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Give focus to the activated link after going back to the page with the link
0. Open one instance of Firefox. Toggle OFF tabbed browsing.
1. Click a link. (Or via keyboard, move focus to a link and press Enter to activate it.) A new webpage replaces the original webpage in the Firefox window.
2. Click the "Back" button. (Or via keyboard, press Alt + left arrow.) The original webpage reappears.
Is there a way to configure Firefox so that the link that had focus prior to activating it is remembered?
In other words, if I click a link that takes me to another page and then go back to the original page, I want the clicked link to have keyboard focus. What happens now is that the tab order of the original page gets reset.
Internet Explorer used to remember the clicked link. I believe earlier versions of Firefox worked this way, as well.
Firefox is still the best browser for accessing the web without a mouse. Introducing (or re-introducing) this functionality would be an excellent way to enhance Firefox's accessibility and usability when browsing using only the keyboard.
All Replies (2)
I think you're right that this changed at some point. I can see that Firefox 78 maintained the dotted outline on a link if you tabbed to it and activated it by pressing Enter, then used Alt+Left to return to the page. (On a site that allows caching; other sites reload.) However, I don't know whether that was changed intentionally, or was a byproduct of fixing something else (such as maintaining the proper scroll position on the page, etc.).
If you have a lot of bandwidth and half an hour of free time, you could try to isolate the change using the Mozregression tool (https://mozilla.github.io/mozregression/). For example, you would tell it the last version that worked was 78 and the first one that didn't was 93, and it would download intermediate builds to triangulate the specific patch that did the deed. With that information you could review the referenced bug and see whether it was intentional. If not, you could file a new bug.
That is quite a bit of work, so if you wanted to simply propose a feature change, Mozilla has a new "Ideas" site for that:
Unfortunately, it isn't integrated with Firefox Accounts, so it requires a different/new login.
Since your suggestion bears on accessibility, you might include that in the title, for example Accessibiliy: Reselect Active Link when going Back
Thank you for your detailed response.
Instead of hunting down the version in which the change was introduced, I will pitch the idea as a new feature for enhancing the accessibility of Firefox by keyboard-only and screen reader users.
The feature could also improve browsing for people who rely on pointing and clicking, as the highlighted link is a visual clue of the last action performed on the page.