Natural/Unnatural Scroll Direction

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by Teugeus, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. Teugeus macrumors member

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    #1
    Why does Apple call the scrolling setting Natural ? It may be natural to some but not others. Also when connecting a mouse, the settings for the trackpad are applied to the mouse as well. Some people like Natural scrolling for a trackpad but prefer it inverted when using a mouse such as the Magic Mouse.

    What does everyone else think ?
     
  2. ^^BIGMac macrumors 6502a

    ^^BIGMac

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    #2
    I've always switched to the "unnatural" scrolling setting. Ha.

    But just recently I have been trying Apple's "Natural" scrolling idea and am getting used to it with my Magic Mouse 2. Seems a lot easier to get to the top of a page with just one swipe of the finger in the "Natural" scrolling position. I dunno. It's kind of a personal preference.
     
  3. TETENAL macrumors member

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    #3
    They call it "natural" because they hid the scroll bar.

    With the traditional scroll direction the movement of the scroll wheel corresponded with the movement of the scroll bar. But the scroll bar is hidden by default now. With the new scroll direction the movement of your finger (on the touch area of the magic mouse) corresponds with the movement of the "paper"/document on screen. It is the same movement as when done on an iPhone or iPad and therefore "natural" when one is used to such a device.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #4
    I guess I'm old school, but I swap the scrolling direction to unnatural as I think its more intuitive to me.
     
  5. leman macrumors 604

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    #5
    Nomenclature aside, with "natural" scrolling you are moving the content while with the traditional scrolling you move the viewport. Imagine a scroll area like a window over a big canvas. In the traditional model, you move the window. When you scroll up, the window moves up and so the content moves down. In Apple's 'natural' model, the window is essentially fixed and what you move is the canvas beneath it. When you scroll up, the content goes up. I can kind of understand why they call it 'natural' — the movement of the content directly follows the user input rather then moving in the opposite direction.

    Why is the traditional method more popular? I believe it has to do solely with historic reasons. It more closely mirrors how scroll views are usually programmed, so it was easier for programmers to implement when scroll views were first invented. In the end, it doesn't really matter. I am not aware of any benefits of this or other scrolling methods. It takes less then few hours for your brain to 'flip' the expectations this or other way. When using trackpads, I certainly prefer the 'natural' method, because it offers the same experience as a touchscreen.
     
  6. steve23094 macrumors 68000

    steve23094

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    #6
    Use an app called Scroll Reverser. It allows you to set the tapas and mouse scroll wheel separately.
     
  7. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

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    #7
    The have to call it something just for shorthand. Otherwise distinguishing between the two scrolling methods becomes wordy and tedious.

    Why natural? Imagine a newspaper lying on a table. Your head is fixed 12 inches above the table. In order to read the story at the bottom of the page, your fingers must push the paper up.
     
  8. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #8
    Same here. When using a mouse or trackpad I still consider Apple's so called "natural" scrolling to be the unnatural choice as scrolling down to get to the bottom of the page seems to make more sense. On a touch screen scrolling the page up to see bottom of the page also makes sense and I never get confused swapping from an iOS device to a Mac, unless "natural" scrolling is set in OS X. :)
     
  9. MacGizmo macrumors 6502a

    MacGizmo

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    #9
    Regardless of which method you prefer, the writing is on the wall. Apple will be switching to "natural" scrolling at some point it the near future, with no option to change it. It would probably be best to train yourself to use natural scrolling now.
     
  10. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #10
    Why would they do that, just to piss people off?
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #11
    I hope not, and given how long they've now had "natural" scrolling (years) I'm not so sure they'll force that on people.
     
  12. leman macrumors 604

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    #12
    This functionality is already built in OS X. Whats the point of using a third party app?

    Why do you believe this? Apple has invested significant effort in supporting both scroll methods and even configuring them separately for different pointing devices. Why would they drop all that work?
     
  13. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #13

    If you're using a trackpad or touch screen it makes sense.

    If you're using a mouse, not so much.

    Given i use a trackpad on my machines far more often than a mouse, i just deal with it when i have a mouse hooked up.

    Windows also uses 'natural' scrolling in Windows 10.
     
  14. afluriach macrumors newbie

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    #14
    I tend to think of it like using a scroll wheel, so I find the convention unnatural.

    I used Linux on my laptop for years. Their two-finger scroll convention is the opposite direction, and also what you typically see implemented in touchpad drivers on Windows.
     
  15. gsmornot macrumors 68030

    gsmornot

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    #15
    Same here. I use a magic trackpad and have been using the natural setting because its most similar to my iPad. I however like the opposite direction for my mouse scroll wheel. I don't use the mouse a lot with the Mac so its not been so bad to deal with it. My work PC is Windows so the scroll is in the opposite direction. So far, I have been able to jump back and forth but its not easy sometimes. I used Windows 10 for a while and on my system it was the unnatural? direction I guess. Pull the wheel towards you to make the page move up the screen. Ha. In many ways it would be easier if there were no choice and all systems just went the same way whatever way that is.
     
  16. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    #16
    As soon as I install a new copy of the OS, I UNcheck the "natural scrolling" option so that I have "traditional scrolling" back.

    If it's a MacBook, I also turn off EVERY "gesture" with the exception of a traditional "right click". That's all I want from the trackpad.

    I guess it's just me...
     
  17. KALLT macrumors 601

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    #17
    Yep. The trackpad gestures are the most distinctive feature of MacBooks, aside from the OS itself of course. I feel crippled whenever I use a Windows or Linux laptop.
     
  18. gsmornot macrumors 68030

    gsmornot

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    #18
    Gestures are the main reason I almost never use a mouse but I'm happy to see you're able to make it work the way you like.
     
  19. steve23094, Feb 16, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016

    steve23094 macrumors 68000

    steve23094

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    #19
    You can either reverse scroll the trackpad and mouse or neither.

    Coming from a Windows environment the mouse default scroll wheel direction is the reverse of what Apple calls 'Natural'. However I am used to touch screens on an iPhone and iPad which corresponds to the trackpad's 'Natural' direction. So to set OS X to use 'Natural' for the trackpad and reverse for a mouse scroll wheel you need an app like Scroll Reverser.
     
  20. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #20

    Ah i was referring to Windows 10 as in with the trackpad or touch screen. You are correct, with a mouse wheel it is the "un-natural" (rather, traditional) way.

    This is ONE thing windows 10 gets right, out of the box.
     
  21. KALLT macrumors 601

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    #21
    Apple probably presupposes that you are using a Magic Mouse, hence the default selection. The Magic Mouse uses a similar motion and it makes more sense to have the natural direction there, at least in my experience.
     
  22. leman macrumors 604

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    #22
    You are right! I just checked it again, the settings for mouse and trackpad are indeed synchronised. Sorry!
     
  23. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #23
    There's no reason for them to do that, it doesn't take much effort to keep both supported, and there are plenty of people like myself and others on this thread that don't like the "natural" scrolling.
     
  24. MacGizmo macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    How do you know how much effort it takes? Do you work for Apple on the OS engineering team? It's not about how much effort it takes to keep that feature. It's about what other features in the future that must support two ways of doing things.

    And trust me when I tell you that the people like you and I that visit web forums are by far the minority. The vast majority will use whatever the default setting is, and not even surmise that there is an option to change it—nor would they know how to, or where to go to find out how to.
     

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