I have recently engaged in a conversation where were people defending that you should test your websites on Safari for Windows and on Safari for Mac, because they're very different. As a webmaster, there is this constant concern on having my web applications or websites running on every browser, but I don't have a Mac available for me to try the performance and/or rendering engine.

Long story short: are there huge differences between Safari for Windows and Mac? Does anyone use Safari for Windows as their main browser and can tell me if it's important for me to test on it too?

  • As a cross-reference, this has been asked previously on Stack Overflow, with several responses. Note that's old, but it might be worth checking, if any of those items are of interest. I wouldn't generally consider most of them "huge," though.
    – Su'
    May 4, 2011 at 18:17

2 Answers 2


The biggest difference I have noticed is with form elements such as dropdowns and input boxes.

These can be manipulated easily on Windows Safari (e.g. padding, rounded corners, line-height) but Mac Safari does not adhere to much of this CSS on it's forms.

I've also noticed further differences between 'desktop' Safari and mobile Safari - i.e. in an iPad.

(Sorry I can't provide any screenshots to demonstrate this but I'm not in the office at the moment)


One to remember is the difference in Mac's rendering of fonts, and that seems to be at it's most extreme in Safari.

I just took these screenshots on my Mac, and you can see that Safari renders the line a bit bigger. Over lots of text, this can have a significant effect on the size of divs.

I don't have Windows to hand, so if somebody else could post a screengrab of Safari on Windows that would show the difference.

edit: added Win7 images.

Firefox (Mac) Mac Firefox

Safari (Mac) Mac Safari

Safari (Win7) Win Safari

Firefox (Win7) Win Firefox

  • I may be doing something wrong, but have you forgotten the screenshots? I'm not seeing any link.
    – bitlamas
    May 5, 2011 at 11:14
  • @astro11 - the images are above. Not very obviously because they are screenshots of text but they are underneath the browser names with the 'These can be manipulated easily...' text from John's answer.
    – Dan Blows
    May 5, 2011 at 11:33
  • Oops, my bad. I'm using Safari for Windows and thought it was simple text instead of images. Thanks for the screenshots, they are very useful.
    – bitlamas
    May 5, 2011 at 12:44
  • @astro11 Was there a significant difference between Mac Safari and Windows Safari with the font rendering?
    – Dan Blows
    May 6, 2011 at 14:49
  • Well, I think so. Can you tell me which font you used on your Safari image? Was it pure text on a blank HTML? I'll try to reproduce the same thing and then post the result image here.
    – bitlamas
    May 6, 2011 at 17:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.