Prev / next tab keyboard shortcuts are broken

The page at https://support.brave.com/hc/en-us/articles/360032272171-What-keyboard-shortcuts-can-I-use-in-Brave- lists two keyboard shortcuts, but these shortcuts don’t work as documented:

action shortcut
Jump to the next open tab Ctrl + Tab or Ctrl + PgDn
Jump to the previous open tab Ctrl + Shift + Tab or Ctrl + PgUp

As far as I can tell, the implemented functionality is actually:

action shortcut
Randomly jump to a tab you haven’t used in ages, with no way to tell in advance what tab that is and which is almost certainly not the tab that you want Ctrl + Shift + Tab or Ctrl + PgUp
Go back to the tab you were at most recently, unless you happened to just press Ctrl + PgUp, in which case this is “omg what the hell did CTRL-Pgdn just do and why is it not like every other tabbed application in existence? fix it!, and then break the CTRL-pgdn functionality because now the most recent tab is some random tab that I almost certainly didn’t want to switch to” Ctrl + Tab or Ctrl + PgDn

While I agree that “Go back to the tab you were at most recently” is a useful shortcut to have (e.g it would be very useful for switching back and forth between two tabs), this functionality definitely should not be assigned to the keyboard shortcut that virtually every other tabbed application uses for ‘next tab’. I’d suggest CTRL-tilde for this shortcut, that would seem natural to me.

<rant>While I’m griping, I’d also like to take a moment to congratulate the authors of the “Jump to a specific tab with Ctrl + 1 through Ctrl + 8” feature for their well-thought-out approach that manages to use up an entire row of shortcut keys and which is definitely not totally unusable and pointless for someone with 147 tabs open. </rant>

(to be fair, ctrl-9 is a good shortcut. A corresponding ctrl-1 would also be great)

Depending on whether brave://settings/appearance -> Cycle through the most recently used tabs with Ctrl-Tab is disabled or enabled, ctrl+tab = ctrl+pgdn should either cycle through tabs left to right or most to least recently open, and ctrl+shift+tab = ctrl+pgup should cycle either right to left or (if ctrl+tab = ctrl+pgdn was previously used) back forward (similar to how ctrl+y works when ctrl+z has been used).

Do I understand correctly that this is not the case for you, since you say it “randomly jumps to a tab you haven’t used in ages”?

See also: TAB switching shortcuts

…well… "randomly jumps to a tab you haven’t used in ages” may have been slight hyperbole :wink: , it probably wasn’t actually random, “least recently used” is probably it. My point was that from a UX perspective this is the equivalent of “random” when you’re expecting “tab to the left”.

Personally I don’t see how ‘jump to least recently used tab’ is a useful feature, since I can’t imagine a situation where I’d ever remember what the least recently used tab is. IMHO the default behaviour for this shortcut is basically nondeterministic - I can’t tell what it’s going to do before i actually press it. This fact coupled with the fact that it’s different behaviour to virtually every other tabbed application that exists make this a poor default in my opinion. But that’s just my opinion.

So, no, it’s working as you describe, I just find that behaviour extremely unintuitive.

And awesome - it turns out there is a setting to get behaviour that does the same thing as everything else. So I’m largely happy :slight_smile:

The issue here then is not the software, but the documentation.

This page I’ve linked to should definitely mention that this setting changes this behaviour. I also think that a clear distinction should be made between “next tab” and “most recently used tab”. In just about every other tabbed application I’ve ever used, “next tab” means “tab to the right”. If the documentation adopted this convention and removed the ambiguity, it would be clearer for everyone.

Here’s what I’d suggest as a more serious replacement:

action shortcut
Switch to the least recently used tab (OR: Switch to the tab to the right if you have this setting [link] disabled) Ctrl + Tab or Ctrl + PgDn
Switch to the most recently used tab (OR: Switch to the tab to the left if you have this setting [link] disabled) Ctrl + Shift + Tab or Ctrl + PgUp

(I’d put the ‘or’ on a newline, but I can’t figure out how to do that in this markdown format)

The point is to have the documentation accurately describe the shortcut, and also point to the relevant setting to make this easier to find and more clear and accurate in describing the behaviour.

Thanks very much for your help, finding out about this setting is a huge relief! :slight_smile:

1 Like

Oh also thanks for the link to the other issue, but unfortunately for me ctrl-alt-[left|right] aren’t usable in brave because brave never gets that keyboard event - these are the shortcuts that my window manager uses to switch to the desktop to the left/right.

1 Like

…while I’m here, is there a way for me to have my cake and eat it too? Ie have both the sensible ctrl-pup/down shortcuts and also have “switch to most recently used tab” on some other shortcut? I do think this is a useful feature to have, it’s just on the wrong keyboard shortcut.

Ideally, I’d be able to simply configure my keyboard shortcuts arbitrarily and reassign ‘switch to the most recently used tab’ to ctrl-tilde, where I think it belongs.

I guess this is really the same issue as TAB switching shortcuts but in reverse.

1 Like

Sadly, not at the moment. Though I see no reason why it couldn’t be added in future, since we currently already have duplicate shortcuts (triplicate on Mac apparently). Completely rebindable shortcuts would indeed be even more preferable, but it would also take more work and lead to more issue etc., so I don’t see them adding that any time soon, alas.

agreed.

Thanks heaps for your help :slight_smile:

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.