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Keyboard Shortcut to Focus and Move Focus from Address Bar to Web Page (Chrome, Firefox, Opera)

When writing a post sometimes I need to open the browsers to copy the URL of the web page, and sometimes I need to get back to the web page again to obtain more information. The problem is, when I get back after pasting the URL, the focus is still on the address bar instead of the web page. While moving the focus is as easy as grabbing your mouse and clicking on the web page area–and probably this takes less than a second, using a keyboard shortcut to do this is a much better option in a certain situation. For example, to navigate back to the browser from my word-processing program I use ALT+TAB oftentimes, thus it feels like kind of breaking the flow if I have to move my hand from the keyboard to the mouse just to move the focus.

The Shortcut for Firefox and Google Chrome

A reddit user suggested to use CTRL+F and then press ESC but it didn’t work. The focus moved back to the address bar instead of the web page. Then another user suggested to use CTRL+P and then press ESC. It worked. However, there is another keyboard shortcut that lets you press one button to either focus or move focus from the address bar to the web page. F6. Press F6 when you want to focus the location bar, perhaps to copy or change the URL, and press F6 again to leave focus from it. After you hit F6 to move the focus, you can instantly use the up and down arrow to scroll the web page, assuming that it is a long page.

This keyboard shortcut has been successfully tested on both Firefox 21.0 and Chrome 27.0.1453.94, but it didn’t work when tested on Opera 12.15.

The Shortcut for Opera

Since F6 doesn’t work on Opera, I tried to press F7, F8, F9, Ctrl+F8 and a couple of other keyboard combinations that crossed my mind. I found that F8 can be used to focus the address bar, while F9 is the shortcut to move the focus back to the web page field. Later on, I found this Opera help document that lists Opera’s keyboard shortcuts. It turns out that in addition to F8, users can also use Alt+D and Ctrl+L to focus the address bar. It makes me wonder why the browser’s developers don’t just use the same key to focus and de-focus just like Chrome and Firefox that utilize F6 to do both.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Max William September 3, 2015, 1:35 am

    Just came from Chrome/Firefox and got used to the F6 shortcut but couldn’t find how to achieve that on Opera, now I can. Thanks!

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