Web Browser Secrets

December 30, 2009 at 1:18 am 4 comments

Based on the results in the video below, I should start by clarifying that a web browser is a piece of software that you use to view web pages. The top three browsers are: Internet Explorer (Microsoft), Firefox (Mozilla) and Safari (Apple). Google’s browser (named “Chrome”) is a close fourth. There is a 98% chance that you’re using one of these browsers to view this page right now.

Browsers are commonly confused with search engines, which are just web pages that you view using your web browser software. That’s obviously not a surprise to some of you, but like it says in the Google video below, it is a secret to almost 90% of people.

Knowing some browser tricks will make this tool work much better for you.

Modern browsers have tabs, which promote easier multitasking. There are a few ways to perform the tasks listed below, but here are a few of the best (and least used) tricks for managing tabs in the top three browsers mentioned above.

Managing Tabs

  • Open new tab: double click on empty area of tab bar
  • Close tab: middle click anywhere on the tab (does not work in Safari)
  • Open link in new tab instead of replacing current page: middle click on link (instead of left click)

Because we spend a lot of time reading text in our browser, there are a couple of features built in to make reading easier. Try these keyboard shortcuts right now.


  • Scroll browser down exactly one page: spacebar
  • Scroll browser up exactly one page: shift + spacebar
  • Full Screen Toggle: F11
  • Zoom In (make text larger): ctrl + scroll mouse wheel up
  • Zoom Out: ctrl + scroll mouse wheel down

If you know other really useful browser secrets, leave a comment so everyone can enjoy.


Entry filed under: Be Efficient, Computers and Internet, ProTips. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Shannon  |  April 22, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    In Firefox ( the only Browser I use so I can’t say for the others ) if you would like to open a new tab you may also press

    CTRL T

    Also It may be common knowledge but for those who don’t know

    CTRL C = Copy
    CTRL V = Paste
    *new* <–( well to me.. I just found this one out by mistake) CTRL X = Cut

  • 2. Elbyron  |  May 3, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Okay, if keyboard shortcuts are considered secrets, then here’s a few more that work in most browsers, ordered from most useful to least useful (in my opinion):

    Ctrl+Tab: switch to the last used tab, much like Alt+Tab does for switching windows applications. Behavior varies by browser and sometimes has some configuration settings.

    Ctrl+W: Close current tab. This method blocks the onClose javascript event, which could prevent some annoying pop-up dialogs.

    F5: Refresh

    Alt+D or F4 or F6: puts focus into the address bar, and highlights the contents so you can just type in a new URL or search term.

    Ctrl+E: Puts focus in the search bar, if you have one.

    Alt+leftArrow, Alt+rightArrow: presses the “back” and “forward” buttons respectively. You can also hold shift and turn the mouse wheel downward (back) or up (forward).

    Alt+Home: Go to Home Page. Pressing “Home” without Alt will just take you to the top of the current page.

    Regarding the Ctrl+scrollWheel zooming, some browsers will try to enlarge the entire page, often resulting in horizontal scrollbars. Others will just enlarge the text on the page, which will often re-arrange itself to fit the screen properly. To force the text size method, use Ctrl+(Numpad+) and Ctrl+(Numpad-)

    And just to add to the Ctrl+Enter trick, in some browsers you can also use shift+Enter to auto-complete a .net url and ctrl+shift+Enter for a .org url.

  • 3. Boaz  |  September 4, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    10X Shannon, Very helpful.

  • 4. Marietjie Davel  |  March 4, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    cookies is mainly there to keep saved passwords
    be sure to delete cookies because it can be used by trojans for leaking information to the hacker.


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