There is no doubts about the usefulness of a mouse. It allows you to move around the screen faster and click on links that are located at the far corner of the screen. However, if you are used to the keyboard, there are times when you just hate to move your hand from the keyboard to the mouse. It is both troublesome and tiring. Won’t it be great if you can navigate the Web just by using your keyboard?
gleeBox is an experimental project that takes a keyboard-centric approach to navigating the web. It provides alternatives to actions that are traditionally performed via the mouse. gleeBox is available as an extension for Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
After installing the extension, the first thing to do is to press “g” to bring up the gleebox. This will be the main control center. There are several options you can do with the gleebox. You can type any phrase(s) and it will search the current page for links that match your query. You can then scroll through the links to find what you want. If no matching query is found, when you press Enter, it will perform a search with your phrase(s) or bring you to the page if the phrase is an URL.
You can also use the “?” prefix to perform a series of actions. For example, typing “?h” will highlight the H1, H2 and H3 headings and “?img” will highlight linked images. Available options include
- ?h: Select main (h1, h2 & h3) headings
- ?img: Select linked images
- ??: Select text input fields. Hit ENTER to give focus to the selected field.
- ?a: Select all links
More useful features
The best part about gleeBox is the ability to use the “!” prefix to access to plenty of external services. For example, at any page, you can press “g” to bring up the gleeBox and type “!read“. This will transform the existing page to reading mode.
A list of useful commands include:
- !read: Transform the page for a better reading experience using the Readability project
- !shorten: Shorten the URL of the current page using bit.ly
- !tweet: Redirect to twitter.com with the URL of the current page in the text field
- !rss: Open the current page’s RSS feed in Google Reader
- !snap: Take a screenshot of the current page in Chrome
- !share: Share the current page.
- and many more…
Running YubNub or a Quix command
Both YubNub and Quix are web tools that allow you to enter a command line and perform an action. These tools are built into gleeBox so you can work with command lines too. The command comes with a “:” prefix and a dollar sign ($) represents the current URL. Available commands include “:fbshare $” – Share the current page on Facebook, “:wp cricket” – Search Wikipedia for cricket etc. With Quix, you can even create your own command and use it in gleeBox.
The above mentioned features are not conclusive of what gleeBox is capable of doing. There are more things such as jQuery commands, ESP mode that I did not mention. Will gleeBox replace the mouse completely? No, it won’t. But its usefulness and versatility can indeed speed things up and make you more productive. Try it out and you will know. Don’t forget to check out the user manual too.