Productive Web Browsing in Chrome

It was not until my Bluetooth mouse stopped to work that I wanted to be able to use and navigate through Chrome only using my keyboard. After a few weeks, I noticed that it made my daily web browsing experience much more efficient and productive. This is a quick tutorial on how to web browse mouse-less on a Mac.

System Navigation

I use the free version of Alfred to open the Chrome application. Since I use the default configuration, that's done by Option + Space, typing Chrome and pressing Enter.

Should I want to switch between applications, I use the Cmd + Tab shortcut.

Chrome Navigation

Once in Chrome, there is only a few number of shortcuts I use:

Shortcut Function
Cmd + L Jump to search bar of Chrome
Cmd + F Find search-keyword(s) on website
Cmd + Ctrl + F Access/leave full screen mode
Cmd + Shift + F Hide/show tab bar when in full screen mode (my favourite)
Cmd + T Open new tab
Cmd + Shift + T Re-open most recently closed tab; can be used multiple times in a row
Cmd + Any Number n Jump to nth tab (1 ≤ n ≤ 9)
Cmd + Ctrl + Left/Right Arrow Go to tab to the left/right of current tab
Cmd + Left/Right Arrow Go back/forward in browser history of current tab
Cmd + R Reload page
Cmd + W Close tab; if no tab open: close window
Cmd + Q Terminate application
Cmd + N New window

These shortcuts allow me to use Chrome's most important functions. Nonetheless, that's not enough to browse through the web without using a mouse.

Web / Content Navigation

This is where Vimium comes in handy. In contrast to the shortcuts above, this browser extension allows navigating through website content itself rather than the Chrome application. You can also navigate through Chrome, e.g. open new tabs, but that's not what I use Vimium for.

I use Vimium only for the following functions:

Shortcut Function
F Shows shortcuts for every link on page
Shift + F Similar to F but opens link in new tab
J Scroll down a bit
K Scroll up a bit
D Scroll Down half a page
U Scroll Up half a page

Notice that Vimium cannot be activated while your cursor is in some input field. You'd have to press Esc first and then use any of the shortcuts above.

Now you have everything to enjoy Chrome in a frictionless and fast way.

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