20 Must-Have IE and Firefox Shortcuts

CIO - I spend hours and hours exploring the Web. At times all that mousing around makes my right hand hurt. So I try to use keyboard shortcuts at least some of the time. At the very least, using different muscles in the hand relieves some of the strain, and sometimes those shortcuts save time compared to the corresponding mouse commands.

In September I gave you a handful of tips and tricks to make Chrome easier to use; here's a comprehensive list of Chrome keyboard shortcuts supplied by Google.

Here are 20 must-know tips to ease your aching hands when browsing with IE 7 or 8 and Mozilla Firefox 3 on a PC.

Internet Explorer 8 Shortcuts

1. Here's one I find quite useful when I'm using my laptop on an airplane without a mouse and need to copy and past from a Web page into another application or search bar. It's called caret browsing, and it has nothing to do with diamonds. Pressing F7 brings up a dialog box asking if you'd like to enable caret browsing. Click yes. You'll then see a movable cursor (the caret) that allows you to select and paste text, using well-known keyboard commands like tab, home, page up, and so on. It also works in Firefox, but not in Chrome.

2. Need to adjust the size of the text? You can increase or decrease the size of the page in 10% increments. To zoom in, press CTRL+PLUS SIGN (+). To zoom out, press CTRL+MINUS SIGN (-). To restore the zoom to 100%, press CTRL+0 (that's zero not the letter O).

3. To search the Web using different engines. Press Ctrl+E to get to the search box, followed by Control + down arrow to scroll the list of engines.

4. Here's one that gives you a Chrome-like view of open tabs as thumbnails: Ctrl+ Q. (A friend says that feature originated in Safari; that's yet another example of how competition improves products across the board.)

5. Open a new tab in the foreground: CTRL+T

6. Switch between tabs: CTRL+TAB or CTRL+SHIFT+TAB

7. Close current tab (or the current window if tabbed browsing is disabled): CTRL+W

8. Open a new tab in the foreground from the Address bar: ALT+ENTER

9. Switch to a specific tab number: CTRL+n (where n is a number between 1 and 8)

10. Switch to the last tab: CTRL+9

11. Close other tabs: CTRL+ALT+F4

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