Middle click

Firefox 2 The Firefox 2 feature that seems to have got people most excited is the fact that each individual tab now has its own X button.

But come on. Why did you even use the X button anyway. Did you not realise that middle clicking on a tab closes it?

Infact, middle clicking is probably one of the greatest things about Firefox, yet nobody seems to know anything about it. Middle clicking on a link makes it open in a new tab. That’s right. Those webmasters forcing links to open in a new window or in the same tab and suck it. I have control over where my links open.

It’s so great, yet nobody else seems to do it. It’s not very well-known. I think I discovered it by accident. But I thought it was so great that I now click just about every link with the scroll wheel, even if I’m not bothered about keeping the current tab open. You know why? Because I can easily close the tab by middle clicking on it.

See how great this is? I think this is the real reason why I don’t use IE. My beloved middle clicking would be gone.

Do I get too excited about a mouse button?

Update: One thing that sucks about Firefox 2 is the spell checker. Colour is wrong. Labour is wrong. Realise is wrong. Defense is right. What sort of fucked up dictionary are these people using?! Amusingly, also wrong are ‘img’ ‘src’ and ‘jpg’. Doh! Wait a minute. ‘Doh’ is aswell! And so is aswell! I should just switch this spell checker off, shouldn’t I?

Update again: By the way, I love the fact that I can set it to subscribe to RSS feeds using Google Reader (or any other feed reader I want). Nice!

Update: Found out, via Gordon McLean, how to get rid of that Go button. I had been wondering about that! Now, does anybody know how to get rid of the search go button (with the magnifying glass)?


  1. You can download a British English dictionary for the spellchecker. It’ll then accept “favourite”, but not Firefox. D’oh.

  2. Just to add a little balance, IE7 has crosses on individual tabs and uses middle click for all those things as well.

    I still prefer Firefox though.

  3. Not all computers have a middle-click, and ctrl-click doesn’t close a tab, which is the point of the little “X”s. I think the real reason this feature is getting so much publicity, though, is that it’s really polarising people. Some people really like it, some people really don’t. As something that Firefox’s “competitors” (IE7, Opera, Safari) had first a lot of people have possibly gotten used to denying it as an “inferior” UI choice. 😉

    I middle click on tabs to close them on my desktops, but my laptop doesn’t have a middle click and this can be helpful on that.

    One thing that sucks about Firefox 2 is the spell checker. Colour is wrong. Labour is wrong. Realise is wrong. Defense is right.

    Did you download the en_GB one? Or did you possibly grab the en_US one by accident? I made this particular blunder!

    And as Andrew points out, IE7 uses middle click for all the things you mention too 😉

  4. Oh yeah, I must have accidentally clicked the massive ‘DOWNLOAD!!’ graphic on the Firefox homepage which automatically downloads the en_US one. Doh! Ah well, all sorted now, thanks!

    By the way, last night I accidentally closed a tab by hitting its little X, which seems to be one of the biggest complaints about it. Still, that’s what about:config is for, right? Now I have no Xs at all! Yay!

    Not that it even matters when accidentally close a tab with the ‘recently closed tabs’ feature. I take it this is new? Because this is seriously cool. All those times I’ve lost massive blog posts by accidentally clicking away. It’ll never be an issue again!

  5. I Believe the main complaint about the multiple Xs are that they are in different places. Having the X on the end means it’s always in the same place and you know exactly where to move/leave your mouse pointer to find it. Even with middle clicking you still have to middle click in a different place for each tab. Some people don’t like moving their mousies.

    The main problem I have with middle clicking is that middle clicking with a scroll wheel just feels weird. I need to get a mouse that has an actual middle button as well as a scroll wheel.

  6. I didn’t know about the middle click closing tabs thing but now I do I’ll be using it all the time, that’s very cool thanks.

    I’m really enjoying Firefox 2 there are a few little extras that make life that little bit easier or more fun than the previous version and I love the fact that I can choose where I want RSS feeds to open BUT I still think the IE7 RSS support is MUCH better than Firefox support.

  7. Well of course it didn’t recognise you using Doh. The official recognised OED spelling is d’oh! Any fule know that.

    I turned off middle click to close ages ago, after I accidentally did it, but I’ve been using middle click to open since Netscape 6. Or was it 7. Whatever, it’s great. Waiting for 2.0.1, just because it’ll be a dig DL and there are too many functions I’ll need to turn off. UI says close window/tab top right, not in random location, and I can right click/close or ctrl+w anyway.

    Still, it looks good.

  8. No, I know how to do that. I meant just how to get rid of the ‘Go’ button on the search bar. I found out how to do it. It involves altering some CSS file. I don’t think I can be that bothered. Thanks anyway though. 😀

  9. Middle click…

    Cool, FireFox 2 has built in spell check for html forms. Pretty sweet, now I don’t have to use MS Word to spell check everything before I type it, like I am doing now. I noticed this when I was typing something in a comment box and noticed almost…

  10. The “Go” button and the “Search” (Magnifying Glass) button can both be very useful when combined with middle-clicking. You can now go to URLs in a new tab by middle-clicking Go, or show the search engine results on a new tab.

    PS. On my computer at home, several versions ago I disabled the middle clicking on firefox. Now, with updated firefox 2, I can’t find the option to get it back… :S
    (each update of firefox seems to “mantain” the settings of the old verson)

  11. IMO, Middle click in the most annoying feature of Firefox! I hate that it opens links in a new window when I middle click on them. I want middle click to operate the same way it does in every other program — to open up the scroll icon. Now because of the new Firefox update I have to be extra careful about where I use the middle click button, and that’s very annoying. At a bare minimum they should offer somewhere in the options for you to disable the middle click functionality.

  12. Yeah, the middle click is freaking annoying. Is there any ways or any hacks that can change the middle click’s fuction?

  13. Not only the search and go buttons but also back, forward, home, bookmarks, and history can be middle-clicked.

    Personally, I liked the go button. Often I am too lazy to go to the keyboard and I’m pasting an URL with a mouse. Without the Go button I’ll have to press the enter on the keyboard…