The middle mouse button (which is the scroll wheel on most mice today) is basically used for two purposes on the web: first, open links in new tabs, and second, close open tabs. But the middle mouse button can be used for so much more.
Try these seven shortcuts in Chrome and Firefox:
- Middle-click on the back button: Open the previous page in a new tab.
- Middle-click on the forward button: Open any subsequent page in a new tab.
- Middle-click on the refresh button: Open a refreshed version of this page in a new tab.
- Middle-click on the home button: Open homepage in a new tab.
- Middle-click on an auto-suggest entry while typing in the location bar: Open this search/result in a new tab.
- Middle-click on a bookmark: Open bookmark in a new tab.
- Middle-click on a bookmark group: Open entire group of bookmarks in new tabs.
From the above, clicking on an auto-suggest entry with the middle button or the scroll wheel could be a valuable time saver for you if you are a heavy web searcher.
Web searchers can also use the button to open a refreshed version of a webpage in another tab while keeping the older version in one.
There is no universal agreement on the behavior of the middle mouse button across all apps. But they do seem to work in a similar fashion on browser tabs.
Middle Clicking on a Laptop Touchpad
Here again, there is a lot of variation. Windows and Mac touchpads behave differently while some laptop touchpads do not have this feature enabled by default. It boils down to the respective drivers.
On a Mac Touchpad: The easiest way to use the middle click function on a Mac is to press the Command key when you left-click with one finger on the touchpad.
On a Windows Touchpad: If your Windows trackpad driver does not have it as a default, then try the suggestions mentioned in this Superuser forum thread.
I hope this post leaves you clicking away on the middle button or the scroll wheel which doubles up as a clickable button. By the way, have you set up your mouse or laptop touchpad for browsing productivity?
Do you have a habit of using the middle mouse button? Tell us about any other middle button trick that makes your browsing slightly easier.
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