Is it possible to do efficient browsing with Firefox using only the keyboard (like in Opera)?
By efficient I mean something faster than using TAB - this takes far too long. The arrow keys should be for navigation (in Opera it is Shift + arrow key). It can done with the Vimperator add-on or its successor Pentadactyl, but isn't there a simpler way?
The closest to Opera's way is to enable caret navigation (F7 toggles this mode). It doesn't jump between links so it is a little bit slower, but the normal navigation (arrow keys, page up, page down, etc.) works and the focus/caret/cursor follows (in contrast to a text editor for page up/down). And text can be selected and copied like in a text editor.
The biggest drawback is that in practice it is necessary to switch in and out of caret mode. And there is no indication of which mode is currently active.
A workaround (proposed by several, but is not really what I am looking for) can be used if three settings are changed (to make it practical). After these changes the first few letters of a link text can be typed and that link will selected so pressing Enter will open it.
Using the workaround, the screen will jump around if it is a long page as it does not restrict itself to the current visible page, but it is usable.
Changes (see below for other versions of Firefox):
Hamburger menu (upper right) → Preferences → General. Under headline Browser (scroll down) → Search for text when I start typing
Turn this option on.
Set option to only go to links; in the address bar enter
followed by Enter. Then: press I accept the risk!, find the line accessibility.typeaheadfind.linksonly, select it and change the value to True by either hitting Enter or Shift + F10/Toggle (accessibility.typeaheadfind.linksonly is on line 11 when I tried).
Turn off case-sensitivity. Set accessibility.typeaheadfind.casesensitive to 0 (same procedure as for accessibility.typeaheadfind.linksonly, see above. When Enter is pressed a dialog box will appear with the current value. Type 0 and press Enter).
To use it: type some part of the link. If there are several possibilities use Ctrl + G (or F3) to jump between them. Use Ctrl + Enter to open in a new tab.
For older versions of Firefox
It is the same as the above, except:
Option Search for text when I start typing:
menu Tools/Options/Advanced/tab General/Accessibility/Search for text when I start typing
Opening the about:config page, the button is I'll be careful, I promise.
Platform: Firefox 3.0.6, Windows XP 64 bit SP2.