Useful DevTools Tips And Shortcuts (Chrome, Firefox, Edge)

Useful DevTools Tips And Shortcuts (Chrome, Firefox, Edge)

DevTools is very advanced and helpful, but can also be very intimidating and overwhelming. Let’s fix that. In this article, Vitaly reviews useful features and shortcuts for debugging in Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Safari.

DevTools is very advanced and helpful, but can also be very intimidating and overwhelming. Let’s fix that. In this article, Vitaly reviews useful features and shortcuts for debugging in Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Safari.

Out of all the tools available at our fingertips these days, DevTools is probably one of the most advanced ones. Over the years, it has become a tool for debugging, profiling, auditing and even prototyping — all living within the same interface, and always just a keyboard shortcut away. Still, DevTools has plenty of obscure gems and undiscovered treasures, living on the remote fringes of hidden tabs and experimental settings. Let’s fix that.

In this article, let’s dive into some of the useful and obscure features in DevTools. We’ll look into all modern browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari) and look into the useful tools that they provide to us, web developers. We’ll focus on the ones that we use frequently on SmashingMag, and some of the little techniques and strategies that help us fix pesky bugs and write better code.

Creating Browser Profiles

When it comes to profiling a website for performance, or tracking a particular accessibility issue, we’ve been creating separate browser profiles for each task for a while now. We usually work with at least 5 user profiles, each with its own extensions, bookmarks, bookmarklets and features turned on or off. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Dedicated browser profiles for accessibility testing, debugging, performance audits and checking the experience for happy and unhappy customers.

Dedicated browser profiles for accessibility testing, debugging, performance audits and checking the experience for happy and unhappy customers. (Large preview)

  • Accessibility profile
  • A clean browser profile that includes various tools for checking accessibility, e.g. Accessibility Insights, aXe and a11y.css, along with a few other accessibility linters and color vision simulator.
  • Debugging profile
  • A profile with a few experimental settings for profiling turned on, as well as an option to automatically open DevTools for every new window, along with a custom diagnostics CSS for quick auditing and profiling.
  • Performance profile
  • A clean profile without extensions, with a few special bookmarks for auditing with Lighthouse, RequestMap, a performance diagnostics CSS and a few performance-related links to keep in mind (e.g. resource priority in loading). Always goes well with 4 × CPU throttling and Network throttling (Slow 3G).
  • Happy customer
  • Based on the data we have from our analytics, that’s a profile that is close enough to the one that many of our readers (wonderful people like you) will have. It will contain a few popular extensions, common web development extensions, ad-blockers, tab management, Google Docs offline, LastPass, VPN, Browserstack, Grammarly etc. No throttling in use.
  • Unhappy customer
  • A profile for a reader on a slow, throttled connection (slow 3G), low memory, poor CPU, with 10 most popular browser extensions on. We usually use this profile to test our heaviest pages to experience the worst possible customer experiences.

Depending on the task at hand, we can jump to one of the dedicated profiles. The actual convenience comes from the simple arrangement that each of the profiles has specific extensions, bookmarklets and browser settings all set and ready to go. So if needed, we can get right to performance debugging or accessibility auditing without any hassle for searching the right extensions.

It probably goes without saying that we do our best to keep each profile clean and uncluttered — that goes for browser extensions as well as browser bookmarks, cookies and cache.

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