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OS X three-finger drag is not very usable with Mathematica

Posted 11 years ago
I noticed that others have posted suggestions about improvements to Mathematica, so I thought I'd post this too.
For me personally, this little thing would be the single biggest possible improvement, as I encouter this problem several times every single day.

I started using OS X recently, and I got into the habit of using the three-finger-drag gesture.  Please take a look at this video to see how it works.  On OS X this seemed to be the available option, not the tap-and-drag which I was used to on Windows.

With this gesture, the drag event is not cancelled (the virtual mouse button is not released) at the same moment when I lift my fingers off the touchpad.  The drag is still active for about one second longer.  This is necessary to make the gesture usable: often while dragging, I reach the edge of the trackpad and I need to lift off my fingers for the fraction of a second and move then back to be able to continue dragging.  Tap-and-drag on Windows worked this way too.

Now the problem is that on OS X, in Mathematica, shortcut keys don't work at all while the drag is active.  So if I press Command-C immediately after selecting some text in a notebook using three-finger drag, it won't actually copy.  I have to wait for a second after selecting the text, and press Command-C only then.  This is a problem only in Mathematica, not in most other OS X applications.

I realize that this is not a problem for those who use the physical trackpad button for dragging and text selection, but I find this gesture very convenient and quicker than using the phsyical button.  Unfortunately it causes a lot of annoyance when using it in Mathematica, and I ended up pasting the wrong content many times because I pressed Command-C a bit too quickly.  Sometimes I didn't even notice that I pased the wrong content before I sent it to someone ...

I would love to see Mathematica react to shortcut keys even while a drag event is ongoing (or the mouse button is down), just like most other OS X applications.

Is there anyone else who ran into this problem?
POSTED BY: Szabolcs Horvát
5 Replies
Hey Gustavo, that's a good suggestion as well! I'd find that handy myself. I'll pass it up the food chain...
POSTED BY: Dan Newman
Posted 11 years ago
I also like using Safari's two finger swipe to go back to the previous web page. I keep trying to do the same when I am browsing Mathematica's documentation center.
POSTED BY: Gustavo Delfino
Thank you Dan!
POSTED BY: Szabolcs Horvát
As a fellow Mac user, I can absolutely see why this is frusterating. Gestures are awesome... when they work as you expect them to.

It's actually the same behavior on Windows & Mac (supressing other inputs while selecting text), but using the gesture makes the behavior more readily apparent. I've passed your comments along to the developers, so hopefully they'll be able to take a look at the behavior.
POSTED BY: Dan Newman

I realize I am necroing an 11-year-old thread (sorry!), but I still observe this behavior in the latest macOS version (13.3.1) with Mathematica 13.2.1. Just like Szabolcs observed all those years ago, this is only an issue in Mathematica and not in any other software I have used... do you think there's any hope of this ever getting fixed?

POSTED BY: Vì Kronberg
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