I always strive to be the best I can be in whatever I do. That doesn’t necessarily mean I am trying to be the best at everything I do (that would be impossible), but I am always competing against myself to make myself better. I’m always fascinated with how I can make myself faster and more efficient as a developer. Learning from past mistakes and learning new tools to make me more productive makes me a more valuable employee. It makes me a potential future faster-to-market entrepreneur. I love improving myself. This type of attitude has made me really appreciate the speed hotkeys give me over moving my mouse and clicking a button. This is particularly useful for tasks I perform multiple times a day.
That’s why I was excited when I learned about Vimium. It is a browser plugin that allows you to use hotkeys similar to the Vim editor. When I want to search Google for something, I can Alt-Tab away from my code editor to my browser. Then I press Ctrl-T for a new tab in Chrome (Vimium has a hotkey for this, but Ctrl-T works just as well). I type in the phrase I want to search. Then Google gives me a list of results. I can press “f” to get every link to have a hotkey. I then press that hotkey to open that page. No mouse required for something I probably end up doing multiple times most days.
What Hotkeys Does It Provide?
Vimium offers several hotkeys, but I’ll list some of the ones I use most often.
- J/K: uppercase letters move between tabs.
- j/k: lowercase letters scroll up and down on the current page.
- f: shows hotkeys for every link on the current page.
- gg/G: go to the top or bottom of the page.
- /: search for text on the page.
- v: enter visual mode.
- y: copy the current selection to the clipboard. That’s right – I can copy and paste text from the website without ever using the mouse! 🙂
If you are a current Vim user, I would strongly suggest trying Vimium. There is very little learning curve since it uses keys similar to Vim. You can start flying through websites just like you do through code!
If you are not a Vim user, you can still use Vimium without too much of a learning curve. Continue using your mouse for several things. Every once in a while, notice a task you do a lot. Then learn how to do that with a hotkey. Over time, you will start using more and more hotkeys and less of the mouse.
Hope this makes your web browsing faster and more enjoyable. Happy surfing!