Tom Insam

Reversed Scrolling

After having used it for a few months, I'm gradually begining to think that the reversed scroll direction in MacOS is a bad thing. Or at least, an annoying thing.

Partially, this is because my cursor keys are now backwards - pushing down on my cursor key scrolls a web page in the opposite direction that dragging 2 fingers down on the trackpad does. Surely the same argument that applies to reversing the trackpad should have been applied to the cursor keys? Except that, of course, if there's an actual cursor on the screen, pressing down-cursor should move the cursor down the page, potentially scrolling the page up. It would be absurd to have the cursor keys reverse meaning just because there's a focussed text box on the page.

But mostly I think it's wrong because I'm having to use Windows for a few things recently and I'm hating the overhead of having to deal with both scrolling directions. Every time I try to scroll it feels like I go the wrong way. I find it hard to believe that Windows is ever going to change its default scroll direction, so thanks to Apple's change I'm forced to choose between two failure cases - either I use the Apple default and get confused every time I use Windows, or I use old-style scrolling and get confused every time I try to use someone else's computer, as well as being held hostage to Apple ever removing the option in a future version of the OS.

I was initially in the "you'll get used to it" camp. I did get used to it. I like using system defaults wherever possible, and adopting new conventions. I even prefer the new scrolling direction. And I don't mind differences that I don't have to deal with very frequently - for instance, the close window button under Windows is in a different corner and I can happily not care about that. But I scroll things all the time.