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IDProjectCategoryView StatusLast Update
0008589ardourfeaturespublic2024-02-07 11:35
Reporterunfa Assigned To 
PrioritynormalSeverityminorReproducibilityhave not tried
Status newResolutionopen 
Summary0008589: Allow panning the timeline in X/Y using middle mouse button
DescriptionIn many programs that feature any form of canvas, the middle mouse button can be held down on empty space to pan the canvas.

I think Ardour would also benefit from such a feature.

How would it work:

When the user hold down MMB while not hovering over any region, the horizontal mouse movement translates to panning the timeline horizontally.
The vertical movement has a dead zone and some increment before it shifts the view vertically, to avoid crazy track scrolling.

On conjunction with the mouse wheel zoom this would greatly improve user's options of quickly navigating the timeline.

Alternatively, a modifier key could be used to alter MMB's function to allow using pan even if the mouse is hovering over an object, as that'd be much less error-prone,
Though I'd personally use panning much more often, so it'd make more sense to me to have pan be default, and moving regions vertically require a modifier key (Shift for example).

What do you think?
Tagsui, usability, UX



2021-02-26 11:41

administrator   ~0025558

tl;dr: Configure your OS or Hardware to do that.

Thinkpads do this unconditionally. Mac Systems likewise offer X/Y scrolling OOTB via magic-mouse or their touchpad.

This is not something application developers should do. Efficient use it depends on the mouse or interface you have.
Furthermore there are additional preferences (natural scrolling), or with some multi-button trackballs you may prefer buttons other than middle-click.


2022-02-18 03:31

reporter   ~0026332

I agree with the original poster.

Navigating the canvas with come combination of middle-mouse and a key (personally `ctrl+mmb`) becomes natural for anyone who uses 2D or 3D graphics/cad programs. It should be more than one to one mouse movement to canvas movement (1.5 or 3) particularly in the x direction, might make sense for y to be a lower amount though. I find myself trying desperately to drag around before I end up zooming in and out a bunch just to move over a bit.

On windows a different method of interaction that fulfills the same function would probably be covered by the standard middle-mouse-click action but on other platforms this would be a good feature.


2022-07-26 19:24

reporter   ~0026524

I would love this feature. So far this is the hardest thing for me to get used to, to not have this feature.


2022-07-26 22:18

reporter   ~0026525

@x42 I don't know of applications that rely on special hardware or OS configurations to do this kind of scrolling.
The grand majority of creative software that has a 2D canvas of some kind I have used (both open-source and proprietary) has this basic feature of panning the canvas by dragging it with a mouse.
Some of the tools are: Inkscape, Blender, GIMP, Krita, Carla, Bespoke Synth, Natron, Godot, Adobe Substance Designer, Adobe Substance Painter, Corel Draw,

It seems strange to me to dismiss that need. Maybe in an alternate reality programs don't need to do that and OS can handle it, I have never witnessed that in action.


2022-07-26 22:48

administrator   ~0026526

I'm not really opposed to adding this feature, but since there is a better solution, that should be preferred:

On GNU/Linux X11 provides this

xinput set-prop $deviceId "libinput Button Scrolling Button" 2 # Using middle button.
xinput set-prop $deviceId "libinput Natural Scrolling Enabled" 1 # for natural scrolling.

You can get the deviceID via `xinput list`

Chances are that your desktop's mouse configuration tool also allows to configure it. Search for "Auto Scroll".
This will then work consistently for all UI applications! e.g. Chromium/Chrome doesn't support this by default, and in Firefox it's an option.


2022-07-27 15:12

administrator   ~0026527

@x42 not sure that's an equivalent "solution". I think what is being asked for here is not changing the default scroll button, but adding h-scroll behavior from a middle-button drag.


2022-07-27 15:13

administrator   ~0026528

@acollsen, @unfa: do you not have scroll wheels with horizontal scroll behavior?


2022-07-28 07:49

reporter   ~0026530

For example: If I click and hold the middle mouse button on the editor canvas I would love for the canvas to stick to the mouse pointer so i could drag the canvas around with the mouse without any delay or smooth scrolling. The Firefox auto-scroll is NOT what I mean.

Try opening Inkscape for example and middle click and drag on the canvas. Blender uses Shift+middle-click I think.



2024-02-07 10:51

reporter   ~0028486

I would appreciate an option to drag the view by pressing the middles mouse buttons.
It would speed up the navigation through big project in my opinion. Because I'm used to it
In most software I'm using like blender3d, gimp, Krita.


2024-02-07 11:35

reporter   ~0028488

For example:
Scrolling Moussewheel could be ZoomIn, ZoomOut
Pressing middle mouse buttons could be drag/pan view like in the most picture viewers.

For example

Issue History

Date Modified Username Field Change
2021-02-26 10:45 unfa New Issue
2021-02-26 10:45 unfa Tag Attached: ui
2021-02-26 10:45 unfa Tag Attached: usability
2021-02-26 10:45 unfa Tag Attached: UX
2021-02-26 11:41 x42 Note Added: 0025558
2022-02-18 03:31 Thovthe Note Added: 0026332
2022-07-26 19:24 acollsen Note Added: 0026524
2022-07-26 22:18 unfa Note Added: 0026525
2022-07-26 22:48 x42 Note Added: 0026526
2022-07-27 15:12 paul Note Added: 0026527
2022-07-27 15:13 paul Note Added: 0026528
2022-07-28 07:49 acollsen Note Added: 0026530
2024-02-07 10:51 yeenking Note Added: 0028486
2024-02-07 11:35 yeenking Note Added: 0028488