How to move 1 frame at a time through a YouTube video

Watching YouTube on a tablet

Image by USA-Reiseblogger from Pixabay.

There are two very useful keyboard shortcuts for watching YouTube videos which almost never mentioned. They are the comma and the full stop.

Both work when you have paused a video (which you can do with the pause button or by pressing Space or K).

The first (,) nudges you back a frame in the video. The second (.) nudges you forward one frame. That makes them great allies if you want the video to stop at a very particular place to look in detail at what is on screen or to get just the right screenshot.

J and L, by the way, move you 10 seconds at a go.

And if you then want to link through to a specific point in the YouTube video which you have located? See How to link to a specific time in a YouTube video.

6 responses to “How to move 1 frame at a time through a YouTube video”

  1. Currently (,) and (.) are not working they only unpause or ‘Play the video’ but will not pause (or aka, Stop playback at current time for later resume play). firefox

  2. This was really recent, cause it was working like a month ago.

    Edit: It works in Internet Explorer, but not Firefox.

  3. Should not that it is not the comma and full stop, but the greater than/ less than symbols () which are, in most circumstances but not all, on the same keys at the comma and full stop. Although I don’t think they do move a frame at a time, from my experience of using them, I think they appear to move a small number of frames (2 or three at a time). Let me know what you think about this with your experience.

    • It is actually comma and full stop. Of course, it is probably not an accident that these were chosen since on American and British keyboards (and probably many others) the “less than” and “greater than” symbols happen to be above these. However, if these characters were the true shortcuts, you would have to hold the shift key as well. I just checked with my German keyboard, where “less than” and “greater than” are located on their own key to the right of the left shift key, and it is in fact the comma and full stop keys that move the video.

      • Indeed, this is not an accident; having the characters on the physical keys serve as a visual reference.
        There is no need to use the shift key to execute the YouTube command behavior. It is not a necessity to use the same functionality that is used for *typing* these characters to also perform the YouTube frame-by-frame function.
        I think it is a bit persnickety to express such. They had to choose 2 keys to execute these functions while keeping it simple for the masses. Having the on the actual keys makes the choice even more logical, thoughtful and helpful. Adding shift into the mix for no reason, other than to , I guess, keep it consistent with typing, is unnecessarily cumbersome.

  4. This works in FireFox right now.

    As mentioned, J & L skip 10 seconds backwards and forwards, respectively. Additionally, the ←left & right→ arrows on the keyboard skip 5 seconds backwards and forwards, respectively.

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