Saturday, April 29, 2006

Easy Go Back

Mouse Gestures in Internet Explorer

Both Firefox and Opera web browsers offer mouse gestures. Mouse gestures allow users to navigate within the browser by way of mouse movements. Instead of using the navigation toolbar, you hold down one of the mouse buttons and move the mouse to navigate. For example, in Firefox, to have the browser go back a page, move the mouse to the left while holding down the left mouse button. It is a great feature, more for convenience than anything else. Among web browsers, there are two schools of thought. One prefers using the keyboard to navigate within the browser without the use of a mouse – using so-called keyboard shortcuts. The other prefers using a mouse and never having to touch the keyboard. Both schools of thought have their advantages and disadvantages. It is just a matter of personal preference.

As mentioned before, both Firefox and Opera offer mouse gesture. In the case of Firefox, you need to install the mouse gesture extension. However, Opera comes with mouse gesture already installed. Interestingly, Opera also allows users to navigate via voice commands. The feature is called appropriately “Voice.” It is not installed by default. Instead, you need to download and install a plugin.

Unfortunately, Internet Explorer (IE) does not have a mouse gesture feature. Microsoft does not have a plugin for IE and, to the best of my knowledge; it does not plan to include the feature in the upcoming IE 7. But, luckily there is a third party that has developed an application to add this feature to IE. And, more good news, the application is totally free – no spyware or adware. UnH Solutions has developed Easy Go Back. Easy Go Back is a small program and it integrates into IE without any problems. Easy Go Back offers several mouse gestures, including: backward, forwards, refresh, stop and open a link in a new window. Easy Go Back comes with preset mouse gestures but users can configure different mouse gestures. It also allows users to add buttons of their own. Easy Go Back doesn’t only work with IE; it can also be used by IE shells (i.e. Avant Browser, Maxthon Browser).

Easy Go Back uses only 4,000 K of memory. It works best when it is set to start on startup. I have had no conflicts using Easy Go Back alongside any of the big GYM (Google, Yahoo and MSN) toolbars, Adobe plugin, Macromedia Flash and/or the SiteAdvisor.

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