Updated Console Keyboard Shortcuts in Firefox

Keyboard

keyboard” by Mark Lane on Flickr

Cmd-Alt-K on OS X or Ctrl-Shift-K on Linux or Windows will now always focus the console input line. It will no longer close the entire toolbox and you’ll have to use one of the other global toolbox commands, Cmd-Alt-i (or Ctrl-Shift-i) or F12.

Keyboard shortcuts.

They are the bane of Firefox Developer Tools engineers. Ask us in #devtools for a new keyboard shortcut to do X and you will be greeted by a chorus of groans. There just aren’t enough keys on a keyboard for everything we need to use them for.

I added a recent change to automatically focus the Console’s input line when clicking anywhere in the console’s output area (bug 960695). This spawned a series of follow-ups.

The first of these was the addition of Page Up and Page Down controls on the input line. (bug 962531). Now when the input line is focused, it will scroll the output area with page up and page down keys. If the autocomplete popup is active, it’ll scroll too. It’s a little thing that’s nice to have when you’re flipping through all of the completions for, say, the global window object.

The most important change we landed this weekend is a change to the Console’s main Keyboard Shortcut, Cmd-Alt-K on OS X or Ctrl-Shift-K if you’re on Linux or Windows. This key will now always focus the console input line. It will no longer close the entire toolbox and you’ll have to use one of the other global toolbox commands, Cmd-Alt-i (or Ctrl-Shift-I) or F12. (see bug 612253 for details and history)

Try it out. Tell us if you hate it. You can reach us here, IRC, or on the twitters.

And there’s still more to do. I filed bug 967044 to make the Home and End keys do the right thing in the Console’s input line. We have this “metabug” tracking all of the open shortcut bugs in Firefox Devtools. Are we missing any? Let us know!

7 thoughts on Updated Console Keyboard Shortcuts in Firefox

  1. I find the devtool shortcut keys jarring. Either I use a combination from another program by mistake, or one for an Addon I have been using for many years. I occasionally use the inbuilt devtools, but more likely Firebug as I am much more familiar. I think the new devtools are a great addition & much needed to move the web platform further.
    That said, I have a feeling that there’s a certain arrogance (in want of a better word) in adding all these shortcut keys for devtools. The majority of Firefox users will have no need for any devtools, they seem to be using up every last key combo available & stomping on any combo from Addon’s that the user may have (who have a nightmare job to pick one that doesn’t clash with anything else).
    Unsure what the ideal solution would be, but I don’t think the current situation is beneficial to Firefox users.

  2. Hey BlueMM,

    I can guarantee it’s not arrogance fueling our need for shortcut keys. It’s the same need those addons you mention have: they just want a keyboard shortcut.

    You’re right though, I think we need to do something better. Maybe only enable our keyboard shortcuts after a user has activated the devtools once? We could have one global key (probably cmd-alt-i or ctrl-shift-i or F12) for first time activation and that triggers the rest of them. Ideally, we should really make them preference controlled.

    Thanks for the comment.

    I filed bug 972661 to explore this.

    also filed bug 972662 to provide some customization.

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  4. Off topic but related:

    There needs to be a central registry of some kind in the browser where all extensions can put all of the keyboard shortcuts they offer and then the user can look at that list and see clearly that (for example) cmd+p is registered by firefox itself and 3 other extensions and the most recently installed extension has control of cmd+p. The user can then choose which of the 3 extensions they want to give cmd+p to or choose none and let firefox remain in control of cmd+p.

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