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Yes, it takes only 7 shortcuts, master them and you’ll defintiely be a lot faster. These 7 shortcuts are meant to make browsing and basic PC tasks easier. While couple of shortcuts are Firefox only, most should work pretty much on any browser.

Mouse Scroll Button

mouse-scroll-tip.jpg Anyone who spends a considerable amount of time on the web should find this shortcut absolutely invaluable. I am not sure about whether this works in IE 7, but if you use Firefox then you can use your mouse scroll button to open links in a new tab. It’s a finger-tip shortcut to the frequently used ‘right click -> Open Link in New Tab’ combination. Plus, since it’s at your finger tips it’s really easy to get used to it.

Quick Searches

There are two things that makes Firefox my favorite, one is tabs and the other is quick searches. I am surprised by the amount of people who still don’t know about it. If you haven’t tried it before you should definitely do so now.

Firefox’s Quick Search functionality allows you to set up one-click acess to searching your favorite websites. Whether it’s Wikipedia, IMDB, Youtube… whatever, by setting up a Quick Search for any of these websites you will be able to search it rite from the address bar.

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How to:

  • 1. Go to the website you want to setup a quick search for.
  • 2. Right click on the search field and select ‘Add a Keyword for this Search…’
  • 3. Come up with a short word and enter it into ‘Keyword’ field.
  • 4. Press OK.
  • 5. Next time you want to search that website just go to the address bar and type-in the keyword and the search term.

Check out the video below, it sums up the whole idea quite well.

Open New Tab Window

Firefox only. Basically clicking on Ctrl+T opens a new blank tab. It’s also the easiest one to remember.

Using Google as unit converter

Need to convert USD to EUR ? Maybe miles to kilometers? Whatever the units are, you can instantly do it with Google. Just type-in your querry (“45 GBP in USD”, “31 miles in km”) as any other search term and search. Google will instantly convert entered units and show you the result.

Using Google as unit converter


Keeping a long story short, this one lets you speed-up and secure your web connection. There is nothing to download or install, all you need to do is open your connection settings and change the DNS servers to the ones provided by OpenDNS. For step-by-step howto and video demo see OpenDNS review here.


Show Desktop Shortcut

‘Windows Button + D’ collpases all active windows to the Taskbar. If at any given time you need to get to some icon on your desktop, that is the fastest way to get there.

Copy, Paste and Cut

These 3 shortcuts are the holy grail of a speedy user. They are a absolute must-know and work pretty much anywhere.

  • Ctrl + C: Copy
  • Ctrl + V: Paste
  • Ctrl + X: Cut

Got another ground shattering shortcut ? Let us know in comments.

  1. Dheeraj
    August 3, 2009 at 2:31 am

    to move screen wants up then up arrow key, wants down then down

  2. Rachel
    February 4, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Another way to find things within a page is also to use Ctrl + F and type your keyword into the taskbar that comes up from the bottom of the window.

    • prajesh
      February 8, 2009 at 8:32 pm

      For Firefox...........tool>option>Advanced tab>general tab> then check on 'search for text when i start typing' will make ctrl + f more easier, you dont even have to press those shortcuts.....start typing for what you want..(cursor should not be in any text area)
      Also Alt + left arrow and Alt + right arrow will do the work of Back and Forward in firefox and in IE

  3. tom markham
    September 26, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    What effect does the "Open DNS" trick have on my current ISP? It seems so easy and effective that it must be a violation of some existing agreement.
    Thank you for the shortcuts!

    • colinnwn
      February 24, 2009 at 5:36 pm

      The only effect of openDNS on your ISP is that it reduces the load on their servers. DNS is required to make the web work (it converts to its IP address, but it isn't a real value add, so ISPs throw the minimum required amount of resources and servers into it. OpenDNS is an organization dedicated to providing fast DNS queries for free. Using OpenDNS shouldn't violate your ISP agreements, and if it does you have an unethical ISP.

      It isn't kosher that some ISPs intercept DNS queries to other servers and redirect them to their own. As another pointed out, this is only so they can spy on you. Now it isn't cool to ISP B if you pay ISP A for your internet service, and configure your computer to use ISP B's DNS servers. But all companies that have a problem with this should have already configured their servers to only respond to DNS requests inside their own ISP range.

  4. Rich
    September 25, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Ctrl+L takes you straight to the address bar.

  5. Tina
    January 30, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Yay! I "passed this test" with 6 out of 7 points, didn't know about the Open DNS one. Thanks Aibek! :)

    • Aibek
      January 31, 2008 at 9:28 pm

      My pleasure ;-)

  6. Alan
    January 27, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    try WIN + L to lock your pc

  7. Stephen
    January 27, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Not sure if this is Vista only but, depending on the arrangement of your quick launch bar, you can press Windows+Number to launch that program. For example, IE is in the second slot on my quick launch bar and when I press Windows+2 a new IE opens up.

    • Aibek
      January 29, 2008 at 7:38 am

      Wow, that's really nice. Just tested it on Vista and works like a charm :-)

  8. Zen Render
    January 26, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Oh, and if your mouse has a "thumb" button, that's usually mapped to be "Back" (same as backspace in a browser), which is great for browsing, but if you don't have one of those buttons on your "normal" mouse, you can remap the wheel "click" function to be a back key.

    And I think the high-contrast tip I gave earlier might be ALT-Shift-PrtScn, but I can't test it right now, 'cause I'm running Ubuntu on this laptop. :)

    • Aibek
      January 27, 2008 at 9:15 am

      Yeap 'ALT-Shift-PrtScn' works ... Neat trick :-)

  9. Zen Render
    January 26, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Another nice combo I use in Firefox all the time is CTRL-click, which opens a link in a new tab (no need for a blank tab, is there?).

    IBM laptop users can remap the capslock key to be a Windows key (seriously - when was the last time you used capslock for anything?).

    Other nice shortcuts are Windows Pause (brings up the system properties, much faster than right-clicking My Computer, and selecting Properties), and Windows L (lock workstation, which comes in handy if you have coworker who enjoy sending silly emails to your department if you walk away from your unlocked workstation).

    Finally, a useless (for most of us) shortcut. Windows-Shift-PrtScn, and then hit Enter to answer Yes to the High-Contrast (white on black) display. A nice way to mess with a coworker's machine in 2 seconds. Repeat the keystrokes to put it back the way it was.

    Oh, and in Vista, Windows-Tab does the groovy Aero "Wow-factor" window switcher...

  10. TallPaul
    January 26, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    The mouse wheel trick works in Opera too. It's very cool.

    A warning on OpenDNS though: some ISPs, for example VirginMedia in the UK, run a DNS proxy, so they intercept any DNS requests you make to external DNS servers and give you the results using their own DNS servers. It's not entirely clear why - the worry is that they may be logging the data to build up browsing patterns ...

    • Aibek
      January 27, 2008 at 9:10 am

      Thanks for sharing. But isn't it illegal?

  11. Syahid A.
    January 26, 2008 at 6:36 am

    Lol! Thanks for the Win + D shortcut. Previously I've been using Win + M to minimize and Win + Shift + M to restore all open windows.

    You just save me one shortcut less to remember. :D

  12. Damian
    January 26, 2008 at 5:47 am

    To add to using google for unit conversions, if yuo have the google toolbar, it can display answers to conversions and calculations in the auto suggest dropdown

  13. Ellidi
    January 25, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    In Firefox, CTRL+K selects the browser search box. Then CTRL+UP/DOWN scrolls between search engines. CTRL+L selects the address bar.
    These are shortcuts I would die without.

  14. Verdican
    January 25, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    Here are some of the shortcuts I use in Firefox:

    Ctrl+L: Use this combination to jump directly to the address bar.

    Ctrl+Enter: After typing then name of a website into the address bar, click Ctrl+Enter, and it will automatically fill in a 'www' before and a '.com' after the word you typed. Clicking this in combination with Alt (Alt+Ctrl+Enter) will open up the page in a new tab. Very nifty.

    Ctrl+K: This jump you to the Mozilla Firefox start page, which is basically a Google Search engine

    Ctrl+Shift+T: I always accidentally close my tabs, and I use this to reopen that tab.

    Ctrl+Shift+Delete: Delete your private data.

    • Aija
      January 26, 2008 at 12:43 pm

      So thanks for Ctrl+Shift+T!! I need it soooo much! :D
      (btw - Opera for this is simply Ctrl+Z, but I prefer FF)

      And of course Ctr+Z is universal for Windows users to undo what has been done :)
      And I like some of theese too:
      Ctrl+F4 close tab
      Ctrl+Tab swich between tabs (also Ctrl+Shift+Tab)
      Alt+F4 close window
      Alt+Tab swich between programms (very useful!)

      But my best shortcuts are selfmade for Win+R
      Like to open calculator - Win+R write in "cal"
      only I can write shortcuts that I have made (for most used folders und stuff) So useful!! But sorry, I cant tell you how to do that - I forgot :(

      • Aibek
        January 27, 2008 at 9:04 am

        "But sorry, I cant tell you how to do that - I forgot" :-)

        @ Verdican: Thanks a ton for 'Ctrl+Shift+T', I REALLY needed this one.

  15. mexijo
    January 25, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Any hint for us IBM-thinkpad users that don't have the Windows-Key? How do I get the desktop?

    • Caleb White
      January 25, 2008 at 12:54 pm

      CTRL+ESC > R-click > "Show the Desktop" > Too much work?

      • Aibek
        January 27, 2008 at 8:58 am

        Seems like too much of work. So I am going with hofi here, get autohotkey.

    • hofi
      January 26, 2008 at 6:06 am

      Or you could use a tool like autohotkey (

      You could for example use the following code:

      ^!d::Send #d

      This would map Ctrl+Alt+D to Win+D, so you could show/hide the desktop that way.

  16. maven2k
    January 25, 2008 at 9:15 am

    These are some really useful tips (and I use almost all of them every day) but it still amazes me how many people, especially people that use a computer every single day, still have no idea about the shortcuts for cut, copy, and paste. People are really tied to the mouse and rarely if ever use the keyboard for anything but typing.

  17. Thang
    January 25, 2008 at 7:16 am

    With Firefox, use extension SnapLink to open one or multiple active links by just one drag (you could one even 100 links --> new tabs in 1 sec)

  18. Adi
    January 25, 2008 at 3:34 am

    even windows+M woks for the show desktop thing

    • Aibek
      January 25, 2008 at 8:44 am

      It does, but Windows+D is a bit better. It also allows you to uncollapse taskbar windows back to a previous state. Just try clicking it twice and you'll see what I mean.

  19. Jon
    January 25, 2008 at 3:13 am

    re: Quick Searches
    Often you want a search on a new tab on some text phrase you've just read in another tab. The the Firefox add-on Drag De Go is much quicker than quick search. Just grab the text and drop it the direction you've designated for a specific search engine (right for Yahoo search, left for Google search...)

    • Aibek
      January 25, 2008 at 8:33 am

      The addon looks pretty good. Although I still prefer the manual approach, mainly because it's memory-savy, Plus you;re much more flexible when the number of saved search destinations grow.

  20. Chris Estes
    January 25, 2008 at 1:07 am

    I will have to check out the open DNS. As far as the others they should be everyone's SOP.

  21. brandon079
    January 24, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    also the Show Desktop shortcut is Win+D

    • Aibek
      January 25, 2008 at 8:12 am

      Fixed ! Thanks.

  22. brandon079
    January 24, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Ctrl+T also works for IE7 to open a new tab.

  23. Dan
    January 24, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    Wow! I am so glad I learned about the middle mouse button shortcut!

    The Show Desktop shortcut mentioned may only apply to Vista, since for XP at least, the corresponding keystroke is 'Windows + D'.

    • Aibek
      January 25, 2008 at 8:40 am

      Sorry it was just a typo the above 'Show Desktop' shortcut is 'Win+D', both on Win. XP and Vista.

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