Friday Rant: Quit whining about Mac OS X Lion's reverse scrolling!

It's really not a big deal. If you find it a nuisance, just switch the darn feature off!
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Can everyone just please stop whining about the 'Reverse Scrolling' feature Apple put into Mac OS X 10.7! It's really not that much of a big deal, and if you think it is, then do something constructive about it other rather than just whine!

'Reverse scrolling,' or 'natural' as Apple calls it, basically takes the iOS scrolling paradigm and brings it to the Mac. Rather than move your finger down a document to go down, you move your finger up, mimicking the real-world movement.

Speaking subjectively, I'm not a big fan of big UI changes, especially when those UI changes don't bring any real benefit with them. With 'reverse scrolling', it took me a few minutes to get used to it, but now I'm happy. Maybe it's because I do quite a bit of work on tablets, or maybe it's because I'm not an old dog and I'm still capable of learning a new trick, but it's not a problem for me.

Speaking objectively, I can see how it can be a nuisance for people. I understand about workflow and muscle memory and all that, and how it might confuse some people. That's OK. But if you are one of those people - JUST SWITCH THE DARN FEATURE OFF! It's not that hard to do. You don't need to go delving into a 'registry' and you don't need to download a special 'tweak' app. It's right there in the settings:

  1. Open the Apple menu and select 'System Preferences'
  2. Click the 'Trackpad' icon
  3. Uncheck from the 'Scroll Direction: Natural' box
  4. Close the window

That's all that there is to it! This is just a subtle, reversible shift in the way things work, not a shifting of the Earth's magnetic poles or the dead rising.

The other thing that annoys me about all this 'reverse scrolling' whining is how much of it is beng done by people who:

  1. Haven't upgraded to Lion
  2. Don't have a Mac capable of running Lion (or no Mac at all)
  3. Haven't spent much time on a tablet like the iPad

So why should Apple do anything for these people who are clearly NOT APPLE CUSTOMERS? Sheesh ... Apple builds stuff for people to buy, it gives then options to enable and disable stuff, but people WHO BY THEIR OWN ADMISSION ARE NOT APPLE CUSTOMERS feel entitled to have a say in something that doesn't affect them.

So if you're running Lion, then either give 'reverse scrolling' a go or don't. But if you aren't running Lion, just stop whining because you really shouldn't be talking about it in the first place.

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