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 Transparent 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 (but you have to use the squiggle key for the ctrl key) 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 menu on the top, bottom, or both, 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. For a while, Firefox added this cool new “feature” that totally ruined everything. With this new feature, increasing text size also increased the size of the graphics. For most people that was not a good thing because it made the graphics squeeze out the ever-growing text and totaly ruined the web page rendition. Now, Firefox has an option that allows you to have only the text size increase and not the picture. Look for it under the menu. (There is no keyboard shortcut for that, as far as I know.)
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.
Go to the search box
Find and Find Again
Ctrl-f and Ctrl-g or F3
Shift-Ctrl-g goes backwards.
Ctrl F for Find gets you a find box and puts your cursor there. Then type something and hit enter. Ctrl-g is to find the same thing aGain. F3 also finds again.
Esc closes the find dohickey
Hit the slash “/” key to open a quickfind box. Which will quickly disappear if you don’t use it right away. F3 will work with quickfind.
Switch between applications in different windows:
Switch between tabs in the browser:
Ctrl-Tab to cycle to the right
Shift-Ctrl-Tab to cycle to the left
Close the current tab:
Ooops, reopen that tab I just closed, please
Navigate through time
Alt-left and right arrows move you back and forth through the history on your current browser window.
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!
There are many many more, but this is a start. If you know of any I’ve not mentioned please add them below.