Page Zoom now supports horizontal scrolling with the mouse wheel

Hey there, Peter here. I am really excited to tell you about the new horizontal scrolling feature in the Beta2 preview refresh as well as other enhancements we are working on for Page Zoom.

We have received a lot of great comments and feedback from our customers about Page zoom and number of great suggestions. Thanks, we really appreciate it. We are working on how we can improve the Zooming of background images as well as how to stay centered when zooming on a centered page.

The biggest feedback we got is that people wanted the page to re-layout upon zoom so they wouldn’t see the horizontal scrollbars. We have been looking hard at providing an option to make this happen. Unfortunately, due to our schedule, it doesn’t look like this feature is going to make it into the IE7 product. It is high on our list for next version.

Now just because we cannot provide that particular feature in IE7 doesn’t mean we aren’t going to do any thing to make horizontal scrolling easier. The work we are doing to stay centered should help reduce how often you see the horizontal scrollbars, but we are also making it easier for you to horizontally scroll. If you try it out, you will discover that we now enable horizontal scrolling with Alt + Mouse wheel. We are aware that this causes the classic menu to appear/disappear when you lift up on the Alt key so we are planning on changing it to CTRL + Shift + Mouse wheel in the final release.

I really hope this helps with your horizontal scrolling needs and enhances your browsing experience. Please let me know what you think.

 – Peter

Comments (24)

  1. y5 says:

    Awesome idea guys!  Can’t wait for the final release.

  2. It’s a cool accessibility feature and I have known a few people who dislike the text size being normal. There are some sites though that foolishly set their fonts to 10px or lower though and it annoys even me.

    Right now CTRL+SHIFT+Scroll will resize text on the page. Opera and Firefox use CTRL+Scroll to resize text; for cross browser consistency will the next Beta support changing relative font size with that same shortcut?  I particularly enjoy CTRL+0 to reset the font size myself in Firefox.

  3. Doug says:

    CTRL + mouse wheel changes the text size in IE 6, equivalent to choosing menu View, Text Size.  However this does not change fixed size text.  

    Not having looked at the Beta, I am unclear on how the Page Zoom feature will work. Will it apply a linear scaling in the x and y so that everything is enlarged?

  4. vazi says:

    CTRL + Shift is defined for shifting input language in Non-English version Windows(fast-east version Windows like Chinese version).

    If I want to scroll horizontal the web page in IE7 by press CTRL + Shift + Mouse, that will cause the IE7 language inputing change. I don’t like this happen.

  5. Sessha says:

    As vazi stated, Ctrl + Shift (or Left Alt + Shift, depending on settings) will change the imput language. Please rethink the shortcut keys before the final release.

  6. MT says:

    Friends, it’s better and easier to introduce TEXT zoom that is working independently from UNITS (including px) used in font-size rule—as it is in Firefox.

    It may be (and even must be) INDEPENDENT feature: text zoom and page zoom may exist simultaneously in IE7. But, definitely, TEXT zoom is very necessary and (and more, more essential than page zoom) feature in any case.

  7. Tony Austin says:

    As others have posted above (and I have posted elsewhere on IE blog pages a month or two ago), IE6 used Ctrl + Mousewheel to zoom the text. This is now a "broken feature" in IE7, which is a naughty thing for you to have done!

    Both page zoom and text zoom are needed, for interdependent reasons. When a web page hase relative fonts defined, it’s usually a better to zoom the text rather than the whole page. For those web sites — unfortunately far too many of them — that use fixed-point fonts, page zoom comes to the rescue. Anf of course page zoom has other benefits that are welcome.

    Many e-newsletters are sent out in HTML format, and having text zoom is a most essential feature if you want to zoom the text size inside your e-mail client.

    There are also quite a few other situations where text zoom (but not page zoom) is meeded: inside help text windows, and various other products.

    So please, please, please retain CTRL + Mouswheel + some_other_keystroke (or some other simple-to-use binding) for TEXT ZOOM, or else there will be a big usability hit [outside IE7, mainly].

  8. RFOG says:

    Please, install Opera 8 and do the same kind of zoom. Shortcut is indifferent, but zoom grows or shrinks fonts and graphics in the way that they continue to stay into visible window. IE zoom gives wider text and then you’ve to continuously horizontal scroll to read it. But if in Opera text becomes wider than window, it has an extra button to fit width to page width, and then text reorders itself in order to be more readable.

    Please, take a complex web page and see the differences. If you want and winning browser, you MUST to implement that kind of zoom.

  9. Antonio Marques says:


    CTRL + mouse wheel changes the text size in IE7 too (in 10% increments) from 10% to 1000%.

  10. Thomas Tallyce says:

    To me the zoom direction on the mouse button seems instinctively the wrong way round.

    I would expect that scrolling the mouse wheel backwards, i.e. towards me, would result in zoom towards me, i.e. larger, and vice-versa.

    I don’t have any other browsers on my current machine so I can’t try out their behaviour, but I don’t recall ever being struck that it was confusing with them.

  11. Jote says:

    Doug: Yes, the zoom feature enlarges everything. IE6 already provides similar functionaliy (document.zoom if I’m not mistaken) which browser like Maxthon already take advantage of.

  12. Franz says:

    1) I’d like to see the full link of what I’m downloading in the download window, please put a context menu in order to see the full link or at least a tooltip text. It’s also a secure measure so you know from witch site you’re downloading if the URL is too long.

    2) I’d like to have an option to disable the HTTP Referrers

    3) I want remove a large list of sites in "Restricted Sites" section, but there’s not a multiple selection in order to remove them. Please add a multiple selection or a clear button

  13. DCS says:

    The horizontal scrolling is great! Just an observation on the rendering of pages – trying as an example.

    Page Zoom to some arbitrarily large size (say, 400%) and the page becomes unreadable because it is almost completely covered by the stay-on-top ‘menu’ on the right.

    While this is an extreme example, from an accessibility point of view, it makes Page Zoom rather useless.

  14. Maurits says:

    > re-layout upon zoom

    What!? No!! Don’t re-layout upon zoom. It’s not "zoom" if you reflow.

  15. Maurits says:

    > I would expect that scrolling the mouse wheel backwards, i.e. towards me, would result in zoom towards me, i.e. larger, and vice-versa.

    I think IE got this right.  You can think of scrolling the wheel forwards as moving yourself toward the page (which gets bigger), or you can think of it as raising the zoom value.

  16. Mike says:

    I agree with Maurits – I really like the zoom feature as it is in the IE7 beta, although I can see how each solution (direct scaling and reflowing) has their own merits.  If you do go to the extent of of changing this behaviour in IE7+ it would probably be a good idea to let the user configure which approach they want.

  17. Peter Gurevich [MS] says:

    Hey there all, thanks for the great feedback.  Mike and Maurits, just so you guys know, for our next version we are looking into how we can provide the user the option of which type of page zoom they want.

    Keep that feedback coming!!

  18. Siim Karus says:

    I have always used tilt wheel or touchpad horisontal scroll buttons, which are much easier to use than modifier keys (though some users need those).

    When talking about text size adjustments, IE works correctly by resizing only relative font sizes not absolute font sizes.

    The standards say that absolute sizes and measurements are to be used for engineering purposes only, so they should only be resized in case of full resize (everything including page dimensions, graphics, objects, should be resized correspondingly – which is exactly what zoom functionality in Opera or IE7 does), otherwise the graphs/schematics/layouts would be broken (which would be a total disaster in engineering). The fact that there are so many web designers who know nothing about standards or usability or accessibility, is general problem and Microsoft/IE7 should not try to fix their mistakes as it would brake many other pages and applications (as Firefox does, however, Firefox is never used as part of engineering/shematics/specialised applications either). Adjusting base font size (affecting all relative font sizes) is considered common accessibility functionality in browsers.

    By the way, web pages using absolute text sizes fail accessibility validation for W3C WCAG CSS.

    Relevant links:

    * <a href="; title="Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 for CSS"></a&gt;

    * <a href="; title="Accessibility Validator"></a&gt;

  19. Soum says:

    Sometimes page zooming (as in ie7) is required. Sometimes text scaling (as in ie6) is needed. Keep the page zoom option as the menu on thestatus bar and assign by default ctrl+wheel to text zoom (as it was in ie6). give users an option to change that. You may also think of replacing the drop down menu for selectiong page zoom factor to a slider like in office 2007. It reduces the effort required to zoom to an arbitrary size. And yes, a shortcut like (CTRL+0) to reset all zooms would be nice. And zoom factor should be local to each tab. even if a tab is opened from a zoomed tab, it should open with default zoom. (an option may be provided to control this behavior).

  20. Tony Austin says:

    I like these discussions! Since my post (about Text Size scrolling) on 07 April a few additional and/or contrary messages seem to be coming across.

    Full tailorability by the user seems to be the answer, with Microsoft (somehow) deciding an what the default settings are without if possible disrupting the way things worked in IE6 before (the principle of "do no harm").

    I concur that page zoom is quite useful, as long as it uniformly scales everything on the page (for engineering purposes).

    Page zooming with text reflow (as with Opera browser) is also quite useful at times such as those sites with absolute font sizing, so should be an optional setting for page zooming but almost certainly not the default one.

    And scrolling the mouse wheel with Ctrl should resize text, exactly as with IE6.

    Another tailorability option should be which way scrolling the mouse wheel works: like Maurits, I find the scrolling direction counter-intuitive, others will feel the current implementation works well for them.

    Other browsers like Opera and Firefox, plus browser extenders like Netcaptor, Maxthon, Slimbrowser, Enigma, and Avant tend to have much more tailorability built in than IE6. And some of them are developed, maintained and updated by tiny teams or even individuals!

    Nice as various new IE7 features are, I find it hard as a mere "pleb" out here to understand why Microsoft with its comparitively vast resources so far hasn’t provide more options and tailorability in IE7. I reckon that IE7 Beta 2 is rather inadequate, especially for power users: quite a lot more needs to be added before IE7 ships. (As well Option for the tabs to be at the bottom of the page, and for tabs to roll over to multiple lines

    Maybe Microsoft cannot or will not come to the party as requested above. Our only salvation then will be if the IE7 underpinnings do not close any doors and still allow the browser extender developers to keep on doing their thing without any loss of current (IE6) capabilities, we will be rescued. But if IE7 is less extendible than IE6, then we’ll all be losers.

  21. Mike J says:

    Take a look at Tablane (IE engine, tabbed and lane browser), Alt+Mouse move for horizontal scrolling. You don’t need to press any button or wheel, just press Alt down and move the mouse. For vertical scrolling, Ctrl+Mouse move. Ctrl+Alt+Mouse move to scroll in all directions.  

    Alt+ to prevent menu popup is not a big issue. You can solve it. Only when Alt up, show the menu. If during Alt press down and the Wheel moved, you know this is scrolling action, don’t link Alt to menu.

  22. luk says:

    Tab browsing is avaible in the IE7. Why not have the tab browsing in the windows explorer shell in ordet to browse the folders with tabs?