Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Web Browsing Shortcut Keys, April 8, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.


Web Browsing – General Shortcut Keys

When browsing a web site there are several general keyboard shortcuts that work for all browsers.

  • Arrow up and down to read line by line.
  • Press Control+Up and Control+Down to navigate to the previous or next paragraph.
  • Press Control+Home to jump to the top of the web page and Control+End to jump to the bottom.
  • Press Tab and Shift+TAB to jump forward or backward from element to element such as between links or form fields.
  • Press Enter to expand menus or Alt+Down Arrow to open drop down lists.
  • When focused on a link, press Enter or spacebar to open the link which results to jumping somewhere else on the same web page or opening a new web page.
  • Press Alt+Left/Right Arrow to move backward /forward among the web pages in your browsing session.
  • Press Alt to reach the menu of your browser and then arrow among the menu items.
  • Press Control+Enter to open a link in a new browser Tab. Tabs are useful if you need to have multiple pages open at the same time. You move back and forth between open Tabs by pressing Control+Shift+Tab (previous Tab) or Control+Tab (next Tab). For example, suppose you are on the main table of contents for a web based user manual. You want to follow the link to chapter 3 but not close the main table of contents web page. In that case, press Control+Enter instead of Enter on the Chapter 3 link. Chapter 3 will open in a new browser Tab and you will remain in the main web page. To switch to the Chapter 3 Tab, press Control+Tab, and when you want to return to the main page, press Control+Shift+Tab. You may have many TABS open at the same time.
  • Press Control+F4 or Control+W to close a browser Tab when you no longer need it.
  • Press Alt+D to place focus on the current web page address/search bar. When you do this, the web address will automatically be highlighted so you could then do one of 3 things: 1) press Control+C to copy the address to the clipboard, or 2) type another address followed by Enter to open that new web site, or 3) type a search string followed by Enter to search for a new web site.
  • Pres Control+E to perform a web search. This will also place focus on the address bar but, in this case, the current address bar is cleared so you can type a new web search string.
  • While on the address bar, you can press Tab or Shift+Tab as well as F6 or Shift+F6 to move forward and backward between different browser controls. The behavior depends on which browser you are using but feel free to try these shortcuts to learn what is available. You will find items such as a history of web pages you visited, or your list of bookmarks and other tool bar items. Of note in the Google Chrome browser is the button to view site information. If you press Shift+TAB on the address bar you will be focused on the View Site Information button which you can press spacebar to activate. It describes the security level of your web page so that you can be confident the information exchanged between you and the web site is done in a secure manner.
  • This is a good place to discuss security and safe web browsing. In general, when on the address bar you can tell that a web site is secure if its address begins with https where the ‘s’ denotes a secure site. If you are on a web page whose address begins with only http, then be careful about exchanging information with that site. It is not a secure site and may even be masquerading as a company or organization that it is not.


That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.