I will admit that I much prefer to do things via keystroke rather than mouse whenever possible. The reason is because keystrokes don’t change. You don’t have to worry about things "going away" or missing from an icon or button you can’t find. Both Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 3 are chock full of keystrokes you can use. No, you won’t use all of them (nobody does), but committing a few to memory is good for when you need them.
Zoom in: CTRL-Plus key
Zoom out: CTRL-Minus key
Zoom reset to normal: CTRL-0 (zero)
There are times when you will be sitting at your computer for long hours and your eyes start to get a bit blurry. Even if you have a big monitor it’s a blessing to have a zoom function.
Jump to address bar
You’ve clicked inside a Google or Yahoo search field and typed in a web address before, right? If you remember F6 then you’ll never make that mistake.
Open link in a new tab
Keystroke: CTRL-Click (hold down CTRL, click link)
Make use of the tab feature in your browser. This is one of the best usability features ever invented for web browsers; it’s far easier to manage tabs than multiple program windows. Use it, love it.
Switch between tabs
Once you’ve got those tabs open you can switch to them with this keystroke (and back).
Closing a tab
You’ll notice that you’ll be using your left hand a lot when doing the tab thing. You’ll be CTRL-TAB’ing about and need to close one every so often. Fortunately CTRL-W is just a few keys away from TAB to close tab(s).
Keystroke: F11 (F11 again to return back to windowed mode)
Need just a little extra space to read stuff? Sometimes you do. Pressing F11 will do just that.
Finding text on a web page
There are times you’ll be confronted with a ton of text in a browser and need to find a specific word or phrase. CTRL-F allows you to do just that.
Note: In Firefox the input field will appear at the bottom. In IE it will open a mini-window which usually appears at the top left (or right depending where you last placed it).
The PCMech.com weekly newsletter has been running strong for over 8 years. Sign up to get tech news, updates and exclusive content - right in your inbox. Also get (several) free gifts.