Are you wasting time switching back and forth between your mouse and keyboard while browsing or using webapps?  Let’s look at how gleeBox can streamline your browsing experience with innovative keyboard shortcuts and prompts.

As geeks that use the computer way too much, we often find ourselves using more and more keyboard shortcuts to work faster and switch to the mouse less.  The web has evolved to work with an increasing array of keyboard shortcuts, as apps such as Google Reader integrate keyboard shortcuts that make them much easier to use.  Still, there’s many times you have to waste a second and grab your mouse to click an important link or button on a page.

Getting Started

gleeBox is a great browser addon that changes this and lets you navigate any website with keyboard shortcuts.  It even lets you share links and more without leaving your keyboard.  Here’s how you can put it to use and keep your web experience more keyboard friendly.

First, download and install the gleeBox extension (link below) on your browser of choice.  gleeBox is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, and works great on all of them, though it’s currently not working on Firefox 4 beta.

Once it’s installed, browse to a favorite site and press g on your keyboard to get started.  You’ll notice a new grey input box on the bottom of the window; this is the gleeBox input bar.

To start off, just type any text in the box and gleeBox will automatically highlight it.  Press tab to go to the next instance of the word in the page.  If the entry is a link, press enter to browse to it.

Putting gleebox to Use

gleeBox uses a very simple command structure that makes it easy to do tons of neat tricks with the page your reading.  You can browse to certain parts of the page based on the underlying HTML code.  Enter ?h to highlight all headings, ?img to switch to the next image, ?? to switch to the next text box, or ?a to switch to the next link.  As before, press the tab key to jump to the next instance of the thing you’re searching for, or press Enter to browse to a highlighted link.

If you like to read websites without annoying distractions such as ads, sidebars, and widgets, enter !read in gleeBox to open the page in Readability, which works similar to Safari Reader or iReader.

Quickly share a page on Twitter or Facebook by entering !tweet or !share fb, respectively.  Or, just grab a shortened URL of the page by entering !shorten, which will give you a shortened URL for the page you’re on right in the gleeBox bar.

You can even use gleeBox to control your browser itself if you’re using Chrome.  Press the period . on your keyboard to open a tab manager.  Then, simply start typing to select the tab you want from the list.

Or, enter !options to change gleeBox’ settings, including the theme and advanced query selector options.  You can even sync your gleeBox settings via Google Chrome’s bookmark sync if you wish.

Want to see gleeBox in action?  Check out this video from its developers that shows how you might put gleeBox to use in your daily browsing:

gleeBox is a great tool for keyboard geeks, and definitely makes browsing faster if you keep your hands on the keyboard.  It blends in great with our workflow, so be sure to give it a try and see if it’s just the thing you need to make your browsing faster and more productive.


Find Out More and Download gleeBox for Your Browser

gleeBox User Manual

Find More Undocumented Features in the gleeBox TipJar

Matthew Guay
Matthew Guay is a veteran app reviewer and technology tip writer. His work has appeared on Zapier's blog, AppStorm, Envato Tuts+, and his own blog, Techinch.
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