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Google’s new keyboard navigation

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Monday October 4, 2010 )

Google has had keyboard navigation for search engine results pages for quite some time, but a new feature makes it even easier to use.

Over the last few days I’ve noticed an arrow appearing in google.com search results (I’m yet to see it on google.com.au).

google-keyboard-navigation

The arrow is a cursor of sorts – by using the up and down arrows on your keyboard you can select a listing and then view the page by hitting the enter button.

Something I didn’t know is that Google has had keyboard navigation for a while, part of an experimental system that worked like this (and still does), but you need to use a special URL to try it out:

Key Action
J Selects the next result.
K Selects the previous result.
O Opens the selected result.
Opens the selected result.
/ Puts the cursor in the search box.
Removes the cursor from the search box.

Example search : http://www.google.com/search?q=google&esrch=BetaShortcuts

The new keyboard navigation feature doesn’t require you to use the extra parameter and the last 3 commands of experimental search still work in the Google.com results (along with the up/down arrow); being:

Opens the selected result.
/ Puts the cursor in the search box.
Removes the cursor from the search box.

So, if your mouse suddenly dies during a search, it’s Google to the rescue and for some people, perhaps the keyboard navigation may be a better option anyway.



 

 
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