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Frequently asked questions

I. Configuration

II. Gesture recognition

III. Mouse button conflicts

IV. Miscellaneous


I. Configuration

How do I disable a particular gesture or add my own?
Open the mouse gestures preferences (in Firefox/Thunderbird via Tools -> Extensions, in the Mozilla Suite via Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced) and click the Edit mappings button. This launches a window where you can easily add, edit or remove all gesture mappings.
What do the strange :02, :1+ and *URLD codes mean?
These codes are used by Mouse Gestures to represent gestures internally. They look complicated, but keep in mind that you do not have to type them (with the exception of the "Appearance" field).
The code for regular (drawn) gestures use one letter for each stroke, e.g. UL stands for Up-Left. An asterisk at the beginning of the code indicates "any gesture done over links that ends with..." and is usually used for functions like "Open links in tabs".
Codes beginning with : mark "rocker gestures" which are done with buttons only. The left mouse button is 0, the middle one is 1 and the right one is 2. + and - mean moving the mouse wheel. So :2- means "hold right mouse button, then scroll up with the wheel", and :02 means "hold left button, then click right".
What is the "Appearance" field used for?
Some gestures are made to resemble letters or other well-known shapes, and therefore need different stroke lengths: for example, to create the lowercase letter 'h', you would go two times down, one time up, one time right and one time down, leading to the gesture code DDURD. When you use this gesture, however, the two Ds would be indistinguishable from a single D - therefore, Mouse Gestures does not let you enter this gesture code. However, you can enter this code as a kind of drawing hint into the "Appearance" field. Mouse Gestures will then use this code for generating the gesture drawings shown in its sidebar.
How do I define my own gesture functions, and what is this "JavaScript" thing?
JavaScript is a programming language widely known for its use on web pages. Besides that, it is also used to glue the user interface of Mozilla applications to their back ends, and to create extensions for these applications. To define what happens when the gesture is triggered, just enter a piece of JavaScript into the appropriate input field.
Information on the language syntax itself is available in countless online tutorials (keep in mind, though, that they apply to web pages - on the application level, you deal with other objects and functions even though it is the same language).
If you want to know the JavaScript command for a certain browser/application function, try asking in the MozillaZine Extensions Forum - as extensions use JavaScript, too, most people there should be able to help you. If not, we recommend subscribing and posting to the Optimoz Mailing list, where several Mouse Gestures users are registered.

II. Gesture recognition

I can't make a gesture. It always says "Mouse Gesture aborted".
You're cancelling the gesture by holding the mouse button down after you stop moving. This allows you to cancel a gesture if you want to. Try letting go of the mouse button before the mouse comes to rest. Alternatively, if the default delay of 500 milliseconds is not enough for you, feel free to increase it via the Mouse Gestures preferences panel.
Gestures are recognized incorrectly (1, 3, 7 or 9 appear)
The numbers represent diagonal movements. You can fine-tune their tolerance in the preferences panel (Preferences | Advanced | Mouse Gestures | Additional settings). The default value of 60 gives equal weight to diagonal and left/right/up/down gestures. Decreasing this value makes L/R/U/D more easily recognized while increasing it makes diagonal gestures more easily recognized. If you set the value to 0 then diagonal gestures will be effectively disabled.

III. Mouse button conflicts

How do I avoid doing a gesture when I want to select text?
When the left mouse button is used for gestures, you might accidently perform gestures while selecting text. Unfortunately, there's no ultimate solution. However, you can fine-tune your settings in the mouse gestures preferences panel to make text selecting a bit easier. You have three options:
  • For the back and forward gestures, you can set a time limit after which the gestures are cancelled automatically, and you can continue to select text.
  • Cancel gestures when making a text selection by pausing before releasing the mouse button. The delay is configurable.
  • Configure Mouse Gestures to use a mouse button other than the left mouse, or to require a modifier like the control key.
How do I avoid selecting text when gesturing with the left mouse button?
Unfortunately, this is currently not possible. Unless you configure Mouse Gestures to use a mouse button other than the left or to require a modifier like the control key, text selection will occur. However, Mouse Gestures automatically resets the selection to the state before the gesture was started.
How can I drag and drop links or images when the left mouse button is used for gestures?
Press the mouse button, wait about a second, then start moving the mouse cursor. This will allow you to drag the element instead of doing a gesture. The amount of time is configurable in the mouse gestures preferences panel.
Unix/Linux: Middle clicking opens the selected web page address - how can I do gestures with the middle mouse button?
Open the mouse gestures preferences, and tick the checkbox labelled "Middle mouse click loads selected URL". Restart the browser.
What to do when the right-click context menu conflicts with gestures?
We made great efforts to ensure mouse gestures can coexist with the right-click context menu. However, it is still possible that problems occur - especially, but not limited to, when using platforms which are not officially supported. Either way, please subscribe and post to our mailing list or file a bug in bugzilla, so we can work with you finding and hopefully fixing the cause of your problems. Thanks!

IV. Miscellaneous

What platforms are supported? What's the deal with Macintosh?
Currently, the only supported platforms are Windows and Linux. The extension may run on other platforms. Macintosh, for example, used to be supported, but Mac support was stopped with version 1.5: if it works there, fine - if not, we don't guarantee that we can help you. The reason for this is that Jochen and Jens, the only Mouse Gestures developers, do not have access to a Macintosh computer, and even then would probably not have the time for testing and bugfixing on a third platform. When a Macintosh Firefox extension developer joins Optimoz, this might change.
How can I uninstall Mouse Gestures?
If you are using Firefox or Thunderbird, you can uninstall Mouse Gestures using the Extension Manager found in Tools -> Extensions. If you are using the Mozilla Suite or SeaMonkey, go to Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Mouse Gestures and click the Uninstall button on the Miscellaneous tab.

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