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What needs to be done to improve scrolling and zooming in Edge (Chromium)?

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rw1234
Occasional Contributor

One of the top reasons many of us Edge fans love Classic MS Edge is its perfect scrolling experience on multi-touch trackpads and screens. It's so smooth (50+ FPS on lower-end hardware), it 'feels' like a premium, polished experience you'd get on e.g. an iPad or macOS and it makes work more intuitive and fun. It's so much better to be able to flick the trackpad on my laptop and have Edge and webpages jump to where I want them to be (based accurately on my motion) and it helps me read faster.

 

But... I've been testing Chromium Edge since March this year and while I've been excited with the many new possibilities and features brought along the way, I have been disappointed with the scrolling experience.

 

Scrolling improvements have been at the top of the Top Feedback list since July but with each passing month, that gets pushed forward. I worry that not enough attention is being given to this area and the scrolling experience won't be optimal upon release in January 2020 (2 months away).

 

I want to open discussion around scrolling areas for improvement in Edge (Chromium). Here is what I see needs improvement:

  1. General scrolling is still too jittery/laggy in comparison to Classic Edge.

  2. HTML "div" elements and input elements do not have the entire "Microsoft Edge scrolling personality" that is enabled elsewhere in the browser (edge://flags/#edge-experimental-scrolling), meaning no over-scrolling bounce animation and these elements lack smoothness when scrolling. This makes Chromium Edge inconsistent with itself, inconsistent with Classic Edge and inconsistent with the host OSes (Windows 10, Windows 8, and macOS). This will also cause WebView2 apps and Progressive Web Apps to behave inconsistently with other apps that are supposed to have a 'modern'/'native' experience.

  3. Zooming in and out does not bounce/animate or feel smooth when reaching limits as in Classic Edge, leading to same inconsistencies as mentioned above. 

  4. When running on Windows 10, the scrollbar arrows are still the ones from Windows 7.

To conclude, most important to fix are the jittery scrolling and no scrolling/zooming animations. As mentioned before, these are necessary modern usability enhancements that improve workflow and make the Microsoft experience a great one.

 

I also want to ask everyone here with a multi-touch trackpad or touch screen, what are your thoughts on scrolling in Chromium Edge and what should be done to improve it?

 

Cheers

2 Replies

My laptop's touchpad is tiny which makes it unpractical to use for constant scrolling. For years I've been using the touch screen of my laptop to scroll/zoom and it was great on Microsoft Edge. Actually, that was the main reason why I used Edge as my one and only browser. 

Edge Chromium however desperately needs to be more touch friendly so that it can be used on touch screen devices and Windows tablets. Other than the improvement of scrolling and zooming, it needs the other features of Edge that made it super touch friendly. For example, taping on the menu button will open a larger menu compared to clicking on it by the mouse. Also, the fact that we could see the taskbar and the upper edge of the window with a little swipe was so useful. Let's say you're watching a YouTube video in fullscreen on your Windows tablet with touchscreen and you want to know what time it is, you can't view the taskbar anymore with the new Edge unless you exit out of fullscreen, and this is also a problem. You can't exit full screen unless you tap and hold the upper area of the screen which I bet most users don't even know about.

@rw1234 For anyone interested, Edge Chromium's IE Mode's scrolling and zooming behaviour is actually better than Edge Chromium's behaviour itself.

 

It begs the questions: how did Microsoft take the ancient Internet Explorer and make its scrolling/zooming better than on any other platform and why can't Chromium Edge's scrolling/zooming behaviour be just as good?

 

To test IE Mode easily, Enable IE Mode in edge://flags and also make a shortcut to Chromium Edge with the command line flags "-ie-mode-test". Open the shortcut then click the '...' menu in Edge > More Tools > Open Sites in Internet Explorer mode.

 

Note the difference when scrolling the main content area and within HTML "div"/"input" elements, and note the difference when zooming fully in/out (the "bounce" animated feedback).

 

Please note that this method is unsupported and should only be used for testing. 

 

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