Saturday, January 17, 2009

VIM + Firefox = Vimperator

I have used Vimperator for very long time. I can't believe that I don't have a blog on this issue. I think I started to use this after I read the blog by Jean Paul.

It is an add-on for Firefox. After the installation, all the menu, toolbar and address bar are invisible with maximum window of browser page. The only input place is on the bottom like this:

To use it, you have to use your keyboard to input command to control browsing, almost without mouse! just like using VIM or VI.

It took me about one week to taste the power of Vimperator. Now I cannot use my browser without it. Actually, I use just a few of keys only. Whenever I need a key for a feature normally used by mouse, I just search or read from the Vimperator help by F1 key in Windows or :help on Mac. Here is a list of keys I used commonly:

  • Esc key: escape from any mode. If you find out keys not working, you may in some mode such as search, Insert or other modes; Press Esc to escape;
  • [num]gt or C-n: go to next or nth (if num is provided) tab;
  • gT or C-p: go to the previous tab;
  • gf or :view: view the source in the current tab;
  • g0 or g^: go to the first tab;
  • g$: go to the last tab;
  • gh or gH: go to home page or new tab with home page;
  • gu or gU: go up parent link or root;
  • gi: focus the last used input field;
  • S-h or C-o: go to the previous history link;
  • S-l or C-i: go to the next history link;
  • f or F: hint mode to display links by number. F for open link in a new tab;
  • ;{keys}: hint mode by command keys:
    • a or s: save a link (prompt dialog or no dialog);
    • o or t: open a link in current tab or new tab;
    • O or T: open a link in current tab or new tab with its command in the command area(bottom);
    • v: view source code in the current tab;
    • y: yank the link;
    • Y: yank the link's text;
  • o or t: open a link in the current or new tab. You can type in a link in the command area then press enter key;
  • O or T: similar as above with the current link displayed;
  • y: yank the current link;
  • a or A: add or added the current link to bookmark;
  • [num]h,j,k, or l: move left, down, up or right by number if num is provided or by one as default;
  • gg: move to top;
  • G: move to button;
  • C-d, C-u, C-b or C-f: scroll down or up with half or full page;
  • z{keys}: zooming
    • i: zoom in;
    • o: zoom out;
    • z: back to 100%;
  • :sav[eas]>: save the current link to disk;
  • /: start search in Vimperator command area;
  • n or N: search forward or backward;
  • :st[op] or C-c: stop current loading;
  • r or R: fore to reload the current page(R for skipping the cache);
  • d or :quita[ll]: close the current tab or all tabs;
  • u or :undoa[ll]: undo closing one or all tabs;
  • :restart: restart Firefox;
  • :ZQ: quit and don't save current session;
  • :ZZ: quit and save the current session;
  • :ver: displaying versions of Vimperator and Fixfox;

That's just a small portion of keys in Vimperator! You can see there are not too many keys to be remembered. Actually, it is a muscle memory game. The more you use, the more they will be hard-burned to your brain. The keys will be naturally typed by your hands without thinking or looking. The result is fast browsing with easy!

Update: I posted the similar entry in my WordPress blog.