LF Tip: Emacs keybindings to edit the url in firefox



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original in en Guido Socher

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All versions of Netscape, Mozilla and then Firefox supported emacs keybindings to edit the URL. All versions? No, as of Firefox-1.0 the keybindings have changed unless you use the gnome desktop and you have configured "gnome-control-center->Keyboard Sortcuts->Text editing shortcuts->Emacs".

I use xfce as a desktop and Firefox-1.0 looked like a nice and advanced web browser but became unusable for me. The shortcuts which I used all the time to edit the url did suddenly not work anymore:
crtl-a  go to beginning of the line
crtl-e  just to the end of the line
crtl-u  delete the line
crtl-d  delete to the right
crtl-k  kill the text from cursor to the end of the line
Those key combinations had worked for a decade of Linux web browsers and until Firefox-0.9. Now they were gone. A disaster when you are really used to them. They made maneuvering around the web fast and easy. Suddenly surfing the web was a pain. I was really furious that Microsoft seemed to have taken the Linux desktop.

The solution

Firefox respects gtk-2 keybindings as of Firefox-1.0. If you are not using gnome or kde then you can create the file .gtkrc-2.0 in your home directory and write in there:
include "/usr/share/themes/Emacs/gtk-2.0-key/gtkrc"
gtk-key-theme-name = "Emacs"
Restart firefox and you have a friendly browser which respects your commands :-)