Add Keyboard Shortcuts to Chrome, Edge and Firefox with Surfingkeys

Many users continue to rely on keyboard shortcuts for web browsing. Some of them like, Ctrl+F5 to clear page cache or Shift+F5 to reload the page are well known. However, if you want to be a power user, and want to add more shortcuts, add Surfingkeys to Firefox, Edge and Chrome.

Surfingkeys helps you use keyboard shortcuts to browse the web

While a mouse can move a cursor and select text, icons, files, and folders, it’s considered as a pointing device only. It’s a keyboard that is still viewed as the main input device for a computer. So, if you’re a keyboard buff and like keyboard-based navigation on the Internet, give Surfingkeys, a try. The procedure involved is simple-

    Add Surfingkeys to Chrome or Firefox browser.
    Press the Shift+? keys to display list all available keyboard shortcuts.
    Press ‘Escape’ to exit the shortcuts list page.
    Check if some shortcuts work.

If, after installing the extensions and adding it to your browser, you notice that Surfingkeys is disabled, it’s possible you’re on one of the following pages.

    Google Docs
    Chrome New page
    Google Sheets.

Choose a different page and hit the F key.

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Instantly, all anchor points should be visible on the screen.

By selecting a character or group of characters, you can click the relevant links. For example,

For links,

    Press F to open a link.
    Press C to open a link in non-active new tab
    Press CF to open multiple links in a new tab
    Press GF to open a link in non-active new tab
    Press AF to open a link in new tab

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Similarly, to switch tabs,

    Press E to go one-tab left
    Press R to go one-tab right
    Press X to close the current tab
    Press X to restore the closed tab
    Press << to move the current tab to left Press >> to move the current tab to the right
    Press g0 to go to the first tab
    Press g$ to go to the last tab
    Press W to open a new window with the current tab
    Press J to move the current tab to left
    Press K to move current tab to the right
    Press yt to duplicate the current tab
    Press gx0 to close all tabs on left
    Press gxt to close tab on left
    Press gxT to close tab on the right
    Press gx$ to close all tabs on the right
    Press # to scroll pages / DIVs

Other shortcuts

    G – Scroll to the bottom of the page
    J – Scroll down
    K – Scroll up
    H – Scroll left
    L – Scroll right
    E – Scroll a page up
    D – Scroll a page down
    GG – Scroll to the top of the page
    $ – Scroll all the way to the right
    % – Scroll to the percentage of the current page
    CS – Reset scroll target
    CS – Change scroll target

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Some more additional shortcuts to search with desired search engines,

    SW – Search selected with Microsoft Bing
    SG – Search selected with Google
    SB – Search selected with Baidu
    SY – Search selected with YouTube

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You can also write your own code snippets and assign keyboard shortcuts to execute them. For this, simply right-click the Surfingkeys icon and choose Settings.

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When directed to a new page – Key Mappings, check the ‘Advanced mode’ box and begin writing your own code in the text editing section.

When done, hit the ‘Esc’ to exit the anchor-point mode. The web interface should return back to its normal mode.

Kindly note, the tool has a different set of actions configured for ‘selected text’. So, if you find that Surfingkeys is not responding to the commands listed above, check if any text/s are selected. Deselect the content to allow Surfingkeys to respond appropriately.

Surfingkeys extension is capable of supporting keyboard combinations that require pressing 2 or 3 keys.

Final words

Surfingkeys allow you to do practically anything related to the browser via your keyboard. As such, it comes across as one of the most feature-rich and usable keyboard browsing addons. It’s not strictly bound by Vim legacy, but it does follow vi’s idea of the mnemonic hotkey language faithfully. The only downside of using this mode is you should have some knowledge about Javascript and HTML knowledge to do web scripting.

For more information, you can visit the Chrome Web Store or Firefox Addon page. You can use Chrome extensions on Edge, as well.

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