Being more keyboardy is good. The mouse is good, too. But if you can do more things with the keyboard, those things will usually happen faster and with less mucking around. Also, it is very, very cool to sit there and go “tap tap tap” and have stuff happen on the screen without the mouse. Like in that Star Trek where Scott was forced to use a Mac Classic to design Invisible Aluminum. First he tried to use the mouse as a microphone to communicate with the computer. When that didn’t work, he just went after the keyboard and tap-tap-tap had a design for Invisible Aluminum ready to go. To put whales in.
Since most of your time is spent using a web browser, and the main web browser you use is Firefox, I thought I’d pass on a few keyboardy shortcuts. Keep in mind, however, that many keyboard commands are used in common system wide for many different programs, like the first three I’ll mention … they work, in one way or another, in all programs that also use a mouse. Most of the time.
Cut, Copy Paste
I mention this first set because a remarkably large number of people don’t know these. These are all the same in Linux, Mac and most other operating systems. X, C and V are all right next to each other, so this is easy to remember:
Ctrl x, Ctrl c, Ctrl v
Delete (but copy the deleted onto the clipboard) the selected text (or whatever), copy onto the clipboard (without deleting) the selected text, or paste the selected text.
See More Real Estate
The more tool bars, shortcuts and buttons and stuff that you have at the top of your browser the better, for some people. But what with tabs, the computer system’s menue on the top, bottom, or both of the screen, etc., there is not much room left for browsing. This is especially annoying if you are using a text box to compose something (like a blog post) and can’t see the entire text box in the window.
You can switch to “full screen” browsing mode, which is not really full screen but does eliminate, temporarily, many of the toolbars and stuff, by hitting this key:
That works in Linux, not on a Mac. It does work on other operating systems, try it to see if it works on yours. Hit F11 again to go back to the cluttered look and feel.
Most web sites are ‘designed’ by children with excellent eyesight or no sense of design. Therefore they are unreadable. If you can’t read the text, type:
Ctrl-[plus] or Ctrl-[minux]
to make the type face bigger or smaller.
In case you didn’t know it already,
Gets you a new, blank tab
Got to the URL box
brings you to the URL box where you can start typing an address.
Find and Find Again
Ctrl-f and Ctrl-g or F3
Ctrl F for Find gets you a find box and puts your curser there. Then type something and hit enter. Ctrl-g is to find the same thing aGain. F3 also finds again.
And finally, one I’ve posted recently but it is so good it should be mentioned again:
To Stop the stupid flashing ad (if the stupid flashing ad is a moving GIF file): Hit the Escape Key!
Advanced Users: Keyword Search in Firefox