Switching between tabs in FireFox, Safari, Terminal and Adium on Mac OS X

by on November 13, 2008

Q: I have finally upgraded from an Apple mighty mouse to a Logitech MX Revolution. The new mouse has thumb buttons for backwards and forwards and I want to use them to switch between tabs in applications like FireFox, Safari, Terminal, and Adium. My problem is they all seem to use different sequences to switch between tabs, is there anything I can do about this?

A: There are actually some key sequences that each of those applications share for switching between tabs. The problem is most people, using those applications, get used to one of the sequences that use the arrow keys and the applications do not share the same sequences when it comes to the arrow keys. The sequences they do share actually revolve around the brackets or more specifically the curly brackets.

Safari, FireFox, and Terminal all support Command + Shift + [ or ]; note that Shift of [ and ] is the curly bracket { and }.

In Adium you have the ability to change what key sequence by going to Adium -> Preferences… then selecting the General tab. In the general tab you will see Switch tabs with and you will want to change it to Curly braces.

This is very handy if you have a mouse like the Logitech MX Revolution because you can set it to use that key sequence for forward and back and you can easily switch between all applications with the buttons. If you are using the keyboard the brackets are harder to get at than the arrow keys, which is why most people figure out the arrow key short cuts for switching between tabs.