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Vimify your Browser (How to make browser like a vim)

Vim is command-line-based text editor usually used by programmers for editting code in server that does not provide GUI editor. A lot of programmers also love to use vim as their main code editor, especially they who like free, light-weight, and keyboard-only. Including the author of this post is vim lover.

This post will be explain about how to vimify your browser. It is mean that we will make our browser has functionality like vim. Of course it will need plugins (add-on/extension)

Vimperator for Firefox

Vimperator is firefox add-on to make firefox like a vim. This add-on let us to use vim’s keybindings to navigate firefox.

Features

  • Vim-like key bindings (h, j, k, l, gg, G, 0, $, ZZ, <C-f>, etc.)
  • Ex commands (:quit, :open www.foo.com, …) with a proper command line
  • Tab completion available for all commands, showing suggestions while you type
  • Hint mode (start with f to follow a link)
  • Extensions! Yes, you can extend Vimperator’s functionality with scripts just like you can extend Firefox with extensions
  • Explore JavaScript objects with :echo window and even context-sensitive tab completion
  • Easily customizable GUI (easily hide all GUI elements with :set gui=)
  • Ability to :source JavaScript files, and to use a ~/.vimperatorrc file with syntax highlighting if you install vimperator.vim
  • Easy quick searches (:open foo will search for “foo” in google, :open ebay terminator will search for “terminator” on eBay) with support for Firefox keyword bookmarks and search engines
  • Count supported for many commands (3<C-o> will go back 3 pages)
  • Beep on errors
  • Marks support (ma to set mark ‘a’ on a webpage, ‘a to go there).
  • QuickMarks support (quickly go to previously marked web pages with go{a-zA-Z0-9}).
  • :map and :command support (and feedkeys() for script writers).
  • :time support for profiling
  • Move the text cursor and select text with Vim keys and a visual mode
  • External editor support
  • Macros to replay key strokes
  • AutoCommands to execute action on certain events
  • A comprehensive :help system, explaining all commands, mappings and options

Vimium for Chrome/Chromium

Like vimperator on firefox, Chrome also has popular vim extension. But unlike vimperator, vimium provide “?” key to display help and commands provided by vimium.

Features

  •    ?       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

Navigating to new pages:

  •     o       Open URL, bookmark, or history entry
  •     O       Open URL, bookmark, history entry in a new tab
  •     b       Open bookmark
  •     B       Open bookmark in a new tab

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)
  •     T          search through your open tabs

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

So if you want to use vim on your browsers, just install those add-on/extension and you will be ready to browse like a hacker!

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