# The Browsing Combo

I've been using Firefox for years, and for years I wouldn't have expected my browsing experience to improve drastically. Recently, though, it did. That was when I was shown two extensions: Vimperator and DuckDuckGo.

## Vimperator¶

Using Vimperator follows from my switch to Vim, that happened approximately at the same time. In my everyday use, it makes many common browsing actions accessible within a single keystroke:

• t: open new tab
• d: close current tab
• o: open new address in current tab
• y: copy current tab's URL to clipboard
• f: follow a link in current tab (highlights and numbers all links; to select one, either type its number or any part of its text)
• /: search within current tab

There was, of course, a bit of learning to undergo before I got used to these new shortcuts; but not that much. And using only your keyboard for web browsing is highly gratifying (or, to state it the other way round: having to reach for the mouse is so cumbersome...)

## DuckDuckGo¶

DuckDuckGo combines wonderfully with <em>Vimperator</em> through its !bang syntax: when set as the default search engine, it enables you to access a variety of services through short keywords. For example, these ones that are used pretty often:

• !b: Bing
• !d: dictionary
• !g: Google
• !i: (Google) Image search
• !m: (Google) Maps
• !yt: YouTube
• !w: Wikipedia

And some others that I find useful too (the complete list is here):

• !amazon: Amazon
• !news: Google News
• !python: Python documentation
• !scholar: Google Scholar (for research papers)
• !translate: Google Translate
• !wfr: French Wikipedia
• !wikt: Wiktionary

So, using both of these tools, here are a few concrete examples:

• t !m starbucks near eiffel tower paris
• o !translate ich bin ein berliner
• o !yt gangnam style

"Efficiency" is not the only thing that matters in our usage of computer devices. The ability of a tool to satisfy (gratify?) you and help you develop new usages, usages you may not have thought of when you started using the tool, is also very important. Here, I enjoy the way these two tools combine together (not to mention they are also free and ad-free), and the set of features they offer leaves plenty of new usages/combinations to discover ;)

Update: as a savvy reader pointed out, Pentadactyl is a fork from Vimperator that is more frequently updated and maintained by (former) primary Vimperator developers.

## Discussion ¶

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