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  1. #1
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    Little-known browser commands and functions




    TOP STORY

    Little-known browser commands and functions


    By Fred Langa

    Here's a guided tour to some of the most interesting and unfamiliar functions in Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox.

    This tool (built into XP, Vista, and Win7) lets you see, in real time and in collected data logs, how your PC reacts as different programs run or fail to run!

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/little-known-browser-commands-and-functions/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Kathleen Atkins For This Useful Post:

    Will Fastie (2012-06-21)

  3. #2
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    Browser Middle Click

    My favorite browser shortcut is the middle click. Middle clicking (using the scroll click) on a link opens that link in a new tab, but doesn't go to it. This is handy for news sites or link aggregator sites to open several pages to read while still keeping the original page open, so that when you are done reading, you have the original page to find some more reading. Much easier than one page at a time or using the back button.

    A new use I found for middle click is to close tabs. If you middle click anywhere on a tab it will close, quicker than finding the X, especially when you have many tabs open as they get small. This will close tabs whether they are in focus or not.

    This works the same in Chrome or IE9, don't have FireFox.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJax View Post
    <snipped>
    This works the same in Chrome or IE9, don't have FireFox.

    ....Middle clicking (using the scroll click) on a link opens that link in a new tab, but doesn't go to it....
    In Firefox, it opens a new tab but gives it the focus. It's <shift+middle click> to do as you describe.

    A new use I found for middle click is to close tabs. If you middle click anywhere on a tab it will close, quicker than finding the X, especially when you have many tabs open as they get small. This will close tabs whether they are in focus or not.
    Good tip! I never knew that, and I've been using Firefox for years. Just goes to show, you're never too old to learn!

    Edit: just found it works in Thunderbird too!
    Last edited by tonyl; 2012-06-22 at 12:33.

  5. #4
    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    All the new browsers are so flexible and support so many add-ons that one can make nearly any key or combo or gesture do virtually anything you want. One only needs do minimal searching on the web for instructions and ideas.
    I like to grab a link with the mouse, drag it a few pixels to open the link in a new tab in the background and next to the tab with focus.
    Last edited by RussB; 2012-06-21 at 07:42. Reason: SP
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    Lounger Will Fastie's Avatar
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    Firefox Has More Than You Think

    Perhaps to make up for the relative paucity of built-in tools, ...
    Firefox actually has more built-in tools these days than may be evident with a quick glance. It's just that Firebug and Chris Pederick's Web Developer came out so early in FF's life and are so good that hardly anyone pays any attention to the built-in stuff.

    Mozilla also offers a downloadable Web Developer's Toolbox containing 13 additional special-purpose add-ons for Firefox.
    These Firefox add-ons are listed by Mozilla and available through the add-ons site, but they do not represent a cohesive toolbox. They are all independent of Mozilla except for Test Pilot, which isn't really a developer tool anyway.

    ...among IE's lesser-known features is the suite of built-in developer tools more than 50 in all.
    Thanks for making the point about IE. It seems as if nobody wants to give Microsoft any credit for anything, especially when it comes to IE, but its tools have been part of the package for a very long time and they are very good. I happen to like Firebug a bit better than IE's JS debugger but IE's is entirely usable. Unlike many Web developers, I test sites in IE first, then move to the others. This means I tend to use its tools more often.

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Re. BROWSER COMMANDS:


    Firefox 13 is their current version. No major changes which might affect advice in the article.


    IE9 in kiosk mode looks a lot like IE 10 in Metro mode.


    The lack of a centralized Chrome command list is more a result of the fact that Chrome has had many contributors over the years than a lack of leadership. Centralized leadership may work well for a Corporate entity with a commercial product (Microsoft and IE), but it works a lot less well for an open-source project with many independent contributors (Mozilla and Firefox). Google's relationship with Chrome straddles these two models, and hence the lack of centralized authority in some matters. The lack of a centralized source for Firefox commands is made more complicated by the ability of developers to alter Firefox's feature set with Developer Tools. Much more so than IE or Chrome.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    Re: IE9 Browser commands & functions.

    Strangely, on my desktop PC F12 does nothing at all.

    Also, copy/paste "iexplore -k www.windowssecrets.com" into the "Search programs and files" box opens another tab in the current IE9 with "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage"

    On my laptop, F12 also does nothing, while the command opens a new instance of IE9 containing "No items match your search"

    Have I got some wrong/unusual settings somewhere? If so, which?
    [both systems are: Win7 HP,SP1 64-bit. IE9.0.8112 32-bit]


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