Category Archives: Internet Explorer

Shift+Click: Open link in new window (Firefox, Chrome, IE)

While I spend a lot of my day without ever touching the mouse, when browsing it’s definitely easier to click on a link to follow it (rather than having to hit Tab a few dozen times until the right link is selected, then pressing Enter).

When doing so, there are a couple of quick shortcuts that work with any browser.

To start with, try press Shift then next time you click on a link. Instead of replacing the current web page with the contents of your link, a new page appears, with the contents of whatever web page that you clicked on.

(You can then close this new window with Ctrl+W.)

Ctrl+H: History window (Firefox, Internet Explorer)

Ever think to yourself, “What was that web site I visited yesterday? Something about shoes?”

In your browser, press Ctrl+H. A side panel appears, showing a history of sites you’ve visited.

In Firefox, the cursor appears in a Search box by default, so type in “shoes” and press Enter, and you’ll find sites with that word in the title or URL.

There’s also a View button. Press Alt+W, then Spacebar, and you can organize your browser history window by site, date, most visited, or most recently visited instead of the default that shows a combination of date and site.

When you’re done with the history sidebar, press Ctrl+H to toggle it off.

Ctrl+U: View Source in Firefox

Maybe you’ll never need this one, but sometimes you want to see the actual HTML code used to create a web page.

In Firefox, go to the page you want to view and then press Ctrl+U. A new Window appears with the HTML code visible and colored appropriately.

(In Internet Explorer, you can press Alt+V to open the View menu, then press C to select the Source command. A Notepad window appears with the HTML code available for editing.)

Remember, Alt+F4 closes a window — use that when you’re done looking at the source HTML code.

Ctrl+B: Open Bookmarks pane in Firefox

Press Ctrl+B and a new pane appears on the left side of your Firefox browser: The Bookmarks pane. Your cursor will automatically appear in the search box. Type in a few letters, and only those pages you’ve bookmarked that include those letters are listed. Press Tab to jump down to the results, and then press Enter on the one you want to open. Press Ctrl+B again to toggle off the Bookmarks pane.

(Note that in Internet Explorer, Ctrl+B lets you organize your bookmarks.)

Ctrl+F, Enter: Repeat Find in Firefox

Following on from yesterday’s tip, you can repeat a find (looking further on the page for the text you want) in two different ways.

One easy way is press Ctrl+F to re-open the Find box at the bottom of the screen, then press Enter. Each time you press Enter, you’ll jump down to the next occurrence of the text you’re looking for. (Note that this also works in Internet Explorer.)

Another way is you can press Alt+N to search for the Next example (as long as the Find box is visible).

Ctrl+R or F5: Refresh in Internet Explorer and Firefox

Some people like coffee and some people prefer tea. Similarly, some keyboard users are function key people, and others prefer keystroke combinations. That brings us to today’s browser tip. Sometimes you want to reload a page in your browser. (Say, for example, you’re reading a news site and want to see the latest headlines). You can hit the F5 function key, or you can press Ctrl+R.

Doesn’t matter which one you use. And it doesn’t matter if your browser is Internet Explorer or Firefox. Either way, you’re gonna get your refresh without having to use a mouse to hit that toolbar button.

And grab a cup of coffee and tea while you’re at it.

Ctrl+L: Open Location Bar/URL bar in Internet Explorer and Firefox

This week we’ll focus on browser shortcuts which work in both Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.

The first one is Ctrl+L. In Firefox, this jumps your cursor up to the URL bar, where you can type in a URL such as “” In Internet Explorer, an Open dialog box appears and you can type in a URL such as “”

If you want to jump your cursor up to the URL box, press Alt+D. (Thanks to Tony and Igg for the tip!)

Bonus Tip: Once your cursor is in the URL box, if you type in a word like “google” and press Ctrl+Enter, the browser will automatically expand it to the full URL name, “,” (Sadly, this doesn’t work in IE’s Open dialog box.)