Q: Alright, I've switched teams and now use Firefox as my primary browser. What do I need to know so that I can use it more efficiently?

A: Released in late 2004, Mozilla Firefox has been gaining users ever since, slowly eating away at Internet Explorer's dominance in the browser wars. Today, it enjoys a clear spot as the second most widely used browser, with about 23 percent of the worldwide usage share in August 2010, according to Net Applications.

That's a lot of users. But browsers are always fighting for a bigger share. One way to draw new people in -- and to keep them around -- is to ensure a user-friendly experience. With that in mind, Firefox maintains an easy-to-access list of keyboard shortcuts in their knowledge base, or support site. But the list is long. Really long.

If you're looking to speed up your browser use, memorizing the entire list is probably not the way to go. It could take a while to earn back all of the time that would require. Instead, memorize just a few shortcuts, the ones you're most likely to use over and over again.

Here, we've even put together a list for you:

  • Alt+D: Functions as a select all for your browser's navigation bar, automatically highlighting the existing page and allowing you to enter a new destinaton. (Ctrl+L also works for this.)
  • Ctrl+E: Navigates directly to your browser's search bar.
  • Ctrl+Enter: Automatically adds www. as a preface and .com as a suffix to whatever is entered in your navigation bar.
  • Ctrl+Shift+T: Opens the most recently closed browser window.

For most of these, the corresponding shortcut for Mac users is pretty self-explanatory: substitute the command button for control or the option button for alt. For those that aren't as obvious, visit Mouse Runner's guide, which provides all of Firefox's shortcuts for Windows, Mac and Linux users.

Tools mentioned in this entry:

More questions? View the complete Toolkit archive.

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