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Use Vimium to browse the keyboard in Chrome and Firefox


The mouse is a great invention, but don't sell the keyboard short, even for web browsing. Thanks to a very effective browser add-on called Vimium, you can surf the Internet without touching your mouse.

Imagine you're lying on the couch with your laptop on your legs, so you're stuck with the trackpad. However, moving back and forth between the trackpad and keyboard while lying down is less than helpful.

With Vimium, you can browse comfortably without moving your hands and leaning back to your heart's content.

Getting started with Vimium

Vimium is inspired by the classic text editor Vim. Vim, a favorite among programmers, navigates through text files using the keys on the row of a QWERTY keyboard. Vim (and its predecessor, Vi) supports simple keyboard commands to move by line, word or phrase, or to cut and paste text, delete lines, and many more operations.

The Vimium browser add-on isn & # 39; t as complex as its ancestor. However, it borrows the idea of ​​controlling a program from the home row to be super efficient. Anyone who knows how to use Vim will be able to get used to the browser add-on without any problems as they use similar commands.

Vimium is available for Chrome and Firefox. It also works with Opera, the new version of Edge, Brave and Vivaldi, all of which are based on Chromium ̵

1; the open-source version of Chrome.

Vimium doesn't work with every website, but it works with most. If it doesn't work on a particular website, the Vimium icon in the browser will be grayed out as shown below. When Vimium works, the icon is blue.

  The Vimium icon is grayed out in a Chrome window.
If the Vimium icon is grayed out, it is inactive.

How to Use Vimium's Shortcut Keys

It takes some practice to get the shortcut keys down. However, once you do this, navigating the internet becomes so much easier. We can't cover all of the Vimium shortcuts in this tutorial, so we'll focus on the most useful ones, especially for people new to Vimium.

Some Vimium shortcuts require lowercase letters. Others need capital letters, so you also need to press Shift while typing the letters. We have shown the letters in the correct cases.

But first you need to know how to navigate a web page. These shortcuts are identical to the ones in Vim. To scroll down, press j; you can use short taps or hold down j to scroll quickly. Tap k to scroll up again. Again, short tapping or holding down the key will give you faster or slower operation.

To skip a large part of the page, press d. Press u to increase the same amount of space. According to the Vimium team, these commands should scroll up or down about half a page, but in our experience it's more like a third or less.

  The blue Vimium icon at the top of a web browser.
When Vimium is active, the icon is blue.

Finally, to jump to the top of a page, press g twice. Press Shift + g to go to the very bottom of a page. The last command is a huge help if you are trying to get to the bottom of a web page designed for endless scrolling. You get there much faster, and without a repeated load by turning the mouse wheel of a mouse.

You can also press f to open a link on the current page, or Shift + f to open a link in a new tab. After pressing f or Shift + f, each link on the page (as shown below) is labeled as DE, F, SE, and so on. Type the label of the link you want to open.

  A Google results page with each link covered with a yellow label with two letters each.
Left labeled in Vimium.

Opening the left may take some practice. , especially on search engine pages, where each item can have three links or more. Spend some time with Vimium and you will master it.

Now that you understand the basics of navigating a page, it's time to navigate between tabs. There are four shortcuts that are useful for this. Press Shift + k to move to the next tab to the right. To move left, press Shift + j.

You can also go back or forward in a tab's history, just as you would by clicking the Previous or Next buttons with a mouse. Press Shift + h to go backward, or Shift + l to go forward.

A few other keyboard shortcuts to get you started are t to open a new tab, x to close a tab, and Shift + x to the most recently closed tab or browser window.

Vimium can also open bookmarks, search a page for a word or phrase, reload a page, open the HTML source of a web page, scroll left or right on a page that does not fit the screen, copy the URL of a link and much more.

For a complete list of commands, check out Vimium's GitHub repository. By convention, Vimium describes its keyboard shortcuts in upper and lower case. For example, say you need to press Shift for capital letters.

Troubleshooting Vimium

Once you have removed the shortcuts, Vimium is very easy to use, but there are a few problems you are likely to encounter. The first of these is a new tab. If you go back through history to a new tab screen, you won't be able to cycle further, because Vimium doesn't work with blank tabs.

You must use either your mouse or trackpad to move forward one page. in history or press Ctrl + L to type a new URL in the address bar.

Another common problem is getting stuck in a text box or the address bar where your keystrokes are interpreted as text. In these cases, it is easiest to press Tab to exit the text input area or click away with your mouse or trackpad.

Overall, Vimium is a great way to browse. Armed with these basic shortcuts, you can browse the web in no time!

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