Duck … Duck … VI

VI BookFollowing-up from our post the other day on DuckDuckGo, I found they have a lot of nice search features beyond just their privacy benefits. In particular, one of the nice things I really like are the custom keyboard shortcuts. This really shows that they have kept the techie in mind when designing the search interface.

They basically follow the familiar “vi” syntax to keep your hands on the keys for improved efficiency. There are dozens of different shortcuts but the bullets listed below provide a quick flow-based rundown of how I’ve been using them to cut through my workload faster. DuckDuckGo doesn’t do everything so I do still rely on a few Firefox-based shortcuts as well (i.e., the ones not bolded below). Note that this workflow is based on OS X so if needed I’ve also included the equivalent Windows shortcuts.

  • Command-K: This shortcut moves the focus up to the search text area. As I’ve noted in the previous post I have DuckDuckGo setup as my default search engine there.
  • Backslash (\): If you know the first result is going to be where you want to go, you can also use their “Feeling Ducky” feature by preceding the search with a backslash (e.g., \ nova infosec calendar).
  • Option-Enter: On Mac you can usually hit Option-Enter when done entering the search terms and the browser will conveniently open up a new tab with the results. Windows uses Alt-Enter instead.
  • j & k: Ahhh … good old vi. These keys move your focus up and down the search results.
  • tick (‘): Once you have focused on a result you want to view, the tick opens that selection up in a new tab. “v” is another option as sometimes Firefox’s Quick Find feature overrides the tick. You can also use the browser-based Command-Enter (Alt-Enter on Windows) shortcut while on the selection.
  • Space: When looking through the tab you just opened up, this shortcut is useful for quickly paging down in most situations.
  • Command-W: So that result wasn’t any good? Just hit Command-W to close that tab and return to your search results. Windows does then same thing but substitutes Control for Command.
  • h: Checked out a bunch of results and not satisfied with the returned results? Hitting “h” instantly returns you to the DuckDuckGo’s webpage search box to adjust your terms.
  • Esc: After some contemplation you can’t think of how to change your search terms and just want to return to perusing more of the previous results. Then just hit Esc and you’re there.

If you need a quick reference, DuckDuckGo often displays some of the most popular shortcuts on the right side of its pages as shown above. And should you need more info then you can head on over to their Keyboard Shortcuts article to get a full rundown of all the commands. You may also find their Syntax article useful as well.


Have you discovered anything interesting in using DuckDuckGo? Let us know in the comments below. Today’s post pic is from See ya!

5 comments for “Duck … Duck … VI

  1. May 17, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    # Duck … Duck … VI

  2. May 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    BLOGGED: Duck … Duck … VI

  3. May 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    #NoVABloggers Duck … Duck … VI

  4. May 17, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    BLOGGED: Duck … Duck … VI //In case you missed .. another post on DuckDuckGo.

  5. May 17, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Cool DuckDuckGo vi-like shortcuts to keep your fingers on the keys & away from the mouse..

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