how to: firefox, flash objects and keyboard shortcuts

if you like to use keyboard shortcuts in firefox (such as [ctrl]+[tab] for switching between tabs, or [ctrl]+[t] to open a new one), you have probably noticed that flash takes the keyboard focus away from a page and limits it to the flash object.
to regain ordinary shortcut functionality, you usually have use your mouse and click somewhere in the page manually.

here’s a quick way to solve this little (yet annoying) problem:

  • install the unfocus extension from mozilla’s official add-on library
  • create a new shortcut somewhere in your start menu, e.g. in programs / mozilla firefox
  • point the shortcut to
    "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -unfocus
    be sure to copy the entire line, including quotation marks and the “-unfocus” part.
  • if necessary, modify the file path to adjust to your firefox installation. in the german version of windows, the correct path is most likely
    "C:\Programme\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -unfocus
  • now, right click that start menu shortcut, select properties (“eigenschaften” in german), and set a keyboard shortcut (“tastenkombination”).
    i’m using [ctrl]+[shift]+[alt]+[e], but you can use anything as long as it doesn’t interfere with standard shortcuts such as [ctrl]+[x], [ctrl]+[r] etc.
  • you’re done.
    in some cases, you may have to press the shortcut combination twice in order to regain focus.

One thought on “how to: firefox, flash objects and keyboard shortcuts

  1. while we’re on that topic: you can reopen an accidentally closed tab by pressing [ctrl]+[shift]+[t]

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