Vimperator interface for Firefox Part 1

Vimperator is a plugin for Firefox that completely overhauls the GUI to behave like Vim making your mouse unneeded for most web sites. If this was not available I would be attempting to create something much like it.

Quick start guide

Like Vim, Vimperator is based on different interface modes. These are

  • Browsing: Opening links, moving through pages, changing tabs and other such everyday interactions.
  • Insert mode: Entering information for forms on interactive sites
  • Ignore Keys: Disable the shortcuts of browsing mode without entering insert or command mode
  • Command line: Used for changing setting, opening dialogue boxes and other less frequent operations.


Browsing mode largely of single letter short cuts. The main ones to know are as follows:

  • h, j, k, and l scroll through the page. This can be prefixed by a number for scrolling multiple times.
  • o Allows you to enter the address of another page to go to within the same tab. O is similar but it automatically fills in the current URL
  • t Similar to o but opens the page in a new tab. T is similar but fills in the current URL automatically.
  • w Similar to o and t but opens the page in a new window. Again W gives the current URL automatically
  • w -private Open a Private Browsing window.
  • d Closes the current tab and shows the one to the right
  • D Similar to d but shows the tab to the left
  • f Open a link. When this is used each link / form element has a number shown over it
  • F Similar to f but opens the new link in a new tab. Not useful for forms.
  • b Displays a list of the tabs (aka buffers) for switching between them.  Prefixing this with a number jumps straight to that tab

UPDATE: I have covered six more crucial commands in Vimperator Interface for Firefox 1.5

Insert Mode

Entering and exiting Insert Mode is simple, from browsing mode use the f shortcut and select a text field, drop down menu or other such input element. Once you have entered what you need or need to change to another input element simply press the ESC key, moving you back into browse mode.

Ignore Keys Mode

You can enter this from command mode by pressing either INSERT or SHIFT+ESC. To return to command mode simply press either INSERT or SHIFT+ESC again.

Command mode

Unfortunately I will have to save command mode for another post which will also include saving your configuration.

UPDATE: That has now be written and is located here

By Ryan McCoskrie

Founder of the Hurunui Tech Club Creator of Vicinitude President of the Leithfield Public Library


  1. Great post! Thanks for highlighting the most important commands. Vimperator is great, but the initial learning curve is quite sharp. If you know Vim it’s really nice to have it layed out in the different ‘modes’.

    If you’re going to cover the configuration file in a subsequent post it would be great to also show some pictures of the different themes e.g

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