Official Google Reader Blog - News, Tips and Tricks from the Reader team

J-walking with Reader

2/07/2008 06:25:00 AM
Posted by Mihai Parparita, Software Engineer

Google Reader Keyboard (inspiration)
Google Reader is well-known for its keyboard shortcuts. When going through thousands of blog posts, news items, photos, etc. a day, it's important to do this as efficiently as possible. Many users find that using the keyboard is one way of accomplishing that goal.

The "j" key (which takes you to the next item) is perhaps the most well-known keyboard shortcut. However, there are many more keys to press, and I was curious to see just how much they were tapped in Google Reader. A quick analysis later, I came up with a simple top-10 list, and I thought it would be fun to share. The units here are "milli-Js", where 1,000 milli-Js are equivalent to all the presses "j" received.

jnext item1,000.00 milli-Js
nitem scan down324.18 milli-Js
kprevious item139.49 milli-Js
mmark as read/unread43.91 milli-Js
ttag item37.48 milli-Js
pitem scan up31.30 milli-Js
shift-nnext subscription23.09 milli-Js
vview original17.98 milli-Js
oexpand/collapse item16.81 milli-Js
sstar item15.45 milli-Js

Of course, Reader has more than the 10 shortcuts listed above -- you can see them all in this list. Additionally, in some ways, the most important shortcut is not "j", but "?" (that is, shift-/). It shows you a cheat-sheet of all the other shortcuts.

Partly based on the data we gathered, and in our quest to make Reader as keyboard-accessible as possible, we've actually added a few more with the latest release. You can use "a" to open up the "Add subscription" form, "g" then "d" to go to the "Discover" page, and "g" then "f" to go your friends' shared items. If you have any other keyboard shortcuts you would like, feel free to mention them in our forums.