How to Inspect on a Mac

Alicia Santos

Mac, Tutorials

Inspecting on a Mac can be a powerful tool for developers and designers alike. Whether you want to debug code, analyze web pages, or explore the inner workings of an application, the built-in inspect tools on macOS provide a wealth of information and capabilities. In this article, we will explore how to use these tools effectively to enhance your workflow.

Accessing the Inspect Tools

To access the inspect tools on a Mac, you will need to open the web page or application you want to inspect. Once it’s open, follow these steps:

  1. Option 1: Right-click on any element on the page and select “Inspect Element” from the context menu.
  2. Option 2: Use the keyboard shortcut Command + Option + I.
  3. Option 3: Go to “Develop” in the top menu bar, then select “Show Web Inspector”. If you don’t see “Develop” in your menu bar, go to “Preferences” > “Advanced” and check “Show Develop menu in menu bar”.

You can choose any of these options based on your preference or convenience.

The Elements Tab

The Elements tab is where you can inspect and manipulate HTML and CSS elements of a web page. When you open it, you’ll see a hierarchical representation of all elements within the DOM (Document Object Model).

To navigate through the hierarchy:

  • Bold Text: Click on an element to select it. The selected element’s HTML structure will be displayed below.
  • Bold Text: Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate up and down the hierarchy.
  • Bold Text: Expand or collapse elements by clicking on the triangle next to the element’s name.

With the Elements tab, you can:

  • Bold Text: Inspect and modify HTML attributes and CSS styles of any element.
  • Bold Text: Add, remove, or edit classes associated with an element.
  • Bold Text: Toggle CSS pseudo-classes like :hover or :active for testing purposes.

The Console Tab

The Console tab is where you can write and execute JavaScript code. It’s a powerful tool for debugging and experimenting with code in real-time.

You can use the Console tab to:

  • Bold Text: Log messages and errors using the console.log() function.
  • Bold Text: Execute JavaScript code directly in the console.
  • Bold Text: Inspect variables and objects by typing their names in the console.

The Network Tab

The Network tab provides detailed information about network requests made by a web page. It allows you to analyze request headers, response data, and loading times. This is particularly useful for optimizing performance and debugging network-related issues.

In the Network tab, you can:

  • Bold Text: Filter requests by type (e.g., XHR, Document, Stylesheet).
  • Bold Text: View request details such as URL, status code, and response headers.
  • Bold Text: Analyze loading times, including DNS lookup, SSL handshake, and content download.

The Sources Tab

The Sources tab allows you to debug JavaScript code and analyze the structure of your scripts. You can set breakpoints, step through code execution, inspect variables, and more.

In the Sources tab, you can:

  • Bold Text: Set breakpoints by clicking on the line numbers or pressing F9.
  • Bold Text: Step through code execution using controls like Step Over (F10) and Step Into (F11).
  • Bold Text: Inspect variables and objects in the Scope pane.


Inspecting on a Mac is an essential skill for developers and designers. Whether you’re analyzing web pages or debugging code, the built-in inspect tools provide a wealth of information and capabilities. By utilizing the Elements, Console, Network, and Sources tabs effectively, you can enhance your workflow and improve your understanding of web technologies.

Remember to experiment with these tools on different websites or applications to become comfortable with their features. With practice, you’ll be able to harness the power of inspecting on a Mac to its full potential!

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