This week we explore the L shortcut, useful for changing the URL in the browser’s address bar and one that can be used in conjunction with earlier Keyboard Kung Fu tips such as Cut, Copy & Paste and Switching Between Open Apps.

Address the Situation with Command L

Throughout the course of a general work day I regularly need to access a website’s URL, that is, a website’s address. Sometimes I need to copy the URL and paste it into another field or application, often into an email so that I can share the website with a colleague. Other times I want to paste a URL that I have obtained from elsewhere into the address bar of the web browser.

This is where the L combination is a very useful weapon in your repertoire of Keyboard Kung Fu moves.

Mac Keyboard showing CMD L keyboard combo

Highlight the URL ready to either paste over or copy

How to Select the URL in the Address Bar

Whenever you are using a web browser, be it Safari, Chrome, Firefox or other, simply holding down the key with your thumb and then tapping the L key highlights the URL in the address bar, ready to either paste over or copy.

Exercise: Copy & Paste a URL from one browser to another

Now that we have a few Keyboard Kung Fu lessons under our belt let’s consolidate our learning by combining some of these techniques to achieve a practical task.

Task: In this scenario you have opened a website in Firefox but the page is not displaying properly so you want to see what the same website looks like in Safari. How would you do that using as many of the keyboard shortcuts we’ve already learned?

Here’s one way we could do that:
Assuming that you already have both browsers open:
1. While in Firefox use the L technique to select the URL in the address bar.
2. Use C to copy the URL.
3. Using tab will allow you to then move from Firefox to the Safari browser.
4. The L combo is then used to select the URL in the address bar of Safari.
5. Finally, use V to paste the URL into the address bar and tap return to load the website.

All of this is achieved without ever needing to take your hands from the keyboard to touch the mouse.


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