Use Vimium to Browse with the Keyboard in Chrome and Firefox

by Ian Paul

A "V" over the blue Chromium, Chrome, and Firefox logos.

The mouse is a great invention, but don’t sell the keyboard short—even for web browsing. Thanks to a very effective browser add-on called Vimium, you can browse the web without ever touching your mouse.

Picture this: you’re lying on the couch with your laptop propped on your legs, so you’re stuck with the trackpad. However, moving back and forth between the trackpad and keyboard while lying down is less than useful.

With Vimium, you can browse comfortably without moving your hands and recline to your heart’s content.

Getting Started with Vimium

Vimium was inspired by the classic text editor Vim. A favorite among coders, Vim navigates text files with the keys on a QWERTY keyboard’s home row. Vim (and its predecessor, Vi) supports simple keyboard commands to move by line, word, or sentence, or to cut and paste text, delete lines, and a ton of other operations.

The Vimium browser add-on isn’t as complex as its progenitor. However, it borrows the idea of controlling a program from the home row to be super-efficient. Anyone who knows how to use Vim will have no trouble acclimating to the browser add-on, as they use similar commands.

Vimium is available for Chrome and Firefox. It also works with Opera, the new version of Edge, Brave, and Vivaldi, which are all based on Chromium—the open-source version of Chrome.

Vimium won’t work with every website, but it does with most. When it’s not working on a particular website, the Vimium icon in the browser will be grayed out, as shown below. When Vimium is working, its icon will be blue.

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