Just a few simple hints & tips this week for getting more out of your web browser. Firefox & Chrome seem to get major updates every month or so these days (although Firefox have just had to withdraw the latest update, v16, because it had a big security flaw within it); but you have to ask yourself sometimes, does it actually make any difference to your browsing experience (apart from the hidden security updates)? In fact as users we probably only use a tiny fraction of our browser capabilities – maybe they should focus more on educating users about the useful features that are already in their browsers?
We tend to use Firefox as our primary browser here, as I’ve said previously it’s a big fat friendly browser with lots of add ons that help us with web development. It’s only serious rival is Chrome, which is light, nimble footed, building a nice set of add ons, but which spies on what you do and sends that information back to Google which they then make money out of (so it doesn’t really count as being a free browser then).
Anyway, here are some tips that you might not know that we find useful when browsing (work in Firefox and most other browsers):
- Hit the Ctrl button whilst clicking on a link
This opens the link in a new tab (handy if you want to keep the page you’re currently looking at as a reference)
- Drag a tab at the top of the screen whilst holding the Ctrl button
This duplicates the current web page into a new tab.
- Refresh your screen Ctrl and F5
Some people hit F5 to redraw the current web page they are looking at, but if you aren’t seeing changes you expect it might be because your page is cached. Hit Ctrl and F5 to force the browser to get the latest version of a page (especially handy when a developer is working on a page and has updated something but you can’t see the change!)
- Zoom in – Ctrl and +
And zoom out Ctrl and –
And Back to normal Ctrl and 0 (that’s a zero)
- Find on a page – Ctrl and F
And Ctrl and G to find the next entry
- Fill in a .com address – Ctrl and Enter
Type a web address in the address bar, e.g. google then hit Ctrl and Enter to go straight to google.com (sorry no .co.uk equivalent!)
Hopefully that list might reveal just a few short cut features that will help your web browsing efficiency and you to gain better control of your browser.