Removing Ctrl + Mousewheel zoom shortcut

Mike Connor mconnor at
Fri Jan 25 22:11:27 UTC 2013

On 2013-01-25, at 4:30 PM, Felipe G wrote:

> 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)

One way to test this assumption would be to write a Telemetry probe to measure various means of zooming a page.  It's of course hard to determine "accidental" usage, but I'm sure we could tell whether it's something rarely done by many, or frequently done by a smaller number.

> 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.

I'm not sure that we can conclude that it's either low or high, or that we can even consider that number evidence of any harm. 

> 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.

I think this would be a seriously premature step, since we have no data on how often it is used by users, and what proportion of that usage is actually causing harm.  If 15% of users are using this, and 1% of users are unintentionally using it, I think it would do more harm than good to remove a feature that all modern browsers appear to support.

Given that this has been a feature for every single release of Firefox, I would be extremely cautious about disabling this without actual evidence that it is doing more harm than good.

> 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.

I agree it should be easier to see the current zoom level.  Given that it's a sub-menu, I don't see why we couldn't include that info in that context, at least.

-- Mike

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