Vimium, Speed Up Google Chrome With Keyboard Shortcuts

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 26, 2010
Updated • May 22, 2018
Google Chrome, Google Chrome extensions

Vimium is a free browser extension for the Google Chrome web browser that adds numerous new keyboard shortcuts to the browser.

Using the keyboard of the computer instead of the mouse can speed up select web browsing processes significantly.

Think of opening a new tab for instance. You can press Ctrl-T to do so or move the mouse cursor over the new tab button and click on it.

Most web browsers limit the available keyboard shortcuts and do not offer options to add additional hotkeys to speed up specific operations that are not supported by default, or switch shortcuts around if you prefer a different layout.

Vimium for Chrome

Vimium is a Google Chrome extension that adds a few dozen keyboard controls to the browser to speed up web browsing.

The controls become available directly after installation and can be used to achieve various goals in the Google browser.

It is for instance possible to press h, j, k or l to scroll left, down, up or right, press gg to automatically scroll to the top, or Shift-G to reach the bottom of the active page.

More useful than commands that are already available, albeit set to different keys, are the additional options that are provided by Vimium

Chrome users with Vimium installed can press t to open a new tab, d to close the active tab, u to restore the last closed tab and Shift-J or Shift-K to navigate quickly between tabs.

That's just a sample of the possibilities that the extension offers. Other commands of interest are Shift-H and Shift-L to go back or forward in history. The latter is especially useful for users who usually right-click to do that, as the right-click menu does not always offer that functionality.

The key r reloads the current page, and y copies the url to the clipboard.

A complete list of commands is available on the Google Chrome Extensions gallery page. It is possible to pause the extension by pressing i, which ignores all hotkeys until Esc is hit. Vimium furthermore supports options to block keys on certain web pages; useful if you run into compatibility issues with keys on select sites.

The extension's options provide functions to exclude URLs and keys, remap certain keys, and add search engine shortcuts. You may also click on the "show advanced options" button  to manage next and previous patterns, change the new tab URL or default search engine, and to back up and restore configuration data.

Closing Words

Vimium can speed up standard web browsing in the Chrome browser. Firefox find in Vimperator a similar extension for their browser.

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  1. Sridhar Katakam said on August 27, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    For Firefox, keyconfig is excellent!

    Check out

  2. ak said on August 27, 2010 at 11:42 am

    typo in title

    1. Martin said on August 27, 2010 at 11:53 am

      Thanks, corrected

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