Thursday, August 19, 2010

Scroll-wheel follows mouse

One of the few things I like about using the Gnome based system at work is that it scrolls the widget your mouse cursor is pointing it. It doesn't matter if the thing in question has the focus or not. It doesn't matter if it's in another window that doesn't have the focus it just scrolls whatever is under the mouse cursor. It's really nice.

Windows 7 doesn't do this. I miss this behavior.In Windows 7 you have to click on whatever you want to scroll to make sure it has the focus. Sometimes you don't want to click because it's hard to find something "safe" to click on. That is, something that won't screw up what you're doing. Using the window explorer/file manager is a good example. The way I use it, there's a pane on the left hand side that shows me the list of folders and where I am in the file hierarchy. Clicking just about anywhere in that pane changes the selected folder and moves you around in the hierarchy. If I want to scroll this pane I have trouble finding a place where I can give it focus while not getting myself lost in a sea of folders. Having the mouse cursor determine which scroll pane is scrolled, rather than the focus solves this problem nicely.

I've managed to find a utility that enables this behaviour. It's called WizMouse. Give WizMouse and the scroll-wheel follows mouse a try. In a little while you'll wonder how you lived with it any other way.

2012-11-08 - There are a few other products like this and I've tried a few of them. They all seem to have the problem of causing pauses/freezes. The pauses are so bad that even the mouse cursor will stutter its way across the screen. I've had to uninstall these utilities because the pausing has been more annoying than the default windows scrollwheel behaviour. Oh, and don't think I didn't notice that Chrome supports the gnome model.. at least within Chrome windows.

1 comment:

Guillaume said...

Oh sweet, thanks Andrew.