10 Tips for Navigating More Efficiently in Firefox


[digg=http://digg.com/software/Firefox_navigational_tips_using_the_mouse_scroll_button_2] If you use Firefox all day, as I do, you may have mastered a few of the navigational tools it offers, but there are a lot of them under the hood. You can be faster and more efficient with the browser if you learn some easy ways to use your mouse and keyboard to navigate. In this post, I’ll round up 10 tips for more efficient surfing. Quite a few of these will work in other browsers as well.

Open a Link in New Tab. Firefox lets you open any link you see at a site in a new tab if you right click on the link and select Open Link in New Tab. If you have a scroll wheel on your mouse, it’s even faster to do this by clicking once on the scroll wheel while hovering over the link. If you don’t have a scroll wheel, you can hold down the Ctrl key and click your mouse to open a link in a new tab (or Command-click if you’re using a Mac).

Close a Tab with the Scroll Wheel. If your mouse has a scroll wheel click on any open tab with it to close the tab.

Open a Link in a New Window. To open a link in a whole new instance of Firefox, right click on the link and select Open Link in New Window. You can also hit Shift-click to open a link in a new window.

Increase/Decrease Text Size on any Page.
You can increase the size of text you are reading on a given page by holding down the Ctrl key and using the mouse scroll wheel to scroll down. Hold down Ctrl and use the scroll wheel to scroll up to decrease text size.

Scroll Slowly, One Line at a Time. To scroll up or down a page of text one line at a time, hold down the Alt key and move your scroll wheel.

Flip Pages with the Scroll Wheel. To avoid using the navigation arrows atop Firefox to flip pages, hold down the Shift key and move your scroll wheel down to go back a page, and up to go forward a page.

Quickly Select a Whole Line of Text. Within any word your mouse cursor is in, click your left mouse button three times rapidly to select the whole line.

Scroll Without a Scroll Wheel. If your mouse has no scroll wheel, hold the Tab key on your keyboard down until the page you’re on starts to rapidly scroll.

Scroll with Gestures. If your mouse does have a scroll wheel, click once within a body of text, and your cursor should change its form factor. Now just move the mouse up or down to scroll.

Use Navigational Extensions. There are several good, free extensions you can download to make navigating in Firefox easier and more flexible. Super DragandGo is a good one for dragging anything on a page, such as a link, to a blank spot in the page to open it in a new tab.

Do you have any good tips on navigating in Firefox?



Hi, is there a way to scroll up or down a page with the keyboard like with the mouse scroll wheel (three lines at a time)?


You did not mention about using the forwards and backward buttons on a 5 button mouse. In my feisty release I needed two hacks to get this to work and I am not sure if it is automatically included since gutsy. A quick search would find the hacks

Arpit Ordia

one more thing to add up to regain the closed
TAB just click twice the mouse wheel on TAB Bar and it will regain the closed TABS


What Dan said: mouse gestures. When my old Computer Science lab partner demonstrated them in Opera to me a few years ago, I was stunned at how quickly he could navigate through tabs, and was instantly hooked. Once you’ve mastered them, you’ll browse much faster than you ever could with keyboard shortcuts. In fact, mouse gestures were the single feature that kept me using Opera over Firefox until I discovered the “mouse gestures” extension. I’ve gotten so used to them, I get very frustrated anytime I switch to a computer or browser that doesn’t have them enabled. It’s the first extension I install.


Also use Crtl-W to close the current tab and Crtl-T to open a new one.

Can’t get the shift scroll to work properly.. think I’ll stick to pageup-down, I can find them in the dark afer all these years lol


If you add shift to the Crtl-Tab you can cycle backwards through the tabs as well, same as when you alt-tab on the desktop


If you close a tab by accident you can reopen it with CRTL + Shift + T. That is one of my favorites.


Quickly flip through tabs by:

1) Press CTRL and the # of the tab. If you have 4 tabs open, 1 will open the first tab, 2 will open the second, so on and so forth.

2) Press CTRL and TAB. This will switch through the tabs in the order they were last accessed.


Awesome list. This article can be much awesome if you manage to list all the items with a shortcut to complement it.

Dan MacTiernan

Basic info, but using the “Mouse Gestures” Firefox add-on makes almost all of these actions much easier than described here. For example:

new blank tab: hold right click and move up
back: hold right click and move left
forwards: hold right click and move right
close tab: hold right click and move down and then right


It’s great articles like this that make me realise I don’t really know everything there is to know about Firefox! These scroll wheel tips are great!

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