C-Command Software Forum

rtf file scrolling

Is it possible to give users an option to change scrolling behavior so that, with the insertion point at the bottom (top) of the window, pressing the down (up) arrow moves the text and insertion point one line rather than jumping 1/2 the window?


Could you explain more about why you want to do this? EagleFiler is using the standard OS behavior here.

I do see that this is the TextEdit design (but not the design for Mail or Safari).

The problem is that it forces the user to shift gaze, search for the insertion point, and refocus on text. That is, when one presses the down arrow, one’s eye follows the insertion point one line at a time, because that is the location of interest. After one reaches the bottom of the window, pressing the down arrow causes the window text to jump ½-way up in the window. The user then has to search for the insertion point. That eye movement is disorienting and wastes time. In my experience, this design choice (for text/word processors, but also for many other applications) is very much in the minority.

I can’t think of a situation where moving a ½-window makes sense. When skimming (i.e., not reading in detail), one wants to move a full window at a time. When reading each line, the only jump that makes sense is at a page break. Anywhere else is disruptive to reading.

Does Apple provide any configurable options?

Mail and Safari are using Web views, which work a little differently from the standard text view.

I think the intent is to let you see context on both sides of the insertion point, since if you’re moving the insertion point you’re presumably editing. If you’re viewing, not editing, perhaps clicking the scroll arrow or using the scroll wheel (or two-finger vertical swipe) would be more appropriate.

I don’t think so.

Thanks for the feedback.

When either viewing or editing, I much prefer keystroke control and keeping eyes focused on one part of the screen. Viewing and editing for decades makes one very aware of the costs of the various methods:

  • clicking, scroll wheel, and track pad require significantly more finger and hand movement than key strokes.
  • the latter two generate a sense of uncertainty of distance traveled, cause unneeded eye movement, and disrupt visual focus.

Also, repetitive motions such as these are well-known sources of injury.

I appreciate the point about providing context. Interesting, though, that Mail moves one-line-at-a-time, given that it supports both viewing and editing. I haven’t done a thorough survey, but many other text/word processing apps (Eudora, MS Word, Mellel), all spreadsheets, etc., do the same.

Unfortunate that Apple does not provide a reconfiguration option.

A couple of partial workarounds:

  1. uncheck “Allow Editing in Record Viewer” in the View menu. With this disabled, a single arrow keypress scrolls one line.

  2. mkdir ~/Library/KeyBindings; echo ‘{ “~\Uf700” = “scrollLineUp:”; “~\Uf701” = “scrollLineDown:”; }’ > ~/Library/KeyBindings/DefaultKeyBinding.dict

will bind Option-arrow keys (which ordinarily are used to go to end/beginning of paragraph) to scroll up and down. The insertion point doesn’t move, but it may be better than nothing.

(You’ll need to quit and restart EagleFiler after the second one so your changes take effect.)

Much appreciated. That does look helpful.