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October 6, 2010 2:13 PM   Subscribe

Web browser with universal keyboard shortcut for back/forward a page?

Is there any webbrowser/extension/plug-in/greasemonkey script that has a universal keyboard shortcut for going back and forth through pages?

As an avid lover of keyboard shortcuts, for years I've been dying to find a keyboard shortcut that will go back/forward through pages on a site that works on several sites. I'm thinking scrolling through pages on the NYT, going back and forth on webcomic, scrolling through picture slideshows, etc.

Is this possible? Has anyone done it in any browser? Could I write a greasemonkey script to do it myself?
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Anonymous? Really?

Alt+L cursor, Alt+R cursor, backspace, and the thumb button on my mouse.
posted by rhizome at 2:15 PM on October 6, 2010 [6 favorites]

Opera does clever paging with Space to go forwards...not sure about Back though.
posted by gregjones at 2:21 PM on October 6, 2010

I know of no browser which will not go back by the operation of the backspace key.
posted by dougrayrankin at 2:35 PM on October 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

rhizome is right - this will pretty much work on every browser on every OS. Maybe not on a mac though (could be CMD instead of alt)
posted by runit at 2:36 PM on October 6, 2010

Backspace goes back; shift + backspace goes forward.
posted by ehamiter at 2:40 PM on October 6, 2010

I think the poster is asking for a universal way to scroll through a site's pages, not through his/her history (for which the alt-arrow/backspace key works). For example, some keyboard shortcut that would "page" through a slideshow on one site and through webcomics history on a completely different site.

To the best of my knowledge, no such creature exists. I'm also pretty sure that it's not possible other than on a site-by-site basis, because there's no standard method for paging back-and-forth through a site's pages (outside of the history mechanism).
posted by flipper at 2:45 PM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

I believe what anonymous is asking for is for an extension that will automatically "click" the in-page next/previous buttons in a website, regardless of browser history. For example, if you just drop into xkcd.com/300 (with no browser history), an extension that'll provide a previous button to go to /299, and a next button that'll go to /301.

There are some that do this by manipulation of the URL (parses the last number on the URL and increments it), but those don't work on some sites that do fancier tricks (like IFrames, cookies, Ajax, etc).
posted by qvantamon at 2:48 PM on October 6, 2010

I don't know of anything that automatically parses out "next" and "back" buttons.

If your primary concern is sticking to the keyboard, then Chrome + Vimium turns everything into keyboard commands.

posted by yeloson at 4:05 PM on October 6, 2010

Reading the examples given by the OP, it's clear that back/forward in history or page up/page down is not what's being asked for. I think flipper has it.

Unfortunately, Vimium doesn't look like it's much help (unless I'm mistaken). I don't have an answer but it would seem possible using something like Greasemonkey (of course, each site would have to be added/coded manually). I wonder if any sites use clever on-site code to allow for keyboard navigation through pagination? It would be a great feature to have. Any clever MeFites have ideas how to achieve this?
posted by turkeyphant at 4:19 PM on October 6, 2010

Well, it's not a keyboard shortcut, but the AutoPager add-on for Firefox usually takes care of this annoyance for me. It just loads the next sequential page at the bottom of your current page, so you don't have to go back/forward at all - just keep scrolling down.

Sometimes it acts a little wonky (especially when there's one of those floating navigation sidebars that follows you down the page, like on etsy), and I don't think it can handle fancy flash navigation schemes. Generally, though, it works really well for this.
posted by pikachulolita at 4:54 PM on October 6, 2010

J and K are popular.

They even work here.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 5:28 PM on October 6, 2010

Opera does a pretty good job, I find, of detecting plausible "next pages".
posted by pwnguin at 6:09 PM on October 6, 2010

In fact I suggested this to Opera a few years ago and they added it (not sure if I was the only one who suggested this). Also, iirc, in vimperator it's '[[' and ']]' shortcuts. Work on most sites but not all.
posted by rainy at 6:13 PM on October 6, 2010

Here's their marketing material on it. They call it Fast Forward.
posted by pwnguin at 6:14 PM on October 6, 2010

Here's a firefox plugin that purports to do the same thing. I should probably be adding more content per post to this thread...
posted by pwnguin at 6:16 PM on October 6, 2010

For numbered image galleries, what you're looking for is called a fusker.

(Since you asked this anonymously, and anonymous internet questions often wind up being about porn, I infer that you may have a special interest in paging quickly through numbered image galleries.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:46 PM on October 6, 2010

Backspace is improper for going backwards in the history.

Since the dawn of time, space scrolls forward through text and backspace scrolls backwards.

Internet Explorer, of course, was the one to ruin it for everyone. Thank them next time you're filling out a form (dynamically generated, of course, so the browser can't save it), think you're in a text field, hit backspace, and suddenly you're on a different page and have lost your work.

Thankfully Firefox at least has an about:config to fix Backspace, although not without their normal share of kicking and screaming on Bugzilla.
posted by vsync at 8:35 AM on October 7, 2010

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