Tab Switch Keys in Firefox

I’ve been toying with the idea of using “FireFox”:ff as my main browser. Despite all of the great features offered by Mac native web browsers, they all seem to possess one great flaw: they’re dogs in the performance department. My current favorite, OmniWeb, regularly consumes 600+ megabytes of resident memory and 2+ gigabytes of virtual memory. This is memory that other, larger, applications like Photoshop would very much like to have. This means there’s a lot of swapping to disk going on. On a laptop this is, in a word, *slow*. Firefox does not seem to suffer from this problem.


The majority of my qualms with FireFox (i.e. lack of a spell checker) have been corrected with version 2. One glaring omission remains, though. The seemingly Mac-standard keys for switching tabs are completely absent. I’ve finally found a fix for this, though.

Here’s how to fix it.

* First install the “Keyconfig extension”:keyconfig.
* Open the Keyconfig preferences by selecting Tools > Keyconfig
* Select Keyconfig from the dropdown at the top of the dialog
* Add a new key and name it Next Tab and select Global
* Paste the following code into the code entry field:

<code>var tab = gBrowser.mCurrentTab;
if(tab.nextSibling) {
} else {
   gBrowser.mTabContainer.selectedIndex = 0;

* Select OK
* Add another key, name it Previous Tab and select Golbal
* Enter the following into the code entry field:

<code>var currentTab = gBrowser.mTabContainer.selectedIndex;
var newTab = gBrowser.mTabContainer.selectedIndex;
if(currentTab == newTab) {
    var count = gBrowser.mTabContainer.childNodes.length;
    gBrowser.mTabContainer.selectedIndex = count - 1;

* Assign keys to the two entries you created. I used ⇧⌘-Left Arrow and ⇧⌘-Right Arrow
* Close the Keyconfig dialog

Now with any new window these keys should allow you to switch tabs with wrapping at the end.


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  1. Thank you! I switched over from Maxthon and am used to pressing F1 for new tab, and F2/F3 for previous/next tab respectively.