Long before you have to see the doctor for tired wrists, your first line of defense is keyboard shortcuts – abundantly awesome ways to use your browser without ever having to use your mouse. The average computer user only knows a few, but many more exist.
We are big on using keyboard shortcuts and have talked about How to Create Keyboard Shortcuts for the iPhone and iPad and how convenient it is to use Windows 8 using our Guide to Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts.
The cool thing about keyboard shortcuts is that individual browser preferences don’t matter. The shortcuts will work in any browser, whether you use Firefox, Chrome or IE. From highlighting your address bar to automatically bookmarking the site you’re on, our guide will outline the 10 most useful browser keyboard shortcuts to use in any web browser.
Open a new tab
Perhaps one of the most frequently-used keyboard shortcuts is the one that opens a new tab. Tabbed browsing revolutionized the way we surf the internet and is one of the greatest features added to browsers in recent years. This shortcut makes opening a tab quicker than ever. Just type “Ctrl + T” and a new tab will open to your browser homepage.
Open a new window
This shortcut is slightly similar to opening a new tab, yet this shortcut opens an entirely new window. To do this in your browser, type “Ctrl + N” shortcut, a new window is opened just like that.
Switch between tabs
To zip along from one tab to the other, a task something power-users love to do, the “Ctrl + Tab” shortcut will transform how you surf the web. This awesome shortcut lets you scroll from each tab to the other in sequence, helping you get to the tab you want without a single mouse click.
Reopen a tab you didn’t mean to close
Sometimes you can accidentally close the wrong tab. If this happens to you, a shortcut exists that will re-open the just-closed page without you having to type in the URL. Simply hit “Ctrl + Shift + T” and the most recent the page you closed will open in a new tab.
Highlight the address bar
Another keyboard shortcut that save you loads of time is the address bar highlighter shortcut. Instead of clicking to highlight the address bar to enter the URL of a site, you can instead just hit “Ctrl + L” and the address bar instantly be selected, ready for you to type in a URL.
Find text fast
Just how you can search for a specific word or phrase in a Word document, you can do the same in your browser. Simply hit “Ctrl + F” and a search field will appear in the bottom right corner of your browser. Enter the word you want to search and hit “Enter” to find what you’re looking for.
Revert from zoom to the right size
Maybe you already know how to zoom in or out to view hard-to-read-text in your browser. Hitting “+” to zoom in and “–” to zoom out is how this is done. The tricky part, however, is restoring your browser to the original setting. Instead of hitting “+” or “-” to restore your browser, enter “Ctrl + 0” to restore the original settings.
Open the browser homepage
If you visit the browser homepage often, this particular keyboard shortcut will be more than appreciated. Entering “Alt + Home” will open your homepage in the current tab.
Bookmark the current website
If you’re the type who bookmarks like crazy, the “Ctrl + D” keyboard shortcut is just the thing for you. This shortcut saves your wrist from unneeded clicks in a big way.
Go to the previous site you visited
Perhaps one of the easiest keyboard shortcuts to remember is the one that returns you to the page you just previously visited. By hitting the “Backspace” button, the tab you’re currently viewing will revert to your previously visited page just like that.
Keyboard shortcuts are everywhere nowadays, and they’re here to stay. Getting comfortable using shortcuts can save you a lot of time in the long run, and these ten should be definitely committed to memory. For Firefox-users wanting to learn a few more keyboard shortcuts, check out these tab-specific shortcuts, plus a few other tips.