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Mac OSX 10.7 Lion Scrolling Change Takes Some Adjusting

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I bit the bullet and installed OS X 10.7 (Lion) on my iMac. The install went pretty well and I’m just now getting a chance to explore a bit under the hood. One of the big changes that will require a bit of muscle memory retraining is what Apple now calls “Natural Scrolling.”

By default how we used to scroll with a mouse or a Magic Trackpad (I use the latter) has been reversed. To scroll down a page you scroll up with your input device. To scroll up, you do the opposite. I’m sure this will eventually even it’s way out, but it does take some getting used to. At least in my case. I use a Magic Trackapd for the iMac and like it quite a bit. When I am ready to scroll I’m used to my two fingers hitting it and already beginning to move down the surface. Well, with the change, that just leaves whatever is on the screen sitting still. So, I’m got to some retraining to do.

Never fear though, there is a switch to turn “Natural Scrolling” off and take things back the way they were.

I’ll stick with re-training myself for the time being. But I have to say, it has been interesting to feel my brain and my fingers short circuiting here after doing the Lion install.

Warner Crocker is a professional theatre director, producer and playwright and also a Tablet PC enthusiast. He is also a Microsoft MVP for Tablet PCs. Send email to Warner. You can follow him on Twitter or Google+

16 Comments

  1. Taylor Reddoor

    07/20/2011 at 11:30 pm

    I dont mind it on the track pad but cant stand it on the mouse >.> o well Lion is AWESOME

  2. Anonymous

    07/21/2011 at 11:01 am

    I’m still puzzled why Apple thought it was appropriate to change the direction of mouse scrollwheeling, the oppositte direction to EVERY OTHER OS, including previous versions of Apple OS.  Oh, wait, I’m talking about Apple.

    • Chip

      08/01/2011 at 12:31 am

      When you think about it. Natural scrolling is default on all smartphones and the ipad etc. They describe it as moving the content, instead of moving the scroll bar.

  3. Rabie Karowni

    07/22/2011 at 2:31 pm

    thx thats help me alote 

  4. Snowflake

    07/23/2011 at 5:36 pm

    It is weird and interesting to feel my brain stumble in trying to adjust. I went back and forth between natural and reverse until suddenly I was thinking “push the page up” “pull the page down” and then it felt a lot more ‘natural’ to o it the natural way and I had to remember that this is new. 

    I still stumble here and there, but I can tell after a little longer thinking this way going back to a PC or a friends older Mac I am going to go crazy trying to remember why they have it like that. 

    If Apple ever did make iMac screens or laptop screens touch sensitive it would make more sense for them to make this switch and get us all used to it, but I don’t see them doing that. Who knows though. 

  5. Snowflake

    07/23/2011 at 5:36 pm

    It is weird and interesting to feel my brain stumble in trying to adjust. I went back and forth between natural and reverse until suddenly I was thinking “push the page up” “pull the page down” and then it felt a lot more ‘natural’ to o it the natural way and I had to remember that this is new. 

    I still stumble here and there, but I can tell after a little longer thinking this way going back to a PC or a friends older Mac I am going to go crazy trying to remember why they have it like that. 

    If Apple ever did make iMac screens or laptop screens touch sensitive it would make more sense for them to make this switch and get us all used to it, but I don’t see them doing that. Who knows though. 

  6. Lng

    07/25/2011 at 3:22 pm

    you can change the scrolling back. system pref- trackpad – scroll and zoom – unclick scroll direction normal

  7. Lyle Gunderson

    07/28/2011 at 8:04 pm

    Natural scrolling looks like something you would do to a colleague’s Mac on April Fool’s Day. (Like Control-Option-Command 8)

  8. Neuromajor

    07/29/2011 at 10:50 pm

    My trackpad window looks different on my MacBookPro2,2. Google’s not helping here…

  9. Goslingd

    10/29/2011 at 1:07 am

    i cant seem to find the option to change – where is it under scroll and zoom? it doesn’t have a drop down menu! 

  10. Hund

    01/30/2012 at 12:17 pm

    Hated it the first day. Got used to it (without initially even noticing) two days later. OS Lion is great

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