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I use keyboard shortcuts for almost everything: moving between tabs, windows etc.

YouTube has many shortcuts for play/pause, next, mute, etc. but those only apply when you have the focus on the video.

Are there shortcuts for those actions outside of the video focus? Is there perhaps an extension which creates such shortcuts?

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I wish there was a solution to this. But in case anyone else stumbles upon this page I encourage you to try: youtube.com/leanback – Sridhar-Sarnobat Apr 13 '14 at 4:43
Pretty nasty, but pressing Tab 4 times should give focus to the player, after which you can use the shortcut keys. – cmbuckley Feb 13 '15 at 0:09

Not a perfect solution, but the full screen shortcut (f) still works when the video is not in focus. Once you have made the video full screen, it is in focus and you can use the other shortcuts as normal.

If you don't want the video to be fullscreen, press f again (or esc) to exit full screen. The video will still be in focus.

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works anyway - thanks – byronyasgur Jul 30 '15 at 20:49
It's not working for me... in fullscreen no focus on player. Using Chrome. – Krzysztof Wolny Mar 16 at 10:22

Here's some:

f: fullscreen/normal
j: backward
k: play/pause
l: forward

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