7 tips to boost your browsing skills…

Posted: January 30, 2011 in All Categories

We all are probably spending a good amount of our computing time within the confines of a web browser. But are we making the most of that time? Nope we will not if you we rely on the same old browser habits that is developed years ago. The good news: There are plenty of ways in which we can supercharge the web browsing without resorting to a bunch of tricks that you’ll likely forget. Here is my top 7 tips to boost your browsing skills:

Browsing Skills

Browsing Skills

Discover caret browsing

One of the best-kept secrets of both Internet Explorer (IE) and Firefox is the caret browsing feature. Caret browsing essentially makes web pages more keyboard friendly – and web surfing a lot more productive, particularly if you spend much time at all selecting and copying text or graphics from a website.

With caret browsing activated, a text cursor appears within any web page, and moving the cursor around and highlighting text and graphics are very similar to performing the same actions in a word processing document.

In caret mode, the Tab key moves you from one major section of a web page to another, and the Enter key will activate any link on which the cursor is positioned.

You can activate (and de-activate) caret browsing by simply pressing the F7 key in both IE and Firefox. Google’s Chrome has a version of caret browsing that involves first selecting some text and then using the Shift and arrow keys to select more.

Launch into full screen

Most elements of web browsers – menus, toolbars, status bars, and the like – are useless clutter once you’ve landed on a page that you want to read. To get rid of the clutter, simply tap the F11 key. All of the major browsers will launch into ‘full screen’ mode, showing you just your web page and none of the browser controls you don’t need.

Press F11 again to return to the browser’s previous state.

With Internet Explorer, you can still access your menus with in full screen mode. Just use the keyboard shortcuts (Alt-F, Alt-E, and so on), and the menus will hover over the web page.

Outsmart ads

One of the biggest time-zappers while surfing the internet today is waiting for ads to load – or waiting for them to leave you alone so that you can get to the content you need.

You can get rid of most ads altogether in a couple of ways. First, if you’re a Firefox user, head straight for Adblock Plus (http://bit.ly/12oUg). Install this plugin, and in no time bothersome ads will be a distant memory.

This plugin can’t zap all ads, but it takes care of most of them. Chrome users also now have a beta version of Adblock plus (http://bit.ly/7EABcN) that they can try.

If you’re using IE, try Ad Muncher (www.admuncher.com), which is also compatible with most other browsers.

Use the keyboard

Think about the operations you perform repeatedly in your browser using the mouse. There are probably keyboard shortcuts for most of them that can save you a lot of time.

Do you frequently return to your home page, for example? Hold down the Alt key and tap Home (Alt-Home) Need to find something on a web page? Ctrl-F activates the Find box. Need a new tab? Ctrl-T takes care of it. And how about switching among open tabs? Ctrl-Tab does the trick. These tricks work in all of the major browsers.

Try a form filler

Web forms are everywhere these days, and most of them ask for the same information: your name, address, e-mail address, and perhaps your credit card if you’re purchasing something.

Make short work of entering all of that information by enlisting the help of a form filler. The two best ones are LastPass (http://lastpass.com) and RoboForm (http://www.roboform.com).

Adopt multiple browsers

You might love IE. You may swear by Firefox. You may be intrigued by Chrome. Regardless of which browser you prefer, one of the other browsers likely has a feature (or a add-on) that will let you get your work done faster.

There’s no reason these days not to be acquainted with all of the major web browsers. That would be IE, Firefox, and Chrome. They’re all free. They all get along with one another when installed on the same computer.

And thanks to a diverse and talented development community, they all have add-ins or plugins that provide unique features that are not available on other browsers. Just spend some time at the Add-ons for Firefox page (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/browse/type:7) or the Google Chrome Add-ons site (http://www.mychromeaddons.com/) to get a taste of what’s out there.

Learn Browser Tricks

The web browser is the most used software on your computer, so it helps to know as much about it as possible. Here are a few things you may not have been aware of.

Triple-click to select paragraph

To select an entire paragraph, such as this one, left click on it three times. This works in IE and Firefox (but not in Opera, however it might work in others like Safari or Konqueror). From there you can press CTRL+C to copy and paste into Notepad, Word or wherever you wish.

CTRL+F5 to force-reload

You’ve heard the phrase a million times, “Clear your cookies/cache and restart browser to view X properly.” Most of the time the same thing can be done via a CTRL+F5. The F5 is to refresh the page. When used in combination with CTRL it overrides the cache and loads everything as new.

The CTRL+F5 function to the best of my knowledge universally does the same thing across all web browsers. However on some like Google Chrome, a rapid double-click does the same thing.

CTRL+H to view history

It’s true you can view browser history simply by examining the address bar, but if you want to see where you’ve visited by day, most visited and so on, you need look at the browser history. This is done in IE or Firefox via CTRL+H. This opens up a sidebar with all your history in it.
Jumping to tab by number

Each tab you have open in your browser is assigned a numerical value. You can easily jump to the first 9 by pressing CTRL and the corresponding number.
For example, if you have three tabs open and want to jump to tab 2, press CTRL+2.

F3 to search again

Searching for text on a web page is easy. Just press CTRL+F and type what you want to find. This is (as far as I’m aware) universal across all web browsers. When you do this, the first instance of what you were looking for is found.

Most people use clickable arrows to continue searching for the same text. However it’s much easier just to press F3 if you want to keep searching the page for the same text. To search in reverse direction, use SHIFT+F3.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ravi Kanth L, Ravi Kanth L. Ravi Kanth L said: 7 tips to boost your browsing skills…: http://wp.me/prPwG-bX […]

  2. faceb says:

    thnx bro

  3. Bszlxdwo says:

    I learned something here…

  4. Auucjbpv says:

    Sharing it, if you don’t mind 😉

  5. Qujtnhpc says:

    Like it !!

  6. Hi, I also have got mine own blog and I really want to write on it what I found on yours. You wrote interesting things and I want to use your words on my blog. Is that OK?? I wish you all the best.

  7. Ravi Kanth says:

    Sure you can, just post an backlink for reference..

  8. […] scroll right. This change of Firefox violate usage consistent. I google on this matter, I found this post Turn off Caret Browsing by pressing F7 key. Try it yourself, what other feature you think your […]

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