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FAQs and Troubleshooting

Mike Crittenden edited this page Dec 27, 2019 · 18 revisions

Table of Contents

None of my shortcuts are working! Why isn't Shortkeys doing anything?

So you added some shortcuts and they aren't working? Here are some things to try:

  • Make sure that you are not testing on a Chrome Webstore page or the new tab page (shortcuts don't work there unless added from Chrome's keyboard shortcut settings)
  • Make sure that the page is focused, rather than the address bar.
  • Reload any tabs that you're using to test.
  • Completely close and reopen your entire browser.
  • If you're a developer, open up the browser console and press your shortcut key combination to see if you see any JS errors.
  • Try testing with a very simple shortcut, such as `ctrl+j` to scroll to the bottom of the page.
  • If all else fails, file an issue.

Do I use the browser's "Keyboard Shortcuts" settings or the Shortkeys options page?

Shortkeys offers 2 methods of adding shortcuts:

  1. The Shortkeys options popup, which allows more flexibility and options and power but doesn't allow shortcuts to run when the address bar is focused or when you're on the new tab page (due to browser restrictions on extensions)
  2. The browser's built in "Keyboard Shortcuts" popup, which is more limited in functionality (due to browser restrictions on keyboard shortcuts) but will ensure that your shortcuts will always work no matter what is focused
The main benefit of using the browser's Keyboard Shortcut settings is that it will work on special pages (such as on the new tab page) and when the address bar is focused, whereas shortcuts entered from the Shortkeys settings don't have access to that. You can even set them to work when you don't have the browser focused at all.

The main cons are that you're more restricted in which shortcuts you can enter (for example, you HAVE to use either `cmd`/`ctrl` or `alt`), and you can't enable/disable on specific sites or when typing in form fields.

Some types of actions are supported in both Shortkey's custom settings popup AND the browser's keyboard shortcuts settings. For example, actions that don't require extra fields/information (such as the Javascript action and the Open Bookmark action) and don't need access to the page (such as the zooming actions) can be added in both places.

To try it out, in both Chrome and Firefox, visit the Extensions/Addons page and click the Keyboard Shortcut or Extension Shortcuts link from there.

Can I use Shortkeys to disable a core browser shortcut?

Shortkeys does its best to make this possible, but in some cases browsers just doesn't allow it. It depends on the shortcut. Here are the steps to try:

  1. Go to the Extensions/Addons page in the browser and click "Keyboard Shortcuts" or "Extension Shortcuts" from there
  2. Find the one that says `Do nothing (disable Chrome shortcut)` and type the shortcut you want to disable next to that
  3. Click save and see if that worked. If it worked, then great, you're done!
  4. If that didn't work, go to the options page for Shortkeys and add a new Shortcut
  5. Type the shortcut you want to disable into the Keyboard Shortcut field
  6. Change the behavior to "Do nothing" (at the bottom of the list).
  7. Save that, then reload a browser tab somewhere and test it.
  8. If it STILL didn't work, then most likely the one you want to disable is one of the ones that the browser doesn't allow disabling.

Why aren't my settings being synced to my other browser installations?

Out of the box, Shortkeys tries to sync all of your settings using browser's built in syncing API. However, that API has strict limits; specifically, it refuses to sync anything over 8KB. If you have lots of settings, or settings with large snippets of JS code, for example, then your settings may be over 8KB.

In that case, Shortkeys will still save your settings locally, and everything will still work, but your settings won't automatically sync to any other Chrome installations you have signed into your account, such as if you have multiple computers. You'll have to manually move them yourself in that case.

Why are all these permissions required?

Here's the list of permissions required along with the reasoning for each of them:

Read and change all your data on the websites you visit

This is the only way to inject Javascript into the pages you visit, which is necessary to listen for shortcut key combos. Also, a lot of the commands (such as scrolling) require running Javascript on the page.

Read and change your bookmarks

This is required to get a list of your bookmarks in order to bind keyboard shortcuts to opening bookmarks.

Modify data you copy and paste

This is required for the "Copy URL to clipboard" command.

Manage your apps, extensions, and themes

This is required for the "Open App" which allows you to launch a Chrome app.

Other permissions

The following permissions are requested by the extension, but users aren't warned about them upon installation. Still, for the sake of completeness, here they are:

  • *Tabs*: This lets us do tab operations such as closing tabs, moving tabs, duplicating tabs, etc.
  • *Sessions*: This allows us to fetch the most recently closed tabs and restore them, for the "Restore closed tab" command.
  • *Browsing Data*: This is necessary for the "Clear downloads** shortcut, since downloads are considered browsing data.
  • *Storage*: This one just allows us to save your Shortkeys settings and fetch them later.
If you're still nervous about anything here, feel free to look through the source code for yourself. If you feel that something really is unnecessary, then please file an issue.


The link to the Firefox version can be found here

A good sample format for a bug report can be found here:

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