How to interface with the web

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January 26, 2021
How to interface with the web

In this article, you will learn how to interface with the web with just the tippy taps of your fingers. While it may sound trivial to limit yourself to the keyboard, learning this skill can pay dividends over time. All the constant back and forth switching between the mouse is essentially death by a thousand context switches. It can hamper productivity and decreases the likelihood of entering flow state.

With practice, dedication, and time you can develop the appropriate muscle memories to manipulate the browser. The sequence of keystrokes will become so motorized and entrenched it becomes second nature. Get good enough and you may find yourself with the ability to have your thoughts manifest on screen in real-time.

To get started, download the Vimium Chrome Extention.

Below are some essential keys to get you on the path to increasing productivity and creating sustained focus. Please note that the keys are case-sensitive and perform alternate functions based on what you input.

Navigating Current Page

  • h - Scroll left
  • j - Scroll down
  • k - Scroll up
  • l - Scroll right
  • gg - Scroll to top of the page
  • G - Scroll to bottom of the page
  • d - Scroll down half a page
  • u - Scroll up half a page
  • r - Reload
  • H - Go back
  • L - Go forward

Interacting with Links

  • f - Open a link in the current tab
  • F - Open a link in a new tab
  • o - Open URL, bookmark, or history entry
  • O - Open URL, bookmark, history entry in a new tab
  • b - Open bookmark
  • B - Open bookmark in a new tab

Manipulating Tabs

  • J - Go one tab left
  • K - Go one tab right
  • g0 - Go to the first tab
  • g$ - Go to the last tab
  • t - Create tab
  • x - Close current tab
  • X - Restore closed tab (i.e. unwind the 'x' command)
  • T - Search through your open tabs
  • yt - Duplicate tab

Advanced Browsing Commands

  • yy - Copy the current URL to the clipboard
  • yf - Copy a link URL to the clipboard
  • ]] - Follow the link labeled 'next' or '>'. Helpful for browsing paginated sites
  • [[ - Follow the link labeled 'previous' or '<'. Helpful for browsing paginated sites
  • gi - Focus the first (or n-th) text input box on the page
  • gu - Go up one level in the URL hierarchy

Non-Vimium Commands

  • cmd + control + f - Toggle fullscreen
  • cmd + shift + f - Toggle navigation and bookmarks menu (while fullscreen)
  • cmd + l - Make the address bar active
  • cmd + + - Increase zoom
  • cmd + - - Decrease zoom
  • cmd + 0 - Reset zoom
  • cmd + ~ - Switch between open windows

Unbound Tips

You will come across this issue in Vimium where it appears to be unresponsive. Chances are it's because the window is not in active focus. This can occur when you click the address bar, toolbar or inside an <input />, <textarea />, <select /> field. A quick-fix is to either hit the esc or tab key then proceed with your action.

To quickly reference all keys, press ? to display an overlay.

For a more advanced windows management solution, check out the Magnet App from the App Store.

It may feel cumbersome at first, but if stick with it you will reap the benefits for life.


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