Removing Ctrl + Mousewheel zoom shortcut

Felipe G felipc at
Fri Jan 25 21:30:51 UTC 2013

(Knock knock, anyone there? Let's get this list started!)

During just a few weeks during the holidays, providing the typical hometown
tech support, I fixed about 5 instances of websites (mostly Facebook) which
were zoomed in or out and the person had no idea what was going on.The
reports of the problem are widely varied, such as "my firefox is
maximized", "facebook chat is not working", while some other people hadn't
noticed there was a difference.
(This problem is not exclusive of Firefox. IE and Chrome also suffer from

I don't know how this happens so often, but my best guess is that it's
through the mousewheel, as Ctrl +/- seems like an unlikely combination to
hit by accident, and most Windows users with a mouse (from my observations)
heavily use the mousewheel  (while I see that touchpad users tend to click
on the scrollbar arrows)  [yeah this is all anecdotal evidence)

In this post [1], a Facebook engineer comments that about 15% of their
users are out of the standard zoom level, which seem really high for a
feature that not many people know about.

So I proposed in bug 833180 that we remove this shortcut. I want to hear
from David Bolter or Marco Zehe about it, but I wonder if anyone else here
have any strong opinions about this.

On a related note, we need to improve the understanding and discoverability
of this feature. Currently it's in the View menu but there is no way to
know which zoom level a page is, and for Windows users it's even worse as
it's not in the Firefox button, and most people have no idea about the
existence of the autohide menu.  I see on Australis mockups that it's in
the customization menu, so that's a good step forward, but I wonder if we
should also think about better indicators for zoomed in/out websites.

[1] -- look
for Marshall's comment
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