Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Monday, December 18, 2017

Store logo for Mouse Gestures extension for Edge browserAlthough the offerings for Edge browser extensions are sparse at the moment, there are a couple worth looking at. One to consider is Mouse Gestures.  It enables a series of right click actions that make speeding about web pages and tabs easier. The extension loads 16 preset flicks that allow you to move forward and back between webpages, hop from one tab to another and improve scrolling on longer pages.

Once installed and enabled, all you need to do is hold the right mouse button down and move the mouse in a specific motion. To go back to a previous web page, hold the right mouse button and flick to the left. Go forward, right mouse and flick right.  If you are a Surface Pro user, Mouse Gestures supports pen gestures. My favourite gestures are the ability to hop from one tab to another or closing a tab when you’re done with it and refreshing the page with a quick flick of the mouse:

Screen view of some advanced mouse gestureAnother feature worth noting is the ability to scroll to the top or bottom of an article quickly. Using a combined down and up gesture will move you to the top instantly. A quick up and down gesture moves you to the bottom of the page. It doesn’t work that well on those endless scroll pages though.  Something about them confuses the gesture. It’s okay flicking down, you go about a page length at a time, but if you try to scroll to the top of the page, you end up further down the page or somewhere random. This didn’t happen on all sites, but the majority I tried behaved a bit funky.

There isn’t a lot of customisation available, but you can turn off features you don’t want such as the visible mouse trail as you flick. You can also deactivate gestures you don’t use. Hold the right button down and start gesturing slowly will pop up a handy tool tip window to remind you of what gestures are available. Once you’ve memorized the gestures you need, you can shut tips off and not be bothered by them.

If you are using a track pad mouse, give Mouse Gestures a pass. It seems more work than it’s worth. To get the features to work, you pretty much need two hands. What is missing is a sticky feature for track pads. It would be great to double tap the top left or right corner to activate a sticky right button key so a gesture could quickly be used and then double tap to shut it off. One other complaint is the length of the gestures to trigger them. They should significantly shortened to speed up browsing. 

All in all, a decent extension well worth installing. 

To get Mouse Gestures, go to the Microsoft store and search for Mouse Gestures or click on More (three dots top right of your browser) and click on Extensions -> Get extensions from store.

Here’s the full list of gestures currently available:

A full list of mouse gestures

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#@!% app. Why isn't it working?

- Catpaw, 2016

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