Vimium: return focus to page after text input and UI interaction

Created on 8 Oct 2010  ·  13Comments  ·  Source: philc/vimium

Text input boxes within web pages and the address input box of the browser GUI (Ctrl-L) steal focus and there is no way to return to "command-mode" scrolling, etc. It would be nice to be able to use Ctrl-C or Esc to escape from "insert mode".

To reproduce:

  1. Go to, tab to the search query input box, start typing a query. No way to escape the query input box to scroll through the search results.
  2. Type Ctrl-L to enter a URL (is there any other vim-like way to do this?). No way to navigate the loaded page with keys.

I am using chromium-browser 6.0.472.62 (59676) Ubuntu 10.04

Most helpful comment

And now my solution is to ctrl+f to search page return to the page content.

All 13 comments

I usually just end up pressing tab to get around this

Guys, the intended design is to hit "esc" while in insert mode (this includes when you're focused on a textbox) and you will enter command mode. This works for me everywhere including on

The browser's address bar is a different matter, since it's not inside the webpage. Chrome does not give us access to keystrokes while you're typing in the address bar, so for now, there is no way for us to put you in command mode. Hitting tab as jb55 mentioned is a workaround.

I think that it's more subtle than I first reported. Sorry for not giving more pointers on reproducibility. Enter search query on google (Insert mode turns on), press escape (Insert mode disappears), press escape again (Insert mode reappears), and now further presses of escape key do not return to command mode.

Ah, ok; I'll reopen this bug for further investigation.

This is a bug in chromium on linux. On Windows (and mac I think) you can press F6 to escape the omnibar, but that's not the case on linux. I have filed a bug report so if this bothers you please tell them there :-)

Both (1) and (2) seem to work for me now. Please reopen if there is still a problem. Thanks!

A correction: (2) is the bug only occuring on linux. You can look at the bug report above for more information. My computer broke a week ago so I am not able to test it.

2 is not a bug we can fix, unfortunately. It's outside of the extension's control. We're implementing our own URL bar in in #459 which will mitigate this to some extent.

Though we all understand it's out of vimium's scope, another nice hack is here:, it needs less key strokes and doesn't change the position of page(html).

And now my solution is to ctrl+f to search page return to the page content.

I found using @jb55's method, press "Tab" key is the best.

I found using @jb55's method, press "Tab" key is the best.

This doesn't work for me, pressing tab focuses the next extension:


Or in this case, the favourite star thing

I'm asking for the same feature in the wonderful Shortkeys extension (complements Vimium wonderfully).

Here's my (annoying, slow, but consistent) workaround to get focus from URL bar back to the page as I also describe here:

For the last several years I've been using the solution in this thread: I created a Chrome custom search engine that points to the Query URL javascript: and mapped it to the letter 'u'. When I'm in the address bar and want to exit I remove anything in the URL bar, and hit u + enter.

If Shortkeys can run javascript via a shortcut while the cursor is in the URL bar then perhaps this is an answer?


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