I have been writing several articles on shortcuts keys used in various online services and software programs. In this series, today I will talk about shortcut keys (aka access keys) for one of the most popular internet browser, Mozilla Firefox. I love this browser! Although, Google Chrome has caught up in the recent past but still it is Firefox for me, especially while doing web development. Let's see how you can use shortcut keys to enhance your work speed while using this wonderful Internet surfing program named Firefox.
Alt + Home
This combination will take you to your homepage. What is a homepage? Well, it is a webpage that automatically gets opened when you open Mozilla Firefox. You can go to Options and then in General tab you can set your homepage.
Pressing Alt + Home will open your homepage right in your current tab. If you haven't set any homepage, Firefox will open the default about:blank page.
Alt + Left Arrow
Want to go back to the previous page? You don't need to drag your mouse and click on the back button. Just Press Alt + Left Arrow key and the previous page will be loaded in current tab. Remember that this key combination will have no effect if the current tab has no previous history of opened pages.
Alt + Right Arrow
It is exactly opposite of what the above shortcut does. Alt + Right Arrow takes you forward in page history. This shortcut works only if you've earlier pressed back button or Alt+Left Arrow. Obviously, you have to have a forward page in order to go there!
Pressing this function key does one of the most common tasks in internet browsing. It refreshes (or reloads) the current page. This is the quickest way of refreshing a page in Mozilla Firefox. Some people confuse this key with F+5 … no! it is not a combination. F5 is a single key present in the top-most row of keys on your keyboard.
Ctrl + (- or +)
When you are facing trouble reading small fonts on a website, you can always press Ctrl key and then + key to increase the zoom of Mozilla Firefox. This effectively increases the font size and you can easily read the bigger typeface. Pressing – (minus) key along with Ctrl will reduce the zoom level.
To go back to the normal zoom level press Ctrl + 0 (zero)
Wanna see your webpage in full screen mode? Pressing F11 key does the trick. In full screen mode, Firefox will hide menu bar, address bar, tabs and status bar to give all the screen space just to the web page. It's very useful if you're doing a presentation of your website or if you want to bring as much matter in a screenshot as possible.
To exit the full-screen mode, you would need to again hit the F11 key.
To stop loading of a page midway, punch the Esc (escape) key. This key acts like the stop button in Mozilla Firefox browser. In redesigned latest versions of Firefox, stop and refresh button have been made very small —so keys like F5 and Esc have become even more useful.
If you need to quickly scroll down a webpage, keep on pressing the spacebar. One push on spacebar will scroll down the webpage in a Firefox tab by one “screenful” . The same result can be achieved by pressing PageDown key.
Shift + Spacebar
Pressing spacebar along with SHIFT key will roll the web page upward one screenful at a time. This shortcut acts exactly as PageUp key.
Ctrl + Shift + Delete
To ensure your privacy, you should clear the browsing history (especially if you're using a public computer) after you're done surfing the internet. In Firefox, if you press Ctrl + Shift + Delete keys, it will bring up the Clear History box where you can wipe out your surfing trail.
Ctrl + D
A very useful shortcut for adding an opened web page to your Favorites list. When you press Ctrl + D, you'll be asked if you want to add the webpage shortcut to Bookmarks menu or toolbar. I personally use Bookmarks toolbar and add frequently visited pages to it.
Ctrl + T
This key combination opens a new tab in Firefox.
Ctrl + N
Although a tabbed Mozilla Firefox window can cater to your need of opening multiple sites at once —but if, for whatever reasons, you want to open a new Firefox window, press Ctrl and N keys together.
Ctrl + K or Ctrl + E
Both these shortcuts shift the cursor focus into the search box in Firefox window. You just need to press Ctrl + K or Ctrl + E … and then you can type keywords you want to search for.
Alt + D
In case you want to type a new URL in address bar, you would need to select the current URL present there. Alt + D shortcut does exactly that. It helps you to quickly type a new web address and go there.
Alt + Down Arrow
Pressing Alt and D together only selects the current URL in address bar. But if you want to drop the list of previously visited pages, you would need to press Alt and Down Arrow.
Alt + Tab
By keep on pressing Alt and Tab keys together, you can go through all the tabs that are opened in your Mozilla Firefox window.
Ctrl + W or Ctrl F4
Either of these two shortcuts will close the current tab.
Ctrl + Shift + T
This shortcut is a very interesting one indeed. If you've closed a tab by mistake, worry not! This key combination will open a new tab and also load the same page that was opened in the tab you've just closed.
Ctrl + P
It's nothing new for most people. This shortcut brings up the print dialog box wherein you can select options before sending the webpage to printer.
So, fellas, I hope these shortcut keys will make your Mozilla Firefox experience even greater. If you're not habitual to using keyboard for issuing click commands, then it may take a bit of time before you feel at ease with these shortcuts. But when you will begin to use them —you'll never go back to using mouse. I can assure you that.
I hope it was useful for you. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions on this topic. I will be happy to try and help. Thank you for using TechWelkin!