Vimium Adds Plenty of New Keyboard Shortcuts to Chrome

Vimium is an extension for Google Chrome that provides around 40 new keyboard shortcuts that allows navigation around a web page from the comforts of the keyboard. Of course, keyboard or mouse is a personal choice and whether or not the user considers the keyboard a comfortable replacement for the mouse depends solely on the user. But for people who have grown accustomed to the keyboard, such as programmers and Unix/Linux users, Vimium is a big improvement for Chrome. The extension was developed in the “spirit of Vim”, the most keyboard efficient text editor in existence.

Vimium adds the following keyboard shortcuts to Google Chrome.

Navigating the current page:

?       show the help dialog for a list of all available keys
h       scroll left
j       scroll down
k       scroll up
l       scroll right
gg      scroll to top of the page
G       scroll to bottom of the page
d       scroll down half a page
u       scroll up half a page
f       open a link in the current tab
F       open a link in a new tab
r       reload
gs      view source
i       enter insert mode — all commands will be ignored until you hit esc to exit
yy      copy the current url to the clipboard
yf      copy a link url to the clipboard
gf      cycle forward to the next frame

Using find:

/       enter find mode — type your search query and hit enter to search or esc to cancel
n       cycle forward to the next find match
N       cycle backward to the previous find match

Navigating your history:

H       go back in history
L       go forward in history

Manipulating tabs:

J, gT      go one tab left
K, gt      go one tab right
g0         go to the first tab
g$         go to the last tab
t          create tab
x          close current tab
X          restore closed tab (i.e. unwind the ‘x’ command)

Additional advanced browsing commands:

]]      Follow the link labeled ‘next’ or ‘>’. Helpful for browsing paginated sites.
[[      Follow the link labeled ‘previous’ or ‘<‘. Helpful for browsing paginated sites.
<a-f>   open multiple links in a new tab
gi      focus the first (or n-th) text input box on the page
gu      go up one level in the URL hierarchy
zH      scroll all the way left
zL      scroll all the way right

Vimium also supports command repetition. For example, hitting ‘5t’ will open 5 tabs in rapid succession. ESC (or <c-[>) will clear any partial commands in the queue and will also exit insert and find modes.


Vimium provides ways to remap or unmap any of the default key bindings, as well as override Chrome’s default keyboard shortcut. For this, open Vimium’s options page and expand the "Advanced Options" section.

Enter one of the following key mapping commands per line:

  • map key command: This maps a key to a Vimium command. For example: map <c-d> scrollPageDown will map ctrl+d to scrolling the page down. Chrome’s default behavior of bringing up a bookmark dialog is suppressed.
  • unmap key: This Unmaps a key and restores Chrome’s default behavior. Example: unmap <c-d>
  • unmapAll: Unmaps all bindings. This is useful if you want to completely wipe Vimium’s defaults and start from scratch with your own setup.

To see available Vimium commands click on the "Show Available Commands" link near the key mapping box. The command name appears to the right of the description in parenthesis.

Additional options include, the ability to exclude URLs where you do not want Vimium’s shortcuts to work, for instance, Google Reader which has it’s own keyboard shortcuts; and the ability to define previous/next page patterns in web pages.

[via Chrome Story]

This Article Has 1 Comment
  1. Lonnie Davis Reply

    This is a great find. Thanks.

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