Scrolling on Gnome

Charles Curley charlescurley at
Sun Oct 2 09:36:09 MDT 2011

I have gnome 2.32 on Ubuntu Natty 11.04. It has a "feature" that is
driving me crazy enough that I may jump to XFCE or LDX if one of those
will get me away from it.

In prior versions of Gnome, horizontal and vertical scrolling are
accomplished with the traditional scroll bar, which is adjacent to the
window being scrolled. The scroll bar is always there and runs the
length or height of the window. To use it you click in the scroll bar;
where you click and how determines the result you will get.

I now see a new scrolling widget in some applications, e.g. evince.
Others (mercifully) don't show it and retain the scroll bar, e.g.
Firefox. The new widget looks like it was designed for mobile phones and
other real estate challenged devices. It is a small disappearing
tab with an up arrow on the top and a down arrow on the bottom (for
vertical scrolling). You can click on the up or down arrow, or grab the
slider and move it appropriately. The new widget is much smaller than
the traditional scroll bar, making it harder to use.

It also disappears when you aren't using it. Its location is marked by
an even smaller colored blob somewhere along the appropriate edge of the
window. So to use the new widget, you must first locate the color blob,
then slide across it from the window out across the boundary. That
makes the widget show up. Only then can you click appropriately.

Memo to Linux devs: My desktop and laptop are not real estate
challenged. You do not need to provide me with work-arounds for real
estate challenged devices on my laptop or desktop. All those
work-arounds do is get in my way. This is one of several reasons I
refuse to use Unity (Canonical's brain dead home-brew interface which
replaces Gnome unless you specify it at log-in time).

My question is, how do I get rid of the new scroll widget, and get all
my apps to use the traditional scroll bar?

Thank you.


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