
  • The source view cannot be opened with a shortcut
  • Takes slightly longer to appear than the normal source window

Setting a default zoom level in a custom style sheet

The custom style sheet you can specify in the Advanced tab of the preferences also affects the view source window. I don't know how to target it specifically, but this would apply a default zoom level to both it and website content:

body { zoom: 125%; }

view source in TextMate.scpt

tell application "Safari" to tell document 1
    repeat 100 times
        if (do JavaScript "document.readyState") is "complete" then exit repeat
        delay 0.05
    end repeat
    set src to source
    set u to URL
end tell

    tell application "TextMate"
        open POSIX file u
    end tell
on error
    set f to do shell script "f=`echo " & quoted form of u & " |
    sed 's|.*://||;s|/$||;s|:|-|g;s|/|-|g'`; echo \"/tmp/view-source-$f.html\""
    do shell script "/bin/echo " & quoted form of src & " > " & quoted form of f
    set f to POSIX file f
    tell application "TextMate"
        open f
    end tell
end try

Take a look at this Safari extension:

enter image description here

BetterSource Safari 5 Extension

BetterSource shows the document source in a new tab, with line numbers, and colour syntax highlighting.

  • Thanks. This is slightly confusing because the old View Source menu is still there and I keep choosing it. But I guess it's certainly a nice option.
    – Dan
    Sep 28, 2011 at 16:05

You need to go to System Preferences - General and at the bottom set the minimum font size for antialiasing to 4 pixels. That way you'll get antialiasing for small fonts.

(I never understood why they have to let you select that - under 8px fonts are just not readable without antialiasing)

  • For some reason, even after ensuring it's set to 4 pixels, I still get the source unaliased unless I zoom in. And I had 4 pixel by default on my 17' MBP.
    – Dan
    Oct 4, 2011 at 21:30
  • 1
    You're right... The culprit seems to be the Monaco font which doesn't antialias even at point size 10. Nothing about that font seems to be out of the ordinary. Some sleuthing in the .nib files seems to show that Safari might use WebKitFixedFont as a preference key - but it also has Monaco hardcoded. See strings /Applications/Safari.app/Contents//Resources/English.lproj/HTMLSource.nib/objects.nib and opensource.apple.com/source/WebKit/WebKit-7534.48.3/win/…
    – w00t
    Oct 5, 2011 at 16:44

If you go to Safari's preferences > Advanced and set "Never use font sizes smaller than" to 11, it should fix the anti aliasing problem.

For color highlighting you can use a SIMBL plugin called Safari Source that will do that for you.

UPDATE: Actually, in the Safari Source settings page (Safari>Preferences>Safari Source) you can set the font size for the view source page. So set it to anything above 11 and it'll antialias.

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