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No Mouse Required: How To Use Firefox Like a Champion

Let’s face it – a good chunk of humanity is now using the Firefox web browser. Based on a quick look at the access logs for this site, that includes roughly 2/3 of the readers here (yay!). As with many open source projects, it was written with the power user in mind (which means a whole slew of keyboard shortcuts).

Today, we’ll be covering a small handful of keyboard commands that perform (what I consider to be) the most basic browsing functions, so everybody will benefit (and you can bet I’ll be covering the more esoteric commands in a later post). They’re going to come fast and furious, so get your keyboards ready! (Note: these are for non-Mac OSes – if you’re running OSX, you can substitute the Command key for most instances of Ctrl).

Using and Controlling Tabs

  • Open a New Tab : Ctrl+T
  • Go to the Next Tab : Ctrl+TAB
  • Go to the Previous Tab: Ctrl+Shift+TAB
  • Close the current Tab: Ctrl+W

Within a Page

  • Find a Hyperlink: Type a single quote – (which will spawn the Quick Find area at the bottom) and start typing. It will show you the first match as you’re typing! To move to the next match, hit Ctrl+G
    • Hit Enter to open the Hyperlink in the current tab
    • Hit Ctrl+Enter to open the Hyperlink in a new tab
  • Find Text: Type / (which will also spawn the Quick Find area) and, again, start typing. The first match will again appear as you type, and you can hit Ctrl+G to find subsequent matches
  • Scroll Down one Page: Either hit Page Down or the Spacebar
  • Scroll Up one Page: Either hit Page Up or Shift+Spacebar

Browsing

  • Previous Page: Alt + Left Arrow or Backspace
  • Next Page: Alt + Right Arrow
  • Refresh the Current Page: Ctrl+R
  • Refresh the Current Page (and bypass local cache): Ctrl+Shift+R – this one is good if you want to get the latest and greatest from the server, like for eBay auctions or something.
  • Go to your Home Page: Alt+Home

Miscellaneous (and don’t be deceived, I probably use these more than any of those mentioned above)

  • Put the Cursor in the Address Bar: Ctrl+L
  • Put the Cursor in the Search Box: Ctrl+K
  • Increase the Size of the Text on the Page: Ctrl++ (hold Ctrl and hit +)
  • Decarese the Size of the Text on the Page: Ctrl+- (same, just hit -)

So that’s it for this edition of No Mouse Required. Hopefully somebody will find these useful, and please stay tuned for the next installment!

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