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Image It’s time for another MakeUseOf Poll. This time instead of voting on the best program for the job we are asking you to tell us about your favorite shortcuts.

Like any other widely used piece of software Firefox has its own set of keyboard shortcuts. Some of them are quite popular while some are ones you may never have heard about. If you have been using Firefox for some time now I am sure you have your own must-use list. Tell us about them.

Please vote on your top 5 shortcuts below (you can select up to 5 shortcuts). We might have missed a few though. If one or more of your favorite shortcuts aren’t listed then please select ‘Other’ and let us know about them in the comments.


  1. John Baima
    July 23, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Ctrl+F5 for a hard refresh. I use it all the time.

  2. Mícheál
    July 20, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Has to be Ctrl+W (Command+W OSX) which closes tabs.

  3. jbhq
    July 19, 2008 at 6:18 am

    most used?
    ^ + SHIFT + B - organize bookmarks

  4. Wes
    July 17, 2008 at 7:27 am

    I very often want to have a quick look at a word in the free dictionary or some subject in Wikipedia

    So I've got into the habit of selecting text then:

    Ctrl+C > Ctrl+T > Ctrl+K > Ctrl+V > Ctrl+DownArrow (to scroll through search engines) > Enter

    I almost do it without thinking these days.

    Might consider upping the use of Alt+Enter for "open search in new tab" though - that's a good 'un.

  5. shortcherriez
    July 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Alt + tab

  6. david
    July 15, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    backspace, for going back a page.

  7. Madison
    July 15, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    I'm a big fan of CTRL + W to close tabs I don't need any more.

  8. hoaai
    July 15, 2008 at 11:46 am

    I vote ^F, ^C, F11, keyword search and ^K

    I've become so used to use Mouse Gestures Redox - i rarely use the keyboard at all.

    Paint line upwards = new tab
    right then left = close tab
    line downwards = Google Calendar

  9. Lethann
    July 15, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Guess I'm odd, I don't use shortcuts because I prefer Mouse Gestures (FireGestures 1.1.2 plugin).

  10. zennf
    July 15, 2008 at 4:41 am

    I voted:


    and Ctrl+F12 which reopens the last closed tab.

    I never the use the search bar, only quick searches in the adress/awesome bar

    Is there a repository of all the shortcuts ?

    • zennf
      July 15, 2008 at 4:46 am

      Oh and no Ctrl+T to open a new tab. Tab mix plus takes care of that any time I type a new URL, open a bookmark or a history item

  11. vicky
    July 15, 2008 at 1:14 am

    i need ctrl c/v/x for paper and for my flat :D

    • Aibek
      July 15, 2008 at 1:31 am


  12. Someone
    July 14, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Just five ? I selected eight and I use them ALL the time.

  13. Rob
    July 14, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    ctrl-W for sure, as well as / for find-as-you-type (ie: really quick searching for the first occurrence of a term)

  14. pq
    July 14, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    i really like ctrl+F4 (closes current tab)

    • Aibek
      July 15, 2008 at 1:31 am

      I dunno, maybe it's just me, but I find it easier to close tabs using mouse scroll button. Simply bring the cursor on top of the tab and click on the scroll button.

  15. wolssiloa@
    July 14, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    What about ALT-ENTER for opening a new tab with the search results (if using the Search bar) or opening a bookmark in a new tab.

    • Aibek
      July 15, 2008 at 1:27 am

      Agree, that's another good shortcut. Though for some reason I am used to CTRL+T -> Ctrl+K, does the same thing. :-)

  16. Shreela
    July 14, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    I'm near-sighted, so I use ctrl++ frequently on sites using very small text (if I wore my glasses, I'd have to sit 4 feet away from the monitor). I'm thrilled that FF3 remembers individual sites' text-size settings. Now I only have to use that shortcut when on new sites.

    I tried a shortcut remapper addon a while back, but I quit using it for some reason (maybe it didn't work that great, or maybe the developer stopped updating so it wouldn't work with newer releases?) I'm tired of shortcut-clashes between addons, but after chatting with one addon developer, I learned that FF keeps taking away available shortcuts, leaving addon developers less options. So of course there's going to be an increase in addon shortcut clashes.

    Is there a fairly reliable way to remap FF3's shortcuts? I searched, but mostly found Mac and Linux FF3 remapping, no windows.

    • Aibek
      July 15, 2008 at 1:23 am

      I am sure you can remap shortcuts in about:config. I have never tried it myself though.

  17. Neanderthal
    July 14, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    ctrl-t ??? just double click the tab bar for a new tab in maxthon.

    • Anonymous Coward
      July 14, 2008 at 9:00 pm

      No, thank you. I like my carpal tunnel.

      While we can double-click the tab bar (or add a new-tab button to the navigation bar), it's more practical for some of us to keep our hands on the keyboard.. Hence, ctrl+t.

      And doesn't this pertain only to Firefox? Maxthon doesn't even use the same engine.

  18. Foldz
    July 14, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Ummm, where is ctrl-W? That is the one I use the most.

    • Aibek
      July 15, 2008 at 1:21 am

      I missed it, my bad.

  19. Mags
    July 14, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    You list shortcuts for opening, switching, reloading, restoring tabs, why not the shortcut for closing them, Ctrl-W? On a laptop with a touchpad, it's very useful.

  20. Robert
    July 14, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Cmd+W is left out :(

    • Dan
      July 15, 2008 at 8:51 am

      Exactly.... CTRL-W to close the tab!!!!

  21. Famf
    July 14, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    What about F5?

    • Aibek
      July 15, 2008 at 1:20 am

      F5 = Ctrl + R

  22. Mackenzie
    July 14, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    I voted:

    I use ^F and / (depending on if I need to find all occurrences or just one). ^R, ^, ^+ and ^- are also very common for me. I pretty much only work with keyboard shortcuts.

    By the way, ^Y is that annoying download manager. ^J doesn't do anything for me. I really think Download Statusbar ought to be the default, though. It's much more convenient than the separate window.

  23. Mark O'Neill
    July 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    I voted for three above. My fourth favourite one is CTRL + P for printing something out and my fifth is ALT and the left & right arrow keys for navigating back and forth through pages.

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