Vimium, a Browser for Hackers
Looking for a new text editor that can be used in browsers? Read on for one developer's look into the Vimium browser plugin.
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How I Learned About Vimium
So, I am a regular Reddit user and it’s one of my favorite online communities. While browsing through subreddit posts, there is a feature in the Reddit web app where you have keyboard shortcuts for browsing: N for next post, P for previous post, and so on. I found it very convenient and easy to use, especially because you don’t have to take your hands off the keyboard. So, I started searching for any plugins for browsers where you could navigate and do stuff using shortcuts. There are a lot of fancy terminal-based browsers, but we all know that they offer far less utility value when we actually want to accomplish something. I even posted about it under the ‘productivity’ subreddit. That’s when I learned about Vimium.
Vimium strives to provide vim like capabilities to a browser. If used properly (though it has steep learning curve) Vim is one of the most efficient text editors with a myriad of capabilities. It is well known for how easy, efficient, and configurable it is when used properly. For people working on remote servers (you don’t have graphical server access in order to use fancy IDEs), when the files being dealt are huge (gigabytes of text data - try opening that in your IDE...), when system resources are low (say you are inside a VM with limited memory, or are inside a Docker container and don’t want to bloat it with heavy memory consumptive applications) Vim comes to the rescue. Emacs stands as a comparable editor with useful features too!
Vimium for Chrome
Vimium has got a Chrome extension. Similarly there are addons and plugins for Firefox too. Once installed and enabled you can directly start using it. There are myriad options available and you can create custom key mappings and bindings too, but the following are the ones that I frequently use and love:
- Vim style page navigation:
j->down,k->up,gg->page top,G->page bottom
- Working with links:
f: $link_character(F for new tab)
- sSarch anywhere (bookmarks history)
o: $search_text(O for new tab)
- Vim style search:
- Navigate back:
H, Navigate forward: ‘L’
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