Mouse Gestures

It is always a pain to switch from keyboard to mouse and back. “Power users” tend to master the keyboard shortcuts of their favorite applications so that they can keep their hands in one place.

The keyboard is not as convenient as the mouse, though, for navigating a page full of hyperlinks. But when you are following lots of links it is a real pain to keep moving your mouse between the list of links and the back button, or moving your hand back to the keyboard to press “Alt-Left”.
Mouse gestures are a powerful shortcut that can cut your mouse travel without touching the keyboard.

In an open resource window, click and hold the right mouse button while dragging it just a short distance to the left and then releasing the button. This “gesture” executes the Go > Back command. (Assuming you have already followed a link or scrolled, so there is somewhere to go back to.) Right-click and drag to the right executes the Go > Forward command. Up moves to the previous article, down to the next. A “C” shape (left, down, right) toggles the contents pane.

I am not sure who invented mouse gestures, but we first saw them in Opera and Mozilla. These browsers support a long list of gestures, but I don’t often make an “M” shape to view the tags for a page, or “S” to view the source. I do use forward and back all the time and can’t imagine working without them.

I call mouse gestures a hidden feature because they don’t have any visible user interface and so most users never find them. But now you know. A complete list of the gestures supported in the Libronix DLS is in the Libronix DLS Help, under Appendixes > Gestures. Give them a try, and let us know if there are any other commands you would like to access through gestures.

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5 Responses to “Mouse Gestures”

  1. Richard L August 26, 2005 at 12:33 pm #

    Gestures are great – I use “Next” and “Back” a lot. I discovered gestures by accident while browsing the help file.
    I think the Help file has a typo though – the last gesture (Contents Pane) lists “Go > Back” as its related command, which doesn’t seem right.

  2. Richard L August 26, 2005 at 12:35 pm #

    Can I make a more general observation about Libronix, esp. the Alpha testing programme?
    New Alphas often include new features, but it is rare that there is any accompanying info about how to use the new features, or what functions they contain. Maybe this is more for beta testing, but it might be useful to include a short paragraph or two with each new feature to ensure that testers are made aware of what the new feature is meant to do.

  3. Kevin Purcell August 26, 2005 at 2:49 pm #

    This is great! Thanks for letting us know.

  4. Maurice A. O'Sullivan August 27, 2005 at 2:19 am #

    My Microsfot Intellipoint mouse has a large thumb button and a small thumb button, each of which can be configured fro a variety of operations. The default is and — which is a lot faster than any “gesture”.

  5. Dean Masters August 29, 2005 at 8:54 pm #

    I would just like the help area to be accessible to visually impaired people. I have worked with the JAWS screen reader to use the rest of the program but cannot figure out how to make help accessible. How about putting an accessible version on your web site in plain html or something for us to read so we can find out all the little things that Libronix can do by reading about it rather than hunting around and wasting time?