The Five Browser Shortcuts Everyone Should Know


I don’t know about you guys, but the fact that I can’t close tabs with the middle button on Firefox OSX drives me insane. It works in Windows but not in OSX.


I think CTRL+L is a better advocated choice for going to the address bar. It works in more browsers, including Firefox and IE on the Mac, on which ALT+D does not work.


I prefer to use ctrl+left-click to open a link in a new tab. Especially since most mouse software makes the third button configurable and the default usually doesn’t have the function you describe. I also find ctrl+w easier to close a tab than moving the mouse and middle-clicking.


I agree Chris,

CTRL + L and CTRL + K is a better than ALT-D and CTRL-E mentioned in the original post.


alt+d works in to move to the address bar in Firefox for me…it’s also easier to type with one hand.


Am I the only weird one who uses Ctrl+PageUp/Down to switch tabs in Firefox?

Also, to search in a new tab, I use the “Search On Tab” extension. Definitely one of my favorite add-ons.


Middle mouse clicking is useful for more than just links in pages!

In Firefox, middle mouse clicking on any button (such as home or back) will open that link in a new tab. Also, try left clicking on the bookmarks menu item then middle clicking on a folder of bookmarks. The entire folder will open in tabs in one click. Be careful with that one, though as it will override any other open tabs. Useful when you need it but tragic when you hit it be accident.

The lack of this feature in IE is one of the most annoying things I’ve found when switching between browsers.



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. And God help you if you move the mouse during this crisis, your link will scroll off the end of the world.

Also, being as the button, when rotated, controls the vertical position of the page, if you don’t click it dead center you risk scrolling the link out from underneath the cursor as you click. This results in the DREADED CROSS OF DEATH. See above for reprocussions.

There are only two solutions:

  1. Shift-left click opens the link in a background tab. This requires two hands which sucks.
  2. Stop being lazy and make all non-navigation links that point off the page open off the page.

to PaulG:

try Windows-D when “Boss is coming” because pressing it again restores your windows.

many know ctrl-enter adds “http://www.” and “.com” around the text in the addressbar but you can also use shift-enter to add “.net” instead.

However, if anyone knows a shortcut to add “” (without replacing the “.com” shortcut) i’d be v. greatful :wink:


The most useful shortcuts I’ve learned are Ctrl + Home to jump to the top of a file or directory listing and Ctrl + End to jump to the bottom. It saves me from a lot of scrolling. Bookmarks in Ultra-Edit, FrontPage, and Visual Studio are pretty useful too for jumping around in a long code listing.

By the way, I like that CSS you used to make your letters look like keyboard keys.


I’m a keyboard purist, with opera I can set every single shortcut of the browser. These are the ones I use the most (in order) and wich key they are set:

New Tab, ctrl+n (also set the focus to the adress bar)
Close Tab, F4 (I changed from the default ctrl+F4 for more quick acess)
focus adress bar, F8
open incremental bookmark search tab ctrl+b (the most time saving one, I do not even divide my bookmarks in folders anymore)
Paste in the adress bar and “go” ctrl+d (ctrl+shift+d to open in new tab)
1 next tab
2 previous tab
auto-logon ctrl+enter
spatial navigation (ctrl+arrows)

I do not know about you, but It’s been ages since I type any full url in my adress bar, 80% of my navigation bookmarked, 10% is links from pages that I bookmarked, the other 10% is in search pages. The built in search in Opera works great, I can set a nickname for each search, and use it from the adress bar (I do not have a search bar). If I want to search for bunnys in google just press F8 and type “g bunnys”, If I want to search for bunnys in wikipedia “w bunnys”.

Since I do not close my browser, I have not set a shortcut to open it. But It might be usefull to use it to open new tab when I do not have opera with focus. Thanks for the tip I will set one right now.

The reason my shortcuts are somewhat strange (like ctrl+n for new tab) is because those are the same I used 4 years ago in Opera 7.0. The deafult in Opera has changed, but I still keep the same profile since those days…


On a somewhat related note for those you with more than one monitor: I’ve got a dual monitor setup at work and home and use Ultramon, which aside from allowing you to put a taskbar on each screen, has some nice built-in shortcuts, such as extending any window across both screens, moving a window from one screen to the other, opening an app, etc. There are about a dozen or so more shortcuts, all of which you can set to whatever keys you so desire.

My current setup:
Ctrl + Alt + A : Open Firefox
Ctrl + Alt + Z : Move window to next monitor
Ctrl + Alt + X : Maximize window across all screens/de-maximize
Ctrl + ALt + S : Maximize window to current screen/de-maximize


Also use a G15 keyboard and map those shortcuts to macros.


Uh, ok after a mess of comment, I’ve noticed a handful of errors no one seemed to want to correct, or at least, they’ve worked for me.

I think the best idea, Jeff, if you want, is to add a table of the (best) shortcuts for all the (major) browsers (official shortcuts). Some things seem to work or not to work depending on the OS also.

If I can add another shortcut one I haven’t seen posted in the comments so far. Middle(mouse wheel)-click to close tab (even tabs not active). It’s worked for me on firefox (win+linux) and opera (win).


To Will Sullivan: Use a Logitech mouse :wink: just kiddin…

My middle-click on my touchpad is mapped to hte useless scrolldown button, so there’s very little chance of me misclicking. Also, the tab bar is large enough to not miss a middle-click… if your mouse jitters around that much, it’s time to get a heavier mouse (i.e. a Logitech), hehe


Thanks. I didn’t know about those. Though I was shocked to see IE7 screenshots, they work on FF too.

captcha: orange (same as last time)


Only problem with using the middle mouse button for closing/opening new tabs (and other things, like rotating the cam in Neverwinter Nigths…) is the new mice that also support left and right scrolling. The ones I’ve used make it a lot harder to use the wheel as a button - especially if you’ve assigned something to the left/right scroll of the wheel that you DON’T want to do!


Does anyone else you “add keyword for search” option in firefox?
I use it religiously:

  1. Alt+D Sends me to address bar
  2. “g Horse Porn” googles horse porn
  3. “y Horse Porn” YouTubes for horse porn

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’m so glad you brought this up. You’re absolutely right, of course; who uses that wacky middle-click-anywhere scrolling cursor mode? I need to disable that cursed thing.


I also love Middle-Click=MoveViewableArea. Sadly, this is implemented in far fewer applications.

Some people like this behavior, evidently.

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

Thanks so much for posting the Safari equivalents. I really struggled with the Windows version of Safari. I think it’s important for every user, on every browser platform, to know these five crucial shortcuts.

I’m assuming Mac users have mice that allow a middle click, and that Safari behaves the same way as IE/FF for middle clicking links?


It still amazes me that EVERYONE doesn’t use Firefox and All-In-One-Gestures.

I’m not sure mouse gestures will ever be mainstream. I’ve tried to use them. I have mixed feelings. Even in games, where experimental UI is expected and welcome, they’re kind of aggravating.

The real WTF is that people need to launch their web browser frequently. Rather than just having it permanently open. :wink:

As monitors get larger, and for multi-mon (I have three), you need multiple browser windows.

A post on shortcut keys that even my five year old nephew knows about- weak sauce.

It is indeed my hope that this post is completely obvious to everyone, eventually.