The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
Scrolling in Background Windows

TMO Quick Tip - Scrolling in Background Windows

by , 2:00 PM EDT, April 18th, 2008

Scrolling up or down in document or Finder windows is something we do every day, and it's a task that doesn't have to be limited to the currently selected window. You can scroll through non-selected, or background, windows, too, and it doesn't involve crazy origami finger positions, either.

If you have a Mac laptop that supports two-finger scrolling, just place the mouse pointer over the window you want to scroll through. Now use the two-finger trackpad scrolling shortcut to move up or down through the window. This trick works with mice that support window scrolling, too.


Position the pointer over the window you want to scroll, no need to select the window first.

I use this trick when I am researching information on the Internet. I can scroll up or down through a Web page while taking notes in OmniOutliner or BBEdit without having to first jump back to my Web browser.


Jeff Gamet is TMO's Morning Editor and Reviews Editor. He lectures, teaches and speaks on Mac OS X and design-related topics, and is the author of The Designer's Guide to Mac OS X from Peachpit Press.

if you have tips or tricks to share, or Mac-related questions you want answered.

Recent Headlines - Updated November 27th

Wed,9:36 PM
Apple Reportedly Building Chinese Sapphire Plant with Foxconn
8:40 PM
ACM 282: The Steampunk, Sapphire, and Apple Watch Episode
7:46 PM
Melissa Holt on MacJury’s Holiday Gift Guide 2
4:42 PM
Steampunk USB Flash Drives with Motorized Gears - Really!
4:05 PM
Black Friday 2014: The Best Mac Deals
3:10 PM
iOS 8: Control Which Apps Can Access Your Private Data
2:50 PM
The Name Your Own Price Must-Have Mac Bundle
1:36 PM
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-11-26
10:46 AM
5 iPhone Apps to Cut Your Thanksgivings Stress
8:50 AM
iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite: Naming Group Conversations in Messages
Tue,9:01 PM
BuzzFeed Uses Apple Watches to Incentivise Staff
8:14 PM
The SKEYE Nano Drone Quadcopter: $34.99
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!