Monday, August 8, 2011

Top Two Internet Tips

I spend a lot of time searching on the Internet and I’m sure you do, too. So today I have two Internet browser hints. I cannot promise that they will work on a Mac but they work on the Safari Browser on my PC.

Is the print on the webpage you are on too small? I’m not talking about text that is always too small because that’s a different issue (screen resolution) but text that right now, on the page you are on, is just too small. Rather than squinting, looking for your reading glasses, or giving up...

On a PC hold down the “Ctrl” key and while it’s down press the “+” (the plus key) key and let go. See…… the page is bigger! If you continue to press the “+” key the text will continue to enlarge. The “Ctrl” key and “ - “ key (that’s the minus key) will reverse the process. On a Mac it’s the command key instead of the control (CTRL) key.

The other hint I want to share has to do with finding things on a web page once your computer insists that the item you are looking for is on the page but you don’t see it. I find it very frustrating to click on a search result only to be presented with a full page of text and no clue as to where the text is that I was looking for to begin with.
Yes, I know there are menu options for finding text in a page but it’s so much easier to just hit the “F3” key on the keyboard. The Safari browser on a Mac and other standard browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) will also work with the keyboard shortcut “CTRL+f” (command +f on a Mac.)

If you don’t have a Mac try the “F3” key first. It’s just faster. This shortcut will open a search bar underneath the browser’s toolbar area and let you type in the text you are searching for. It will often show you each occurrence with highlighting. Each subsequent press of the “F3” key will highlight and take you to each item it finds or you may need to page or scroll down the page. Each browser is little different so test yours first on a page like this blog and search for the word “blog” and see what your browser does. If no text is found, check your spelling. Some pages are not searchable but most are.

These 2 shortcuts can save you a lot of time and make research much more productive and less frustrating. Happy hunting.


  1. Wow! Thank you! This information about the F3 key will be so helpful. I've felt the frustration of seeing a page of text with no clue where to look for my specific information. Thank you, again!

  2. Great info. I've used command F before but sometimes forget about it. This was a good reminder. Welcome to the Genealogical blogging community.

  3. Good tips! Incidentally, you can also use Ctrl + scroll wheel on your mouse to enlarge/shrink web pages.