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 get around the internet will make a significant difference to your productivity levels (and give you extra time to do something more exciting). Yes, even on best web browsers. Here’s one such hack you may not have tried yet: Mouse movements.
Mouse movements – quick swipes and swipes with your input device – can replace the standard buttons or keyboard shortcuts to go back and forth on the web, close tabs, refresh pages, open links in the background, and so on and so forth. Even if you only save a fraction of a second at a time, it all counts.
The best way to understand how useful mouse movements can be is to try them. They are built into some web browsers, while others require the help of a third-party extension – but no matter how you enable them, you can see for yourself what a difference they can make to your daily web browsing.
Opera is one of those browsers with mouse movements baked right in – and that’s not the only reason this innovative, alternative browser is worth checking out. If you’ve never used mouse movements before, then Opera is a great place to start learning: Click Easy setup button (top right, it looks like three sliders), then Go to full browser settingsthen select Advanced and Features before turning Enable mouse movements rocker switch to.
You can click Learn more to see what the shortcuts are, and Configure shortcuts to adapt them to yourself. To start using a gesturehold down the right mouse button: By default, yYou can then swipe left to go back one page, swipe right to advance one page, or swipe down and then right to close the current tab. Another gesture that can be helpful 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 movements and deserves to take more market share away from the big names is Vivaldi. You can find the setting for mouse movements by clicking Settings button (gear icon, bottom left): Select Mouse and then check Allow movements box to activate the function. Some examples of movements are indicated on the screen, and as with Opera, hold down the right mouse button to use them.
For example, right-clicking and swiping opens a new tab, while right-clicking and swiping up and then right-hand brings back the most recently closed tab. The buttons below the list allow you to add, remove and customize the movements, and you can also use the slider further down to change the movement sensitivity. If you feel that you have taken mouse movements adjustments in Vivaldi too far, you can click Restore default movements.
Chrome and Edge
As useful as mouse movements 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 Chromeis one of the best options CrxMouse Chrome gestureswhich you can use for free: Once you’ve added it to Chrome, you’ll get a cool little browser game you can implement to learn the various gestures supported (or you’ll just watch a tutorial video).
Click the CrxMouse Chrome gestures button on the toolbar to see the gestures that are currently active. Any of the movements can be edited as needed, and the extension also comes with a wealth of options: You can change everything from the mouse cursor to the movement sensitivity. Since Microsoft Edge is now built on the same Chromium code as Google’s browser, you can also use the same CrxMouse Chrome Gestures add-in in Edge.
If Mozilla Firefox is your favorite browser, then the add-on you need is the free one gestures. Once the extension is installed, you can click on its icon on the toolbar to see the available movements – as always, 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. Yyou can also click The gesture to create one of your own.
Switch to Settings tab to configure various aspects of how the Gesturefy add-in works in Firefox. For example, you can change the mouse button that activates movements and set a deactivation key to temporarily deactivate movements while it is pressed. Go to Optional equipment to set up multiple movements using other combinations, including the mouse scroll wheel, and open Exclusions tab to disable the extension on certain sites.
Mouse gestures are not supported built-in by Apple’s Safari browser, nor do you have too many options when it comes to third-party extensions. One that we have come across is the free (and appropriate name) Mouse movements for Safari: Once you have installed it, open it Safari menu, and then select Preferences and Extensions to change the motion configurations, adjust their sensitivity, and set how motion is displayed on the screen.
There are a handful of similar tools that work across all macOS, including Safari, rather than in the browser specifically: Mouse movements, MacGesture and xGestik (which was actually inspired by the support of mouse movements in Opera). You may find that they work better than Mouse Gestures for the Safari extension, or you may find that mouse gestures are so useful that you switch to a browser that supports the built-in feature.