OSX Quick Tip: Flipping through Browser Tabs with the Keyboard

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quicktip.jpgI like keyboard shortcuts. Particularly since I’ve gotten accustomed to Quicksilver. One thing that I wanted to do was cycle through the tabs in my browser (I use Firefox most of the time) without having to use the mouse…I found that it’s different in Firefox and Safari, and one seems to work significantly better than the other….

In Firefox

Hold Option+Command, then use the the left and right arrows to flip through the tabs you have open.

While I’ve been using this, I haven’t had any trouble cycling through them no matter what the page is that I’m looking at.

In Safari

Hold Shift+Command, then use the left and right arrows to flip through the open tabs.

I had a lot of trouble with this, actually. Google was one of the tabs that I had open, and every time it would pass that tab, if I stopped for any length of time, the cursor would end up blinking in the Google search box, and it would no longer allow me to tab through the various windows without clicking on another tab first…very frustrating.

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Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

8 thoughts on “OSX Quick Tip: Flipping through Browser Tabs with the Keyboard

  1. I use the keyboard to switch tabs in Safari as well and have the same issue. What you have to do is turn on the preference that allows you to tab into every control on the web page. Then, when u need to switch tabs in Safari, tab out of the editable text field, and command-shift-arrow will work again.

  2. Hit tab to move the selection away from the Google box, then you can use the keyboard. The same problem exists with blank tabs.

  3. @Keith and Brant –

    Thanks for the tips guys.

    I’ll be sticking with Firefox for right now, but for dedicated Safari users that’s sure to be a help.

  4. In Safari, try CMD-SHIFT-[ and CMD-SHIFT-]. The arrow versions you mention have been superseded. Text fields (what you’re seeing at google.com) and quicktime often intercept the arrow versions before Safari sees them so the Tabs don’t switch.

  5. Thanks for the tip! I love tabbed browsing but having to mouse or trackpad around to navigate from one tab to another was driving me up a wall. This is great.

  6. Camino uses the same OPT-CMD left and right shortuts to switch across tabs.

    I changed Safari’s shortcuts to the same OPT-CMD left/right since I got so used to the FF/Camino shortcuts, and had trouble whenever I switched windows/browsers (I need this when looking for webpage rendering problems).

    It’s also a good idea to change Safari’s Quit shortcut, since CMD-Q is so close to CMD-W (for closing tabs). It’s okay with FF and Camino since they ask for confirmation when closing windows with more than one tab. But Safari just quits without asking, and I’ve lost some draft blog posts I was writing because of this!

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