Chrome has generally great keyboard support, but there are a few things that you can't do with the keyboard in Chrome:

  • Open the previous page in a new tab. (Ctrl-click on the back button does this, but no way to do this with the keyboard.)
  • Open the next page in a new tab.
  • See the list of previous pages and open one of them. (Long click on back button, again no way to do this with the keyboard.)
  • See the list of next pages and open one of them.
  • Reorder tabs.
  • Pull a tab out to its own window.

I want to use AutoHotKey, or any other program or method, to make keyboard shortcuts for all of these actions.

Can anyone give me any pointers on how to do this?

  • 1
    I think this is going to be a lot more complicated than you realize. What you are looking to do does not require simple automation, it requires actually interfacing with Chrome to invoke actions. You may need to actually write an extension to accomplish this, or possibly manipulate chrome's webkit using something like .NET (webkitdotnet.sourceforge.net). – MaQleod Sep 10 '11 at 21:14

A solution that does not use AutoHotkey is to use the Vimium extension. It is meant to emulate Vim in Chrome, but what it really does is give every action in Google Chrome a customizable keyboard shortcut, along with remembering your preferred zoom size on a site-by-site basis.

See its README for more detail, with special attention on the section "Custom Key Mappings", which lets you execute a string of keyboard keys launched by one keyboard shortcut.

To create your first item, open the previous page in a new tab, could possibly be done as follow :

Alt-D     (move the focus to the location bar)
Alt-Enter (open up the current URL into a new tab)
Ctrl+9    (switch to the last tab)
Backspace (go back to previous)

The result is that your tab was duplicated and is still displayed as the next tab (although without its history), and your current tab went to its previous page. I believe that this is the closest one can come to what was asked, as unfortunately duplicating a tab with its history requires using the mouse.

You can combine this extension with Shortcut Manager, which adds more keyboard capabilities.

The list of all Chrome Keyboard and mouse shortcuts is very long, and can be useful when constructing your macros as described above.

If you still intend to use AutoHotkey, you could use the above material to create the AutoHotkey macros, in much the same way as I described.

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  • Meh... Not getting really useful things from that extension. – Ram Rachum Sep 16 '11 at 23:53

You may be able to do some of what you want with the Shortcut Manager extension, which allows you to assign bookmarklets or JavaScript code to keyboard shortcuts.

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  • I checked it out and it cannot do any of the tasks I asked for. – Ram Rachum Sep 12 '11 at 12:29

I wish I could help with more than just one item, but...

  • See the list of previous pages and open one of them. (Long click on back button, again no way to do this with the keyboard.)

This can be accomplished by focusing on the back button and pressing the Menu Key on your keyboard, which in most instances simulates a "right click" on the focused item and opens the context menu. This key seems to be being phased out of keyboards, so Windows allows you to simulate it with Shift+F10.

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