If you browse the Internet a lot and use keyboard shortcuts to speed up the browsing, you may have encountered the following behavior.
If you happen to visit a site with embedded content, such as Flash or a document that is being displayed on the page, then you cannot make use of keyboard shortcuts. All the shortcuts, like CTRL-T for opening a new tab, CTRL-R or F5 for reloading, or CTRL-W for closing a tab, do not work on those pages.
The only shortcuts that work are those implemented by the script running on the page.
This is standard behavior in Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Google Chrome but not Microsoft's Internet Explorer which as the only web browser of the four most popular ones that supports its standard set of keyboard shortcuts on all websites.
Maybe you want to try it out for yourself. Visit
Tuneglue, a music discovery service using Flash. If you work in the interface and the focus of the cursor is on the page then keyboard shortcuts are not working.
There are lots of threads by users about this problem. It has been acknowledged by the developers of browsers, but nothing has been done about it so far.
The only option users have at this point is to use the mouse to move the focus away from the plugin content. This works best if only part of the site displays a Flash widget or other plugin content, and may not work at all if it is a fullscreen app.
Moving the focus away from the element makes keyboard shortcuts work again. This can for instance be done with a left-click on an interface element of the browser's chrome, or a blank location on the web page itself that is not being used by the embed.
There does not seem to be another option, apart from disabling all plugins in the web browser to avoid running into those issues. This on the other hand means that content that require those plugins cannot be used anymore.
Has anyone else experienced this issue and would like to share their findings?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.