Update: The userscript has not been updated since 2008 and is no longer compatible with recent versions of Google. There is no alternative available at the time of writing.
Most Internet users use the Google search engine when they need to search for something online. The results are usually pretty good, but there are occasions where the results need to be refined to find the information that you are looking for.
Once on the search results page, the only way of doing that is to click on the search form and start editing the search phrase, or rewriting it completely to get a new list of results.
That's a lot of clicks for a process that could be optimized a lot by allowing keyboard shortcuts on the Google search website.
While there are no official options to use shortcuts to make Google Search faster, there are some unofficial options; And one of them is the Advanced Google Keys userscript.
The userscript adds the following shortcut keys to Google Search:
(Arrow Key Down / j) Go to next result
(Arrow Key Up / k) Go to previous result
(Arrow Key Right) Go to next page
(Arrow Key Left) Go to previous page
(Enter )Go to selected result
(1,2…9,0) Jump to result
(t) Tab Mode. Opens results in new tabs
(e) Edit / Erase the current search string
(a) Append something to the current search string
(r) Replace Mode. In Replace mode use the left/right arrow key to select word
Tapping on the a key after installation and while on a Google search results page will place the cursor at the end of the search form waiting for additional terms to be added to the search. The key e on the other hand removes the previous search term so that a new phrase can be entered.
Other helpful options are to press Enter followed by a number between 1 and 0 (on the keyboard) to open the website in that location in the search results right away or to use the arrow keys to navigate search results pages.
The userscript is configured to only work on Google Search and not on other Google services like Google Image Search.
Users may add a new url that the script runs on by right-clicking on the Greasemonkey icon in the Firefox status bar, selecting Manage User Scripts and then the script that they just installed. Adding http://*google.com/* will do the trick but it is usually better to use more specific domain names, e.g. http://images.google.com/*.
Advanced Google Keys can be downloaded and installed from its userscripts project website. It is not compatible with the Google Chrome web browser.
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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.