The Five Browser Shortcuts Everyone Should Know


My most frequently used browser shortcut: spacebar to page down. Biggest target on the keyboard; Fitt would be proud.


Here’s my favorite shortcuts on Firefox (some of them work on IE too):

CTRL+TAB = Next tab
CTRL+W = Close current tab
CTRL+T = New tab
CTRL+CLICK = Open link in new tab
CTRL+K = Search
F6 = Address-bar


Come on people… vim is the only thing you need and that applies when dwelling in browser land too



No one has mentioned hitting the backspace key, to go back to the previous page. Probably works only in Firefox though.


new tab in opera with mouse guestures is leftmouse-down by default, very very easy. Check out the mouse guestures.

Shortcut keys for Opera

Haven’t set the browser to start with winkey-1 yet. gonna do now.


Who thought up the Alt-D shortcut for the address bar? “Alt” is for activating menu options. It’s also inconsistent with pressing “Ctrl” -E for the search bar.


Thanks I only knew two of them!


Expanding on Tom Dibble’s list of Safari/Mac shortcuts:

  1. Command-Space, “saf”, Return launches Safari using Spotlight—of course it keeps running after you close its last window, so you can always command-tab to it later
  2. Command-L sets focus on the address field
  3. Command-F to search on the page, add the Option (“Alt”) key for the Google search field (many OS X apps use these for Find and Find in Place)
  4. Command-Return or Command-click opens in a new tab from the address field, search field, bookmarks menu, bookmarks bar, or a link, form field, or submit button (!) on the page. Add shift key to open the tab in front. Option key downloads the target instead.

(By the way, you can cycle through links and form elements on a page using Option-Tab. Or go to Safari #8594; Preferences #8594; Advanced and check “press tab to highlight each item on a webpage” to reverse the behaviour.)

  1. Each tab has a close button, or Command-W to close the current tab.

Command-[ and ] to navigate the history, add the shift key to navigate tabs, Command-` to cycle windows.

Additional handiness:

Command-1, etc. opens the first nine bookmarks in your bookmarks bar—I have them set to my weather page, the local bus trip planner, Google movie listing, and TV listings.

Command-+, Command-minus, Command-zero to resize text.

Real keyboard jockeys will also set System Preferences #8594; Keyboard Mouse #8594; Keyboard Shortcuts #8594; Full keyboard access to “all controls”, and learn all the text-entry keyboard shortcuts.


The keyboard shortcut standard falls apart once you try using windows on a non-english system. Its also non consistent between different versions of IE. For example on my system some applications use alt-a to select All - consistent with the english editions, others use alt-e.
Some versions of IE (the latest included) use alt-d, others use alt-c to select the address bar.

Many translations are also not tested. A form will contain two or more options which are available under a single alt key. The typical one is alt-n for next. In spanish this is ‘siguiente’ so the translator will often select the s to be the alt selector, but there is often another button with the same letter. Sometimes a different tranlator will use a different letter. And this is just the MS products.



Konqueror of course. System-wide shortcuts, System-wide mousegestures and browsing theweb and the local file system with the same application. Searchbox? Sure, but why not type “gg:” and the query in the addressbar to search Google? Or any other abbreviation you like, to search a specific site:{@} for searching Coding Horror, {@} is the placeholder.
Ctrl shift l for a vertically split screen, ctrl shift t for top/bottom split (and both to get 4 panes, etc.). Easy for comparing websites or local directories. Not being able to split a screen would be a severe handicap for me, it’s something I got used too very quick. Ctrl shift R to close the active view.
“Middle click closes a window.” Not here, middle click is paste. I copy/paste more often than I close windows so I’d rather have that setup, ctrl c/v/x works too of course, ctrl w to close a window.


What happens when I hit CTRL-F-U?


I would argue that IE is the one that has to handle the “burden” of compatibility.

Every browser that I’ve recently used regularly (except IE of course) which are:

  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Konquerer
  • Opera
  • Camino

Uses the standard shortcuts of:
Ctrl/Cmd - L = Adress bar
Ctrl/Cmd - T = New tab
Ctrl/Cmd - W = Close Tab


I forgot to mention Microsoft’s Keyboard Assistance and Shortcuts page. Pretty comprehensive.


Opera is perfectly usable without a mouse. You don’t need it for anything (well, maybe apart from Flash). Spatial navigation kicks ass, and unlike the lesser browsers out there, all keyboard shortcuts are easily configurable and can be made to do multiple actions.


OMG there are people who don’t know the middle click?


Wow, more “Why are you using IE” comments than I expected. IE7 may be late, but it’s tolerable.

I couldn’t live without my rocker gestures for navigation, but they’re not for everyone (though it’s fun watching people try and adapt when they’re using my machine).

I use Ctrl+T to open a new tab and then type the URL in for the new tab - it’s 1 key shorter! :wink: (Ctrl+T, URL, Enter as opposed to Ctrl+L, URL, Alt+Enter) though Alt+Enter is always useful to know.


“Keyboard shortcuts are nice but there’s one thing in the post that I don’t get: using the windows-key + l to launch your favourite browser. That shortcut is much better left as standard: lock the computer (on Windows, obviously).”

It’s a one, not an L.

“Clicking that scroll wheel on an exact point on the screen is a 50-50 proposition. You miss the link, you get the DREADED CROSS OF DEATH.”

I recognise that not everyone has great mouse skills, but I’ve never come across this problem. Worse case, I miss it a little, I’ve not ever had it scroll off for miles. Maybe I just don’t move the mouse as fast as some.

"Stop being lazy and make all non-navigation links that point off the page open off the page."
NO, NO, NO, NO! I want to decide where something opens, not the web author. I know much better what I want. If I want it to open in a new window/tab it’s trivial, but if something opens off site it’s very difficult to get it to open in the same tab if you want that. And then there’s the issue of marking things off site so people know what will happen when they click. Will it open in the current window? Will it open in a new window? Much better to consistently open in the current window and let users decide where to open it.

I too am a fan of rocker gestures over dedicated mouse buttons. My fingers are already hovering on the buttons, so with a little practice it’s much quicker. However, it’s not for everyone.


Also, with regards to middle click, I find IE’s behaviour of placing tabs after the active tab quite irritating. I find it difficult then to know where a tab is, even though thinking about it it should make sense. I guess it’s just what you’re used to.


If I had a dollar for every shortcut I’ve learned and ‘forgotten’ over the years, for what seems like an endless array of half-baked software products I’d, well, I’d retire and then I wouldn’t have to remember any more shortcuts (man, am I sick of having to remember shortcuts! :slight_smile:

Isn’t that computer thingy s’posed to make my life easier and remember things for me?


thanks for the new, shortcuts i didn’t know…

ctrl + alt + del : I often use this when my browser crashes… try it… xD