1. Computing

The Best Keystrokes for Internet Beginners

Shortcut Commands Worth Learning

By

April, 2014  

Here are several shortcut commands that are useful in your web browser. These commands apply to Firefox, Chrome, IE9+, and Safari.

1. CTRL-T to launch a new browser tab page

Tabbed pages are very useful: they let you open multiple web pages simultaneously without the same memory load as a full browser window.  Simply press CTRL-T to launch a new tab.

Related: use CTRL-Page Up and CTRL-Page Down to navigate between the tabs.

2. CTRL-Enter to type 'www.' and '.com'

Once you have pressed ALT-D to focus on the browser address bar, you can save yourself even more typing.  Since many website addresses start with 'http://www.' and end with '.com', your browser will offer to type those portions for you.  You simply type the middle portion of the address (called the mid-level domain).

Try it: 

  1. press ALT-D or click to focus on your address bar  (the entire address should be block-selected in blue now)
  2. Type CNN
  3. Press CTRL-Enter

More Tips:

  • if you press ALT-CTRL-Enter, you visit the web page and launch a new browser tab page at the same time
  • SHIFT-Enter is for .net web addresses
  • SHIFT-CTRL-Enter is for .org web addresses

3. ALT-D to access the address bar

Your browser's address bar (aka 'URL bar') is where the website address goes.  Instead of reaching for your mouse to click the address bar, try ALT-D on your keyboard.

Like all ALT commands, you hold the ALT key while you poke the 'd' on your keyboard.

Result:  your computer focuses on the address bar, and block-selects the entire address, ready for you to type over top!

 

 

4. CTRL-D to bookmark/favorite a page

To save the current web address as a bookmark/favorite, use CTRL-D on your keyboard.  A dialog box (mini window) will pop up, and suggest a name and folder.  If you like the suggested name and folder, press Enter on your keyboard.

5. Zoom the page with CTRL-mousewheelspin

Is the font too small or too large? Simply hold CTRL with your left hand, and spin your mousewheel with your right hand.  This will zoom the web page and enlarge/shrink the font.  This is wunderbar for those of us with weaker eyes!

6. CTRL-F4 or CTRL-W to close a browser tab page

When you no longer want the web page tab open, press CTRL-F4 or CTRL-W.  This keystroke will close the current tab page while still leaving the web browser open.

7. Backspace to reverse one page in your web browser

Instead of clicking the 'back' button on your screen, try using your keyboard backspace key instead.  As long as you are focused on the page and not the address bar, backspace will reverse you one web page into the past.

Related: Safari web browser also uses CTRL-(Left Arrow) to reverse one page.

8. F5 to refresh the current web page

This is ideal for news pages, or for any web page that didn't quite load correctly.  Press the F5 key to force your web browser to get a fresh copy of the web page.

9. ALT-Home to go to home page

This is a favorite shortcut for many!  If you set your home page to be Google or your favorite news page, simply press ALT-Home to load that page into the current tab.  Much faster than reaching for your mouse and clicking the home button.j

10. ESC to cancel loading your web page

Slow web pages happen often.  If you do not wish to wait for all the graphics and animation to load, simply press the ESC (escape) key at the top left of your keyboard.  It is the same as clicking the red X button beside your address bar.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.