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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?

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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
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    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
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Here's some:

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

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    This just lists the shortcuts that OP already knows. The question is about the focus - not the shortcuts. – hpekristiansen Sep 8 '17 at 2:01
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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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    It's not working for me... in fullscreen no focus on player. Using Chrome. – Krzysztof Wolny Mar 16 '16 at 10:22
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    this doesn't appear to work anymore, 157239n's answer does – Bugalugs Nash Aug 19 '16 at 0:47
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A related one.

I am using Khan academy, which uses YouTube videos and show them in a dialog box.

I use below combination successfully, it saves a lot of time:

TAB key (focus youtube player works on dialog on khan academy website)

Then all keys like below will work:
    F (full screen) OR
    > (play faster)
    < (play slower)

Example try above shortcuts at below link:
https://www.khanacademy.org/math/early-math/cc-early-math-counting-topic/modal/v/counting-with-small-numbers

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