Using MacOS Without a Magic Mouse or Trackpad

Here’s an interesting accessibility issue with Apple’s new Developer app for the Mac: there are panels that scroll horizontally, and because MacOS doesn’t show scrollbars for them, if you’re using a mouse without a touchpad (or a two-axis scroll wheel) there’s no way to scroll the contents. I didn’t notice this because at the moment I’m only using a MacBook Pro, but I’ve seen this before when using my iMac with a mouse that only has a vertical scroll wheel.

I’m not sure if this is a bug or oversight even, but to my knowledge, Apple has never officially said that you need a touchpad or two-axis scroll wheel to navigate MacOS.

Update: OK, I went and dug out my old beloved scroll wheel mouse. It turns out you can use a vertical scroll wheel to scroll horizontally by holding down the Shift key on your keyboard. And, yes, this works in the horizontally-scrolling carousels in the Developer app. (This trick may not work with all mice, however, but the Logitech mouse I just used is, I swear, at least 20 years old.) So you can get by with just a single-axis scroll wheel, but I still think it’s true that Apple has never officially said that you can’t navigate to everything system-wide just by simply clicking and dragging.

Thursday, 18 June 2020