Tag Archive: browser

Today we look back at some previous Keyboard Kung Fu lessons and use them in an exercise to consolidate our understanding of browsing the web using tabs.

Revision: Three Previous Lessons

Let’s quickly refresh our memories with three recent posts involving tabs in the web browser.

Go to back to the previous page, go forward to the next page

Load previous webpage in SafariIn Previous, Next Page we learned how to go back to the previous page by holding your thumb on the key and tapping the [ key with your index or middle finger.

Return to the page you were on by moving the next page with the key and the ]

Moving back and forward in the browser’s history in the way provides a fast and easy way to navigate through pages that you’ve already visited.


Opening additional tabs

Command-T keyboard shortcutThe Open a New Tab lesson demonstrated how to have multiple websites open in one window by opening additional tabs in the browser.

T = open a new tab
W = close the current tab

Open a link in a new tab

We can also open any links we see in web pages in separate tabs. Instead of clicking on the link in a webpage, hold down the Command key first and then click the link.

-click = open the link in a new tab


Switching between open tabs

Mac keyboard showing how to switch tabs with Command and number keysThe Switching Tabs post taught us how to use the Command key and any number key to switch between tabs that we currently have open.

1 = move to 1st browser tab
2 = move to 2nd browser tab
3 = move to 3rd browser tab, etc.

Using the arrow keys to switch tabs

We also saw how you can use the left or right arrow keys to switch tabs in the Safari browser: & and that the same can be done in the Chrome browser by using the & keys.

Alternatively, you can cycle through the open tabs in most browsers with the universal tab-switching keyboard shortcut: `.


Exercises: Tabbed Browsing

Now that we’ve recapped a few previous keyboard shortcut lessons that enable us to work with tabs in the web browser, let us apply these techniques to some real life simulations.

Seven shortcuts in one photo

Exercise 1: Grasshopper Level

In this scenario you currently have your web browser open with a single tab loaded with this page that you are reading right now. While reading this sentence you see this link to the main Keyboard Kung Fu page and would like to visit it to read some of the past lessons.

Task: Visit the Keyboard Kung Fu page by clicking the link above, then click on a link on that page to visit one of the past lessons. Now return to this page using only the keyboard.

Exercise 2: Master Level

A similar scenario: you currently have your web browser open with a single tab loaded with this page that you are reading right now. While reading this sentence you see this link to the main Keyboard Kung Fu page and would like to visit it to read some of the past lessons.

However, this time you would like to load a few of the previous lessons in separate tabs without leaving the main Keyboard Kung Fu page.

Task: Visit the Keyboard Kung Fu page by clicking the link above, then open three links in three new tabs. Now visit each tab and then return to this page using only the keyboard.

Exercise 3: Sage Level

A different scenario this time: You are reading a page that just has a URL, it’s not clickable. http://www.vintuitive.com/keyboard-kung-fu/

Task: Highlight the link above. Now using only the keyboard, copy the link, open a new tab, paste the link into the address bar and visit the page. Close that tab to return to this page, again using only the keyboard, no mouse.

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Do you find yourself opening several tabs while surfing the web? It doesn’t take long before you have ten or more tabs open in one browser window. Moving between these open tabs efficiently is made swift and easy with a few simple keyboard shortcuts.

Switching between open tabs

Use the Command key and a number key to switch directly to any particular tab.

1 = move to 1st browser tab
2 = move to 2nd browser tab
3 = move to 3rd browser tab, etc.

Mac keyboard showing how to switch tabs with Command and number keys

Using the arrow keys to switch tabs in Safari

While using the Safari browser, hold down Command and Shift together with either left or right arrow key will switch through your tabs. For example:

= move to the tab to the left of the current tab.
= move to the tab to the right of the current tab.

Using the arrow keys to switch tabs in Chrome

In Chrome the keyboard shortcut is a little bit different. Instead of using the Shift key, exchange it for the Option key:
= move to the tab to the left of the current tab.
= move to the tab to the right of the current tab.

One keyboard combo to switch all tabs

Alternatively, you can cycle through the open tabs in most browsers with the universal tab-switching keyboard shortcut Control and the Tab keys:
tab = cycle through open tabs in a browser.

Next week we’ll look at consolidating three previous lessons on tabbed browsing: moving back and forward in the browser’s history, opening new tabs, and Switching between browser tabs with some practical exercises.

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Surfing the web with the use of multiple tabs in the browser can be great for increasing productivity.

One browser, many tabs

We’ve already seen how to move back and forward through the web browser’s history, but sometimes it is more advantageous to surf laterally instead of chronologically. We do this by using more than one tab at a time.

Often while reading a web page, I’ll want to open another tab, either to do a quick web search or to view another website without leaving the page that I am currently reading. I can then close the newly opened tab when I’ve finished and be returned back to the page that I had left earlier.

In these situations I’ll use the Command-T keyboard shortcut:
T = open new tab in front of the current tab.

Command-T keyboard shortcut

A new tab opens in front of the current tab and the cursor is placed in the address bar ready for you to enter a URL. Type in the website address that you’d like to visit and press the Return key to load the page.

Here are a few more tips related to opening and closing tabs:

Open a link in a new tab

Web pages are often full of links and can lead you down a veritable rathole if you were to follow them while reading a page. That would be very distracting. So what can you do? Ignore them? Finish reading the article then scroll back up the page and follow each link?

Links can be opened in new tabs that load in the background allowing you to continue reading the current page without distraction. Instead of clicking the link as usual, hold down the Command key first and then click on the link:
-click = Open a link in a new tab behind the current page.

Using this technique you could load all the links on the page in individual tabs in the background, enabling you to continue reading the current page without distraction. Once read, you can then switch tabs to read the other pages that were linked to in the original article.

This -click technique can also be used on the browser’s back button to open the previous page in a new tab behind the current tab.

Commanding closure

Once you’ve finished with the current tab it can be closed, returning you to your previously opened tab. To close the current tab use the Command-W keyboard shortcut:

W = close the current tab.

Reopen a recently closed tab (Chrome only)

If you accidentally close a tab in Chrome, you can easily reopen it with the Shift-Command-T combination:
T = reopen a recently closed tab

We will continue working with tabs in the next Keyboard Kung Fu lesson.

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