Surf Webpages Like A Text File Or Document In Firefox and IE 8

Surfing webpages always requires you to use the mouse to select text or click on links etc, now compare this with a text file or document where u can easily move around in the page using your arrow keys. The idea behind allowing users to browse webpages using keyboards is also known as Caret Navigation. According to wikipedia:

In computing, caret navigation is a kind of keyboard navigation where a caret (also known as "text cursor", "text insertion cursor", or "text selection cursor") is used to navigate within a text document. It is a fundamental feature for applications that deal with text, for example text editors, word processors and desktop publishing programs

If you would like to surf webpages the same way, you can easily accomplish it easily in Firefox and Internet Explorer.


Caret browsing is definitely useful for mouse-less browsing of webpages, along with a easy way to select text and click on links on a webpage. If you are looking to move to caret browsing, here is a simple way in which you can turn on caret browsing in Firefox and IE 8.

Turning on Caret Browsing in Firefox

Firefox provides users with a hotkey to toggle between caret and regular browsing, pressing the F7 hotkey will display a dialog which will alert you about entering caret browsing mode, to disable this dialog from appearing everytime, select the option to not display the dialog box again.


You can return back to regular mode browsing by pressing the F7 hotkey once again. If you want to turn on Caret browsing by default, you can do it by opening Tools > Options and navigating to the Advanced tab. In the options available check the box next to Always use the cursor keys to navigate within pagesand click on the Ok button.


To disable Caret Browsing by default, uncheck the option and click on Ok.

Turning On Caret Browsing in Internet Explorer 8

The Caret browsing feature has only been introduced in IE8, so if you want to start using it you will first have to download the IE8 Beta 2 version. Once you have downloaded and installed IE8, you can use the F7 hotkey to surf in caret and regular browsing mode.

To turn on caret browsing by default, go to Tools > Internet Options and clicking on the advanced tab.


In the options under Accessibility select the checkbox next to Enable Caret Browsing for new windows and tabsand click on Ok. Uncheck the box if you want to disable the feature.

Have you tried using the Caret browsing? What are your opinions about it? Do let us know.

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Keith Dsouza

I am the editor-in-chief and owner of Techie Buzz. I love coding and have contributed to several open source projects in the past. You can know more about me and my projects by visiting my Personal Website. I am also a social networking enthusiast and can be found active on twitter, you can follow Keith on twitter @keithdsouza. You can click on my name to visit my Google+ profile.