HELP NEEDED: Mouse wheel vs. keyboard

I recently switched the default browser on all my machines from Firefox to Google Chrome. In general I’m loving Chrome but there is one behaviour that is driving me nuts. Scrolling with the mouse wheel takes keyboard focus away from the document.

Here’s what happens. I’ve just opened a page and can use the keyboard up/down and PgUp/PgDn keys to scroll it; no problem there. But if I then use the wheel on my mouse to scroll the page, it loses the keyboard focus and no longer responds to up/down, PgUp/PgDn, or in fact any other keyboard keys. I have to click on the page background to restore the keyboard focus. This is a minor inconvenience for scrolling but where it really drives me nuts is in Google Reader and Gmail where I use shortcuts a lot. Here I find that I scroll the article or e-mail I’m reading with the mouse wheel then get no response when I press j/k to move to the next or previous article or e-mail.

I would be eternally grateful if anyone can provide me with a solution to this problem.

UPDATE: Problem solved. There is apparently a bug in Chrome that cause some incompatibility with mouse wheel extenders such as KatMouse, which I use. Rob Boek has documented a workaround, where changing some settings in KatMouse solves the problem.

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4 responses to “HELP NEEDED: Mouse wheel vs. keyboard

  1. Steve, what OS version are you experiencing this with? I often toggle too between keyboard and mousewheel in Chrome (my browser of choice too) and I’ve not seen that happen yet. Works fine for me on both laptops (one with XP and Chrome and the other with Vista and Chrome).

    I wonder if it might be mouse-drivers?

    • I’m seeing this on Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit here at work, Windows 7 Ultimate RC on my home desktop and on Windows 7 Home Basic on my laptop. I’m using the dev channel version of Chrome. I’m pretty sure that this behaviour wasn’t always there since I started using Chrome. Perhaps something introduced with the latest version, 4.0.249.43.

  2. It seems that this might be caused by some conflict with KatMouse; when I disable it the problem disappears. A search for chrome katmouse reveals a few promising hits. I’ll look through them and see what I can find out.

  3. Glad to hear it’s not directly a Chrome issue then 🙂 Good luck with the searching and hope you find a fix.

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