Mozilla includes multi-touch support in Firefox 3.1b2 for Macs


20070520firefox_logoI’ve only had my new MacBook for two weeks or so and one of the most immediate disappointments was that the extremely useful multi-touch gestures I was initially using in Safari weren’t working in Firefox. I was just about to install the awesome Multiclutch utility that James raves about, but I just found thanks to MacRumors that I don’t need to after all. And actually this is fact, not rumor.

Ever since I posted about the availability of Firefox 3.1 beta 2 the other day, I’ve actually been running it as my full-time browser. It’s wicked fast and definitely stable enough from where I sit… or stand, whichever the case may be. Now and again, I’ve been jumping around a web page for what I thought was no apparent reason, but now I see why. Mozilla included multi-touch support for the Mac version of Firefox 3.1 beta 2. Here I thought the browser was glitchy because every so often, in the blink of an eye, I’d be at the top of web page. Call it a big case of user error in the form of accidentally using multi-touch without realizing it! Here’s a listing of the swiping support:

3 finger swipe Left: Go back in history (hold Cmd to open it in a tab)
3 finger swipe Right: Go forward in history
3 finger swipe Up: Go to the top of the page
3 finger swipe Down: Go to the end of the page
Pinch Together: Zoom out
Pinch Apart: Zoom in
Twist Right: Next tab
Twist Left: Previous tab

I’ve been twisting, turning, pinching and swiping away the day in my browser and I’m definitely moving around much faster than before. It also illustrates to me that if this same feature-set were on the screen of my notebook, I’d be slower. With the touch features on the trackpad near the keyboard, it’s far faster and much less of a stretch for my fingers. I’m sitting here with a dozen tabs and doing nothing but "twisting" through them just for fun. It’s like turning an invisible dial or knob… this is sure to freak out my father when I tell him that’s what I’m doing, using the newest Apple innovation: an invisible dial on my notebook.


Phil Lee

Like James, I’m going to stick with Multiclutch for the time being. I used Nightly Tester Tools to install all my addons and found one of them doesn’t work well with the beta.

Dave Zatz

Whatever I’ve been doing accidentally has been zooming in and out of pages and occasionally flipping tabs. I seriously thought Beta 2 was buggy. Glad to know it’s only multitouch. But how do I turn it off??


How does your multitouch productivity compare to someone who knows and uses the browser keyboard shortcuts and has a trackpoint?? Also does the dell latt xt have a multitouch trackpad?

James Kendrick

Multi-touch in the browser is awesome for productivity. I played with this beta version of Firefox for a bit but found the production version with MultiClutch provides the same functionality yet lets me use all my extensions.

Comments are closed.