The best browsers and extensions to let you navigate the web without touching the mouse

Browsing a website seems easy and obvious as long as you have a computer mouse. However, for many forgotten Internet users who can only use their keyboard, this navigation is complicated. So, this list is for people who cannot use a mouse, or who wish to use the keyboard as much as possible. I'll show you some web browsers and extensions that will allow you to browse the web without having to touch your mouse or trackpad. 🕹


  • Vivaldi

    Free Mac Windows Linux Android Website

    Vivaldi is a Chromium-based web browser developed by the company of the same name whose CEO, Jon Von Tetschner, is none other than the former CEO of Small Opera iconOpera. Vivaldi integrates a system called Quick Commands, which can be accessed from a keyboard shortcut and allows functions to be activated using commands. Another feature is Spatial Navigation that enables the users to use customized keyboard shortcuts to execute commands and actions in the browser.

     

    Vivaldi icon
  • qutebrowser

    Free Mac Windows Linux Website

    qutebrowser is a free and open-source web browser available on Small macOS iconmacOS, Small Windows 10 iconWindows 10 and Linux. The benefit of qutebrowser lies in the speed of the program. Once installed and launched on your computer, the browser displays a minimalist interface. There are no menu bars or toolbars to make room for the content.

    In spite of its apparent simplicity, qutebrowser allows you to quickly perform many actions from specific commands. You can open new tabs, browse sites, download files, bookmark addresses, etc. thanks to keyboard shortcuts (explained in the documentation).

     

    qutebrowser icon
  • uzbl

    Free Mac Linux Website

    uzbl is an open-source web browser written in Small C (programming language) iconC (programming language) that uses the Small WebKit iconWebKit web page rendering engine. It is often presented as the Small Vim iconVim of web browsers.

    In addition to its minimalist side, uzbl has the particularity of adopting the UNIX programming philosophy, which implies that a program must be designed for a task and do it well. It only embeds what is necessary for actual navigation and does not have toolbars, bookmarks, history and download manager, navigation tabs, etc., which are usually present in your default browsers.

     

    uzbl icon
  • luakit

    Free Linux BSD Website

    luakit is a highly configurable browser framework based on the Small WebKit iconWebKit web content engine and the Small GTK+ iconGTK+ toolkit. It is very fast, extensible with Small Lua iconLua, and licensed under the GNU GPLv3 license.

    You don't have to be a developer to use luakit on a daily basis. If you are familiar with Small Vimperator iconVimperator, Small Pentadactyl iconPentadactyl, Jumanji, Small uzbl iconuzbl, etc., you will find that luakit behaves similarly out of the box.

     

    luakit icon
  • Vimium

    Free Windows Linux Web Chrome Firefox Website

    Vimium is an open-source browser extension that provides keyboard-based inner-page navigation, browser tab operations, and an enhanced search panel, so you may take full advantages of your browser without a mouse or touchpad.

    Once the extension is installed, you'll find the traditional [j] to scroll up or [k] to scroll down the page, as well as a nice collection of shortcuts to do almost everything you can imagine in terms of navigation on Small Google Chrome iconGoogle Chrome and Small Mozilla Firefox iconMozilla Firefox.

     

    Vimium icon
  • Vim Vixen

    Free Web Firefox Website

    Vim Vixen is a Firefox add-on which allows you to easily navigate the web with your keyboard. Since version 57, Small Mozilla Firefox iconMozilla Firefox has migrated to the WebExtensions API and has dropped support for legacy add-ons, which resulted in add-ons like Small Vimperator iconVimperator not working anymore. Vim Vixen is a new choice for Small Vim iconVim users since it uses the WebExtensions API.

     

    Vim Vixen icon
  • Surfingkeys

    Free Mac Windows Linux Chrome OS Vivaldi Browser ... Chrome Chromium Website

    Surfingkeys is a Small Google Chrome iconGoogle Chrome extension that allows you to use your web browser like Small Vim iconVim for productivity, by adding keyboard shortcuts to navigate, click links, scroll, switch tabs… It gives users the ability to navigate the web without the need of a mouse. It is specifically designed for Vim users, but Small GNU Emacs iconGNU Emacs users should also love it, as it is extendable with Small JavaScript iconJavaScript.

     

    Surfingkeys icon
  • Shortcat

    Commercial Mac Website

    ShortCat is an application that makes it easy to navigate within Small macOS iconmacOS by offering the possibility to access all functions from your keyboard. Once activated, Shortcat allows you to enter the first letters of the desired command and the utility will recognize in the window all the interface elements that match.

    This utility may seem complex, but it is actually very easy to use and even if you like the traditional mouse, Shortcat is a great way to find an element in an interface. Just remember its keyboard shortcut and you can immediately type a word or a few letters: you'll rediscover the simplicity and power of Small Spotlight iconSpotlight, but adapted to interfaces.

     

    Shortcat icon
  • cVim

    Free Mac Windows Linux Chrome Website

    cVim is an extension that brings Small Vim iconVim keybindings to Chrome. You might ask: Why is this different from Small Vimium iconVimium or vrome Well, these extensions do a wonderful job of adding Vim-like keybindings to Google Chrome, but they lack many of the features that Firefox add-on Small Pentadactyl iconPentadactyl had. So, this extension tries to fill the gap.

     

    cVim icon
  • Keys for Safari

    Free Mac Website

    Keys for Safari lets users browse the web with Small Safari iconSafari without reaching for a mouse or trackpad. It differs from other mouseless navigation extensions in that it attempts to render keys stylishly on the page to improve the user experience. Specifically, it generates floating gibberish sparingly and prefers to use text already on the page as a key.

     

    Keys for Safari icon


Of course, this list is non-exhaustive and there are other add-ons for Chrome and Firefox like Small Tridactyl iconTridactyl and Small Spotlink iconSpotlink, and other desktop apps like Small Vimac iconVimac and Small Vieb iconVieb. It's up to you to find the tool that will fit your needs.

Let me know in the comments if you know other great apps and extensions. 🙂



Comments on The best browsers and extensions to let you navigate the web without touching the mouse

artexjay
· Jan 2020 · Helpful Not helpful 1 Helpful Report as spam

This article is mostly geared to the programmer side i feel like.

reply

shadomatrix
· Jan 2020 · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

Ever tried Pale Moon's addon? If so, thoughts on it?

https://addons.palemoon.org/addon/pentadactyl-community/

reply

palemoon works great, very fast and you can change the browser look to your needs. However you wont be able to install any add-ons or themes.

Pale Moon is decent, i dropped Pale Moon due to the lack of add-ons they have.

If you want customization nothing beats Vivaldi at this point.

Vivaldi is chrome and it lies so much about things, very slow at times and not really anything special like firefox or chrome.

I disagree, On my laptop its just as fast as Chrome if not faster. But yes it does lag on devices with lower specs. Vivaldi as far as I'm concerned is the king of browser personalization and productivity at the moment. No other browsers even come close. Even if its Chromium browser that doesn't mean its a bad browser. What are some of the lies they have said?

Pale Moon on the other hand is not special at all offers nothing new and is actually much slower than Firefox. So if you said Pale Moon instead of Vivaldi then I would completely agree. And lies as well as dev rudeness? there are tons there. Personally I would discourage people from using Pale Moon and use a more up to date browser that has better support and better webpage compatibility as well as good extension support. None of which is Pale Moon.

@artexjay could you share some of your favorite settings or tips for Vivaldi? I've been meaning to use it for some time but there are a lot of options there... thanks

Those rumors of Pale Moon arent true, it been explain many times on their forums and unlike firefox Pale Moon is more open source: https://github.com/MoonchildProductions/Pale-Moon

Firefox has been lying and adding features that collect data, chrome has been removing features, both are awful browsers that dont care about customization or users. They only want data.


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