I often prefer to use the keyboard instead of the mouse for operations in the operating system. This begins with simply things such as copying and pasting, but also moving the cursor into the browser's address bar or forms on the website, or scrolling down a page with the space bar or page up and down keys.
When it comes to opening links in the browser, you can't really do comfortably only with the keyboard. While there are options in browsers like Firefox to search through links on a web page - using the ' key - it is not really the most comfortable thing to do.
I'm not sure if the link-only search feature exists in the Chrome browser as well. Help me out here, will you?
Chrome users can however install an extension like Dead Mouse to open links only with the keyboard in the browser. The extension is dead easy to use: all you need to do is type link text in the browser window to make the extension search for it on the page.
If it finds a link it animates the link which acts as a selection indicator. All that is left then is to tap on the enter key to load the link in the current browser tab, or use Shift-Enter to open it in a new tab in Chrome. If you have only a few tabs open, you can then switch to the new tab using the Ctrl-Number keys shortcut.
The Dead Mouse extension works fine on most web pages but not on all. You can't get it to work on most search engine pages for instance, as text that you enter is automatically added to the search form on the page. It may also break keyboard navigation on some pages.
The extension lacks a key to turn it on or off, and an exceptions list that is using a whitelist or blacklist approach. Other than that it can be useful for Chrome users who would like to have an option to open links using only the keyboard.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
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.