The panel has horizontal and vertical scrollbars and I'm trying to implement a way to pan the panel without using the scrollwheel because most people only have a vertical scroller.

Initially I was going to use Control + mouse drag but it got kind of confusing because painting/deleting is left/right mouse button. Also because the cursor moves you have to keep doing small bursts of dragging.

Another way to do it is with keys like WASD, for example, and the users of my app will most likely be used to that kind of behavior based on the application's purpose. The only problem is because of the key-repeat-delay there is a delay between the first and subsequent scrolling of the panel. Of course this problem could be fixed with timers and arrays and such..

Another way could be the way firefox does it when clicking middle mouse button and depending on the vector between the marker and your cursor's current position is how quickly and to where it scrolls. I kind of like this solution but all users may not have a middle mouse button (laptop users).

What else can UX think of? What would the user expect? I rather not implement them all =P

1 Answer 1


I've never encountered Control+Mouse in this context, but Space+Mouse is pretty conventional. Also, the function of the mouse wheel can be modified with shift - many applications use the mouse wheel for vertical panning and shift+mouse wheel for horizontal panning (most likely even your browser uses this method - resize the window and try it) .

Other ways: on-screen controls - either as actual buttons or as an area - the way they do it in real-time strategy games, where mouseover on the edges of the screen changes the mouse cursor and pans.

  • Which browser uses shift+mouse for horizontal panning? I just tried Firefox and Internet Explorer and neither of them do. Although i'm not necessarily opposed to the idea. I think I like that solution the best. Commented Aug 27, 2011 at 19:33
  • Sorry, I should have double-checked. Chrome does this, in any case :) Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 3:49

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