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I am trying to use keyboard shortcuts more and more and have run across something I've not been able to figure out. If there is a text box on the page that I want to enter text into, how can I navigate to that field quickly without actually clicking on it with the mouse?

  • I know I can just start tabbing and eventually get to it
  • I've tried using Ctrl-F to find text near it and then tab to it

Any ideas?

5 Answers 5

2

Natively there's no keyboard shortcut to do this, so I fear there's no real solution for this.

What you could try is write a Sikuli script to look for text boxes and then make it mouse click in it.

However, this would only work if the textboxes are similar to the one you use in your script.

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  • 1
    Sadly I couldn't find any relevant AutoHotKey script that does this
    – Ivo Flipse
    Dec 7, 2010 at 15:31
  • Marking this as answered, but if anyone else has any ideas, I'd greatly appreciate it! Dec 8, 2010 at 18:22
  • No need to rush it @Micky ;-) I always hope someone proves me wrong, though sometimes we have to accept it when something can't be done...
    – Ivo Flipse
    Dec 8, 2010 at 18:26
  • As of 2023-08-31 this answer is no longer correct. The answers from @browly and @ ccpizza are. IMHO 1 of them, or a merger of them, should be made the official accepted answer. Actually, I'm not sure if this answer was ever correct, because I think I've been using tab to go to the next form entry since Chrome came out. But I might be wrong.
    – Krazy Glew
    Aug 31, 2023 at 20:30
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Install the Vimium extension for Google Chrome.

Vimium logo

Usage

  1. Type f and all controls and links get a letter combination; here an example for the www.google.com page:

    Google.com website with Vimium shortcuts

  2. Now type n to put the cursor focus in the text field; n because that's what Vimium assigned to this particular textfield.

  3. That's it.

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  • Flipping one of the best extensions ever. WOW! Thanks!
    – Vippy
    Dec 16, 2016 at 21:12
  • @Vippy: You're welcome! :-)
    – Lernkurve
    Dec 18, 2016 at 19:27
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With the Vimium extension, you can use the command gi to focus the first (or n-th) text input box on the page.

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  • This answer is the most accurate, since this feature is designed specifically for that, you can use Tab to switch between search boxes if there is more than one. Sep 25, 2020 at 12:17
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It is natively supported in Chrome, no extensions required.

To move the focus to a form element by specifying nearby text, with just keystrokes:

  1. Hit Ctrl + F to open the "Find" box.
  2. Type what you want to find.
  3. Hit Enter or Shift+Enter to move through the search results to the one you want.
  4. Hit Esc to close the Find box.
  5. Hit Tab to move the focus to the next form element, after the text you found.
  6. Hit Shift+Tab to move to the previous form element, before the text you found.
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  • IMHO this should be the officially approved answer.
    – Krazy Glew
    Aug 31, 2023 at 20:31
  • This works like a charm! Thank you. This answer should be the official approved answer, in my opinion.
    – Leander
    Feb 15 at 9:34
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In any application Tab will move to the next focusable element and Shift+Tab will move to the previous element. This is universal and works in any app on linux, windows or mac.

In the HTML source focusability is controlled by the tabindex atrribute, for example setting <p tabindex="-1">some text</p> will exclude this element from tab navigation and make it unfocusable.

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  • While this is true, it wont work well if a page has lots of links and/or inputs. As Mar replied in 2020, the easy way to to search the control using CTRL+F, and then close the search box once you are close. Then afterwards you can use Tab to navigate to the correct link/input
    – Leander
    Feb 15 at 9:36

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