Chances are you spend a lot of time in a web browser every day – so anything you can do to speed up the way you browse the internet will make a significant difference to your level of productivity (and give you more time to do something more exciting). Yes, even on the best web browsers. Here’s one of those hacks you might not have tried yet: mouse gestures.
Mouse gestures (quick taps and swipes of your input device) can replace standard buttons or keyboard shortcuts to move forward and backward on the web, close tabs, refresh pages, open links in the background, etc Even if you only gain a fraction of a second each time, it all adds up.
The best way to understand just how useful mouse gestures can be is to try them out. They’re built into some web browsers, while on others you need the help of a third-party extension – but however you activate them, see for yourself the difference they can make. do for your daily web browsing.
Opera is one of the browsers with built-in mouse gestures – and that’s not the only reason this innovative and alternative browser is worth checking out. If you’ve never used mouse gestures before, then Opera is a good place to start learning: Click the Easy setup button (at the top right, it looks like three sliders), then Access full browser settingsthen choose Advanced and Features before turning the Enable mouse gestures turn on the switch.
you can click Learn more to see what the shortcuts are, and Configure Shortcuts to customize them yourself. To start using a gesture, you need to hold down the right mouse button: by default, you can then swipe left to go back a page, swipe right to go forward a page, or swipe down then right to close the current tab. Another gesture that can be useful is to right-click on a link and then swipe down with the mouse, which opens it in a new tab.
Another browser that integrates mouse gestures and deserves to take more market share from the big names is Vivaldi. You can find the mouse gestures setting by clicking on the Settings button (the gear icon, bottom left): Choose Mouse then check the Allow gestures box to activate the function. Some sample gestures are listed on the screen and, as with Opera, you must hold down the right mouse button to use them.
Right-clicking and swiping down opens a new tab, for example, while right-clicking and swiping up then right brings back the most recently closed tab. Buttons below the list let you add, remove, and customize gestures, and you can also use the scroll bar further down to change gesture sensitivity. If you feel like you’ve taken the mouse gesture customizations too far in Vivaldi, you can click Restore Default Gestures.
Chrome and Edge
As useful as mouse gestures are, none of the major browsers have adopted the feature, so you’ll have to rely on third-party extensions instead. When it comes to Google Chromeone of the best options is CrxMouse Chrome GesturesWhich you can use for free: Once you add it to Chrome, you’ll get a cool little browser game that you can complete to learn the different supported gestures (or you can just watch a video tutorial).
Click the CrxMouse Chrome Gestures button in the toolbar to see the currently active gestures. All gestures can be changed as needed, and the extension also comes with a ton of settings: you can change everything from mouse cursor to gesture sensitivity. As Microsoft Edge is now built on the same Chromium code as Google’s browser, you can also use the same CrxMouse Chrome Gestures add-on in Edge.
Yes MozillaFirefox is your browser of choice, then the add-on you need is free gesture. Once the extension is installed, you can click on its icon in the toolbar to see the available gestures – as always, you must hold down the right mouse button before performing any of them on a page. Click on a specific gesture to see how it works and to change the action it triggers. You can also click New gesture to create your own.
Go to Settings to configure various aspects of how the Gesturefy add-on works in Firefox. You can, for example, change the mouse button that activates gestures and set a disable key to temporarily disable gestures when pressed. Head toward Supplements to configure more gestures using other combinations, including mouse scroll wheel, and open the Exclusions if you want to disable the extension on certain sites.
Mouse gestures aren’t natively supported by Apple’s Safari browser, nor do you have too many options when it comes to third-party extensions. The one we came across is the Free (and aptly named) Mouse Gestures for Safari: After installing it, open the Safari menu, then choose Preferences and Extensions to change gesture configurations, adjust gesture sensitivity, and define how gestures are displayed on the screen.
There are a handful of similar tools that work across macOS as a whole, including Safari, rather than in the browser specifically: Mouse gestures, MacGesture and xGestures (which was actually inspired by Opera’s mouse gesture support). You might find that they work better than the Mouse Gestures for Safari extension, or that Mouse Gestures prove so useful that you switch to a browser that natively supports the feature.