Saturday, February 3, 2007

Keyboard shortcuts

Okay, this is gonna be my super-geeky post, I think I should be allowed at least one per month... I'd like to talk to you about keyboard shortcuts!

If you're looking for a way to become One with your browser, to impress your friends and mistresses, or (this one is for real) to be more effective at your computer and reduce your dependence on your mouse (thus reducing wrist strain!), keyboard shortcuts are for you. 'Keyboard shortcut' means that you can use the keyboard to do certain things you would normally do with the mouse. A few basic examples*:

  • [Ctrl + T]: open a new tab
  • [Ctrl + W]: close current tab
  • [Ctrl + N]: open a new window
  • [Ctrl + Shift + W]: close current window (all tabs)

Not exciting enough for you yet? How about these actions, which you may use more frequently:

  • [Ctrl + Tab]: view next tab (if you have several tabs open in your browser)
  • [Ctrl + Shift + Tab]: view previous tab
  • [Ctrl + E]: puts your cursor in the Search box
  • [Alt + D]: puts your cursor in the Address bar (the place that shows the URL of the page you're on)

I know, it's pretty hot. You have no idea how many times I switch between tabs all day long, and it's really nice to be able to do that in a millisecond without taking my hands off the keyboard, rather than having to switch to the mouse, move it around, click on the next tab...

I could go on, but if you're intrigued, there are lots of other cool things you can do with shortcuts in Firefox (change the font size, go to your homepage, etc.); check out these great references for more. I hear that it's possible to completely browse the web without using a mouse at all.

*Note: these shortcuts apply to the Firefox browser on Windows. Shortcuts for other browsers or OSs may differ. [back]

1 comment:

Steve said...

Excel convinced me that keyboard shortcuts were the way to go. Sometimes though it is hard to find a list of them. I use Google Reader for tracking your blog and had a heck of time finding the list of shortcuts. In retrospect maybe pressing help from GR was obvious, but not after I tried help from more general G pages.