“Next/Previous Tab” Keyboard Shortcuts on Windows

On my Windows laptop, I use the following four programs with tabbed interfaces on a regular basis:

  • Firefox
  • Thunderbird
  • Instantbird
  • Komodo IDE

(I’d love to have tabs in my Windows terminal app of choice, Mintty, but its developer thinks tabs should be implemented at the window manager level.)

Unlike on my Mac, all those programs implement the same keyboard shortcut for switching to the previous/next tab, and it’s a simple one with just a two-key chord: Control + PageUp / PageDown.



Myk Melez

Myk is a Principal Software Architect and in-house entrepreneur at Mozilla. A Mozillian since 1999, he's contributed to the Web App Developer Initiative, PluotSorbet, Open Web Apps, Firefox OS Simulator, Jetpack, Raindrop, Snowl, Personas, Firefox, Thunderbird, and Bugzilla. He's just a cook. He's all out of bubblegum.


8 thoughts on ““Next/Previous Tab” Keyboard Shortcuts on Windows

  1. Four XUL apps use the same shortcut for switching tabs. That doesn't say a lot about the Windows ecosystem.

    PgDn is two keys on my laptop keyboard.

  2. I thought the standard shortcuts for this were Ctrl+Tab and Ctrl+Shift+Tab.

  3. Ctrl + Tab and Ctrl + Shift + Tab are universal: I can't think of a single Windows application with tabs which doesn't implement them. They're also really easy to hit with one hand (especially if you replace Caps Lock with Ctrl, as a lot of Emacs users do).

  4. They also make a ton of sense because they mirror Tab/Shift + Tab and Alt + Tab/Alt + Shift + Tab.

  5. If you're in need of a XUL-based instant messenger which tries to be as familiar as possible for Firefox users (that includes keyboard shortcuts amond other things) then you could try Instantbird by the way: http://www.instantbird.com

    I admit that this was a kind of advertisement now 😉

  6. Jesse: I can't speak to the Windows ecosystem generally, just my particular experience with it. Nevertheless, XUL app consistency is not a given; on Mac, Komodo's shortcuts are different from Firefox's and Thunderbird's.

    Benedikt: yup, Instantbird is on the list of apps that I mention using regularly in this post. 🙂

  7. Benedikt: Didn't you mean to ask why Myk uses Instantbird on Windows but Adium on Mac?

    Another interesting consistency with XUL applications is that they tend to be cross-platform, so that we can keep using the same applications on all our computers :).

Comments are closed.