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What browsers have good keyboard support? That means you don't have to use the mouse so much. Or what is a good setup for browser + keyboard interaction.

I know the basic keyboard shortcuts (tab switching, new tabs etc.) but I don't know a good way to switch between links and search areas - usually that means TAB, Shift-TAB one at a time.

Is there maybe some plugin that'll add numbers to links and I could just do something like 12 to go to the link 12?

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7 Answers 7

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Firefox with Vimperator is designed to never, ever need the mouse.

Ever. And it works really quite well. Based upon the cli text editor Vim, so it's certainly got the right idea :)

Just an example:

alt text

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Looks interesting :-) – Ivo Flipse Mar 4 '10 at 10:58
two problems with that... I don't like firefox that much and I don't like vi that much... But I'll give it a try... – egon Mar 4 '10 at 11:09
found something similar for Chrome - Vimium – egon Mar 4 '10 at 11:31

Out of the box Opera supports all-keyboard operation on a page.

The most important is probably navigating links. Just use Shift and the arrow keys:

Shift + ArrowUp: go to a link above the current link.

Shift + ArrowDown: go to a link below the current link.

Shift + ArrowLeft: go to a link to the left of the current link.

Shift + ArrowRight: go to a link to the right of the current link.

These work the same in Opera 9.x and 10.x. In Debilski's link, Keyboard shortcuts, they are listed near "Spatial navigation keys".

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Also, it has single-key keyboard shortcuts, i.e. you can do the actions mentioned above with WASD keys. – Greg Mar 4 '10 at 12:24
See also: . Plus you can easily redefine the shortcuts. – Debilski Mar 4 '10 at 12:26
Note that there have been quite a lot of changes since 9.0, so you should look at a newer document like . (Depending on your OS, you need to look for another page, of course.) – Debilski Mar 4 '10 at 12:32
moving one link at a time isn't really what I'm looking for... It takes way too long if you have over 80 links on page... – egon Mar 4 '10 at 17:02
@egon: you can just use the Page Down key to get to the approximate place. The navigation works on the currently visible part of the page (it will not jump back to near the previous link). It is almost like navigating in a text document with a text editor. It truely does work, I have used it for many years. – Peter Mortensen Oct 26 '11 at 4:23

Links in text mode.

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UZBL is a browser made for exactly this. It's extremely configurable, fast, and you should never feel the need to use your mouse.

It's based on WebKit, so it's fast and supports all the sites that the other WebKit-based browsers does (Chrome, Safari, etc.).

It might have a longer learning curve than for example Firefox with Vimperator, or similar but I believe it would be worth it.

Uzbl follows the Unix philosophy - "Write programs that do one thing and do it well. Write programs to work together. Write programs to handle text streams, because that is a universal interface."

alt text


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this looks interesting... – egon Mar 4 '10 at 17:16
  • Opera
  • Uzbl
  • Lynx
  • Links
  • Elinks
  • Vimperator
  • Vimium
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Surfingkeys is another chrome extension that provides chrome a much better keyboard supports, including

  • scroll in page
  • follow links
  • history forward/backward
  • switch/close/restore/duplicate tab
  • open urls from bookmarks/history
  • open search engines

Surfingkeys -- expand your browser with javascript and keyboard

Demo on youtube

And you can even write you own javascript function for key mapping, as below

mapkey('c-y', 'Show me the money', function() {
    alert('a well-known phrase uttered by characters in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire');

Besides that, surfingkeys has some other very useful features like

  • Search selected with
  • The vim-like marks
  • A better bookmark finder
  • A large cursor in visual mode
  • easy to scroll different div/frames in one page


  • u to show help help
  • f to follow links follow
  • b to browser/search bookmark bookmark
  • v to toggle visual mode visual
  • / to find in current page find
  • space to switch tab tabs
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Firefox can be setup such that the first few letters in a link can be typed and the focus will then move there. If the few letters are not unique then F3 (or Ctrl + G) can be used to jump between the matching links. The link with focus can then opened with Enter (or if it is to be opened in a new tab: Shift + Ctrl + Enter).

You can also get close to a link by typing (e.g. to a unique link text) and then use TAB to get to the desired link.

How to setup Firefox to make this practical can be found in this question, Update 1.

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