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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


Get over pesky layout/design changes, use keyboard shorcuts on Twitter, Google products


When popular websites change their layout & design, it takes time for users to get accustomed to it. If you don't like frills and rather like features that get your work done faster, explore keyboard shorcuts that web apps like Twitter, Gmail, Google Reader, Google Docs offer. Just hit the question mark (?) key while you are logged into one of those sites and you will see a popup with a list of all supported hotkeys. While the keyboard shortcut Help popup has been in GMail & Google Reader since a couple of years now, I came to know about the Twitter hotkeys today from Scott Hanselman's blog.

I found the choice of letters used by Twitter hotkeys more intuitive than what Google has (how easy is it to correlate Sneak Peak with the letter "h"?)

... so I identified for myself a list of shortcuts that are easily memorable from the much larger list:

  • g then i : Go to Inbox
  • g then s : Go to Starred conversations
  • g then t : Go to Sent messages
  • g then d : Go to Drafts
  • g then a : Go to All mail
  • g then c : Go to Contacts
  • g then k : Go to Tasks
  • g then l : Go to Label
  • u : Back to threadlist
  • k / j : Newer/older conversation
  • o or or <Enter> : Open conversation; collapse/expand conversation
  • c : Compose
  • / : Search
  • ? : Open shortcut help
  • ! : Report as spam
  • # : Move to bin
  • r : Reply
  • <Shift> + r : Reply in a new window
  • a : Reply all
  • <Shift> + a : Reply all in a new window
  • f : Forward
  • <Shift> + f : Forward in a new window
  • z : Undo last action
  • g then w : Create a blank document
  • h : Sneak peek
  • <Shift> + t : Add conversation to Tasks
  • <Tab> then <Enter> : Send mail
  • . : Open more actions menu
  • <Ctrl> + s : Save draft

The ? hotkey Help shortcut popup is an interesting UI Pattern that other web apps should start using as well.

Just as browsers have almost standardized on keyboard shortcuts, it will be good for users if web sites standardize helpful features like the keyboard shortcuts Help popup and maintain similar mappings.

Here's a list of sites that support keyboard shortcuts (those supporting the ? hotkey Help shortcut popup are shown in bold):

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