Month: August 2008

6 ways to use your mouse wheel to do more in Firefox


Firefox tricksDid you know that in Firefox, you can do more with your mouse scroll wheel than just scroll a web page up and down?

Here are a few tips on using your mouse scroll wheel in Firefox that could save you some time.

1. Closing Tabs
To close a tab just place your mouse cursor on a tab and click with the
scroll wheel. This is more convenient and faster than clicking the
small cross on the tabs, especially when you want to close several tabs.

2. Opening hyperlinks in a new tab
Very often we would like to open a link in a page in a new tab. The
normal way to achieve this is by right-clicking on the the link and
choosing ‘Open Link in New Tab‘.
Here’s a much quicker way. Just click on the link with the scroll
wheel. Presto! the link will open in a new tab. You can even click on
the Home button or the Forward/Back button to open the respective url
in a new tab.

3. Paste URL & Go
Sometimes you would need to copy a link from another source and paste
it into the address bar and hit Enter to open the link. There is an
easier alternative in Firefox. You can just press the scroll button in
the content area to paste, and go to the url. By default this
functionality is disabled in Firefox but you can enable it with two
simple tweak in about:config. Why two tweaks? Because of a bug in
Firefox, the ‘Paste URL & Go’ does not work if
AutoScroll is enabled. So besides enabling the paste and go feature you
need to disable autoscroll. So here we go. Enter about:config in the address bar and press Enter. Look for the Preference Name middlemouse.contentLoadURL and double-click on it to change it’s value to true.

Firefox tricks

Also look for the Preference Name general.autoScroll and change its value from true to false by double-cliking on it.

Firefox tricks

That’s all to it. Here are few different ways you can use the Paste URL & Go feature after you have copied a url.

  • Pressing the wheel button in the content area pastes the url and loads the page in the current tab.
  • Holding down the Ctrl key and pressing the wheel button opens the url in a new tab.
  • Holding down the Shift key and pressing the wheel button opens the url in an entirely new Firefox instance.

4. Scrolling through the tabs
When you have many tabs open, an arrow appears on either end of the tab
bar to let you scroll through the tab bar and view the hidden tabs.
There is a much easier way. Just place your mouse cursor anywhere on
the tab bar and scroll your mouse wheel up and down to scroll through
the tab bar.

5. Moving Forward/Back
You can use the scroll wheel as an alternative to using the Forward and
Back buttons on the toolbar. Hold down the Shift key and rotate the
wheel forward to view the next page or rotate backward to see the
previous page.

6. Zooming
To zoom into a page, hold the Ctrl key and turn the scroll wheel away
from you. Similarly, to zoom out, hold the Ctrl key and rotate the
scroll wheel towards you.