Monday, June 18, 2018 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Faster Swiping Between Pages

Keir Thomas:

One of the irritations is that, if you’re using a trackpad, it reloads the page each time you two-finger swipe to go back. This can be slow but also infuriating if you’re scrolling through an auto-updating webpage list, for example, because the page will reload and you’ll be thrown back to the top of the list.

The solution is to activate three-finger back gesture—and then train yourself to make use of it. Here’s why: For reasons only known to Apple software engineers, using this gesture instead of the standard two-finger swipe means the page isn’t reloaded. It’s looks just as it did when you clicked away from it and it instantly appears without any redrawing or rendering.

The only caveat is that—again for reasons unknown to we mere morals—the three-finger swipe gesture works in the opposite direction compared to the two-finger swipe.

I’ve also noticed weirdness swiping with a Magic Mouse. System Preferences offers three options for “Swipe between pages”:

I’m not sure whether there is supposed to be a difference in the gesture between scrolling and swiping. The first option is the default and does not work well for me. I have frequent problems where either (a) nothing happening when I try to change pages, (b) it changes pages unintentionally, or (c) it starts to change pages, gets stuck partway through, and the Mac stops responding to input for 5–10 seconds. Even when it does work, this swiping feels slow because of the long animation of the page sliding over.

Swiping with two fingers has none of these problems and is also much faster. However, it comes at a cost: if you’re using two fingers to change pages you can’t also use two fingers for “Swipe between full-screen apps,” which I use to change spaces. There is no option in System Preferences to use a different mouse gesture to change spaces. (I also tried setting one up with BetterTouchTool but was unsuccessful.)

Update (2018-06-19): Friedrich Markgraf:

I believe scrolling with one finger actually scrolls the ScrollView to the appropriate edge, and when it goes into overscroll, starts moving the whole page. Try it on a view that has a horizontal scroller.

2 Comments

Adrian O'Connor

Wait, what?! Are you all mad?! Surely three-finger gestures were only ever meant to be used for drag/select! Life would be a lot poorer without the three-finger drag option.

It is nice to hear there's at least one other person who enjoys the Magic Mouse, however...

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