Quickly Switch Tabs in Firefox with Keyboard Shortcuts

by Tom Harrison in internet usage

The Firefox web browser can keep a multitude of web pages open in the same window under different tabs, and it has a handy set of keyboard shortcuts that let you quickly navigate between those tabs.

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Cycle through open tabs

This first set of keyboard shortcuts for switching Firefox tabs is similar to ALT/CMD-Tab:

  • Ctrl+Tab: Hold Ctrl and press the Tab key to go to the next Firefox tab.
  • Ctrl+Shift+Tab: Hold Ctrl & Shift and press Tab to go to the previous Firefox tab.

With these two next/previous keyboard shortcuts, you can quickly cycle through all your open Firefox tabs.

Jump to specific tabs

This next shortcut lets you use the number keys to jump to a specific Firefox tab:

  • Ctrl+[1-8]: On Windows, hold the Ctrl key and press any number key 1-8 to jump to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd … 8th tab.
  • Cmd+[1-8]: On a Mac, hold the Cmd key and press a number 1 through 8 to jump to a specific tab.
  • Ctrl/Cmd+9: Hold Ctrl (Windows) or Cmd (Mac) and press the 9 key to jump to the last tab.

This is one of my most-used keyboard shortcuts when reading new items in Google Reader — use the j/k Google shortcuts to browse through the recent headlines, hit “v” to open anything interesting in a new tab, then press Cmd+1 to jump back to the first tab which contains Google reader. When I have finished browsing all the new stories in Google Reader, anything that caught my interest is waiting in an open tab.

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