Questionable scroll wheel behavior

I've noticed this behavior in the structure pane on Windows XP, but it
may also occur elsewhere and on other platforms: If the pane has a
horizontal scrollbar but no vertical scrollbar, turning the scroll wheel
causes the content to scroll horizontally. Does this seem right? It
doesn't to me. I only expect the scroll wheel to cause vertical scrolling.

7 comments

I've seen this in other java apps, so it seems to be a swing (not idea)
feature.

I don't recall now if native windows/mac/... apps behave like this.

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I have never noticed this in Idea. However I think it's standard Windows behaviour, e.g. resize one of the Windows explorer pane, so that only a horizontal scrollbar appears.

What I would very much like though, is to have the mouse wheel only scroll the vertical scrollbar, but have Shift-Mouse wheel scroll the horizontal scroll bar. Does this make sense?

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I like this behavior. I think not being able to scroll through something horizontally (when there is no vertical scroll bar) with the scroll wheel is annoying and stupidly implemented, so I'm glad Swing gets it right.

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What good is a feature that only lets you scroll horizontally if you
can't scroll vertically? Seems to me the previous suggestion
(SHIFT-scroll to scroll horizontally) makes more sense.

Keith Lea wrote:

I like this behavior. I think not being able to scroll through something horizontally (when there is no vertical scroll bar) with the scroll wheel is annoying and stupidly implemented, so I'm glad Swing gets it right.

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Scenario:
There is a window on the screen that the user is looking at. It has only a horizontal scrollbar, no vertical scrollbar. The user rolls his mouse wheel. What do you think he meant to do? Make his computer beep? No, he meant to scroll the scrollbar.

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The point is, it only works sometimes. Wouldn't you prefer a way to do
this that always works?

Keith Lea wrote:

Scenario:
There is a window on the screen that the user is looking at. It has only a horizontal scrollbar, no vertical scrollbar. The user rolls his mouse wheel. What do you think he meant to do? Make his computer beep? No, he meant to scroll the scrollbar.

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I don't think this behavior should be removed, but a way to scroll horizontally would be nice, I agree.

I heard that there are some new mice with wheels that roll sideways or something let you scroll horizontally. I think scroll wheels should've been like IBM's TrackPoint, where if you push it at some angle, the window scrolls at that angle.

I think mouse wheels were sort of poorly planned out, and really, so are scrollbars. I think a horizontal scrollbar makes sense, but when you have a horizontal and a vertical scrollbar, it stops making as much sense. I think, why can't I move horizontally and vertically at the same time? Why do I have to pick one and then the other?

I think my favorite kind of viewport behavior is things like Piccolo/Jazz, called Zoomable UI: http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/jazz/play/hinote-0.5/jazz-mid-talk.html

Anyway that's my opinion on scrolling. :)

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