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 for opening tabs.

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 links in new tabs

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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