The mouse-and-keyboard combination for controlling computers has been around for decades, and so far we haven’t found anything better. Despite the tech industry’s best efforts, touch screens, motion control and other alternative controllers haven’t caught on. They often require too much energy, aren’t as precise or aren’t as versatile.
Of course, even though the mouse-and-keyboard combo works great, sometimes computer users favor the mouse when they would be better off using the keyboard. We’ve talked in the past about keyboard shortcuts and how they can save you time and energy over moving the mouse around.
While there are a ton of shortcuts that are great for general computing, what about ones that are more specialized? Many programs and websites have them, and today we’re going to tell you about keyboard shortcuts you can use in Facebook.
These can help you more easily browse your news feed, create posts faster, switch Facebook tabs and more with just a few key taps. Keep reading to find out what you can do that you didn’t realize.
SCROLLING YOUR NEWS FEED (J, K)
The News Feed is where you can catch up on what your friends are doing and post your own items. For most people, every time they log in to Facebook there are a lot of items to scroll through.
If you’re just skimming, your mouse’s scroll wheel works great. However, if you take a more deliberate approach, or you don’t have a mouse with a scroll wheel, just hit the letter “j.” Each time you hit it, you’ll jump down to the next post.
Want to go back a story? Hit the letter “k.” You’ll see a blue border showing which post you have selected (it will gradually fade away). And once a story is selected, you can use a few other shortcuts.
Hint: If you’re using the mouse, you can also click at the top of a post next to poster’s name to select it (you’ll see a dotted border around the post).
INTERACTING WITH A POST (L, C, S, O, ENTER)
When a post is selected, i.e. has a blue or dotted border around it, just hit “l” (as in “like”) to like it. The first time you do this is will ask for confirmation. You can approve it and turn off future confirmations.
To comment on a selected post, tap “c” to bring up the comment box, then tap “c” again and start typing. Hit enter to post your comment, and then hit “l” to move to the next post. If you want to move on without leaving the comment, hit the Esc key on the keyboard, then press “l” to move to the next post.
To share a selected post, press the “s” key. Press the “s” again to select if you want to “Share Now (Friends)”, “Share” or “Send as Message.” When you highlight the option you want, just hit Enter to confirm.
Although it’s rare, some people attach files to posts. Pressing the letter “o” (as in “orange,” not a zero), will open the attachment. If it’s a long post that has a “See more” link, press “Enter” to see the full thing.
If there’s a link to a story in the post and you want to visit it, you can grab the mouse and click. Or, if you want to stick with the keyboard, hit the Tab key. You’ll see a dotted border around the downward options arrow at the top right of the post. You can hit Enter to open the options, or hit Tab again.
Each time you press Tab, you’ll see the dotted box move to the next item in the post. When you hit the link you want, press Enter to open it. If you go past it, hit Shift + Tab to go back. This sounds complicated, but it’s actually fast once you get used to it. Oh, and the Tab trick works in just about any program for moving between items and especially fields in online forms.
We’ve spoken before about the dangers of Facebook’s search system, but if you have your content privacy set correctly it’s actually a useful feature. You can quickly find friends, past posts and news stories.
Instead of clicking in the search bar at the top of the page, however, just press “/” and start typing. Then use the arrow keys to select an entry you want to see and press Enter.
Want to search your contacts in chat? Hit “q” and the chat sidebar will open on the right side of the screen. Start typing that person’s name and then hit Enter to select them.
Facebook has number of areas from your News Feed and profile to the message center and activity log. You can go hunting all over for the links to these places, or you can use some keyboard shortcuts.
Simply press Shift + Alt and a number to just to a tab. Here are the numbers and what tabs you’ll get to:
Shift + Alt + 0 — Help
Shift + Alt + 1 — Home
Shift + Alt + 2 — Timeline
Shift + Alt + 3 — Friends
Shift + Alt + 4 — Inbox
Shift + Alt + 5 — Notifications
Shift + Alt + 6 — Settings
Shift + Alt + 7 — Activity Log
Shift + Alt + 8 — About
Shift + Alt + 9 — Terms
Shift + Alt + m — New Message
OK, that last one wasn’t a number, but it’s still a handy one to know.
If you forget any of these, and let’s be honest we covered a lot, you can type a “?” from the main Facebook page and get a pop-up with all the available shortcuts listed.