Grab and Drag: Rough autoscroll possibility for Dragon

I prefer the Autoscrolling Bookmarklet myself, but for those who don’t like the bookmarklet or who want something that can scroll up, Firefox add-ons have another option. Grab and Drag is an autoscrolling add-on that accounts for people who can’t middle click. 

When you install, you can specify that you’re using a 1-or-2 button mouse — which Dragon is, until Nuance fixes it. GD will then use the mouse dragging function to auto scroll pages, which translates with Dragon to “mouse click” then “mouse drag down/up” until you tell it to stop. Or until the cursor reaches the edge of the screen, whichever comes first. Hence the full screen suggestion at the end of this post.

There is some fine tuning. For me, the option that let me read my blog’s front page without hitting the edge of the screen was Scrollbar Drag mode. For Scrollbar Drag, you don’t need to check Reverse Scrolling Direction: down means down. GD doesn’t glide as well as the bookmarklet or the Vocola command. The motion is a bit jagged; it was almost stuttering until I went under Advanced and moved the slider from Smooth to Responsive, all the way to the right. The scrolling is still choppy this way, but it’s a measured choppy. When I say “mouse drag down,” GD pages down approximately 3 lines, waits a moment, pages down 3 lines and so forth, while Dragon inches the cursor down the screen. You can say “faster” and “slower” and “stop” to adjust the speed. Sometimes I find myself saying “much slower” in order to sync the page movement with my eye movement. To avoid the mouse cursor running out, it also helps if Dragon’s mouse speed is moderate to slow. The default 2 worked for me. It is good to have the cursor at the top of the screen as well.

GD also has options for dragging to select text, but I didn’t play with that much. If I have to select Web text, I just turn on caret browsing (F7), go down the appropriate number of lines, and tell Dragon to select the next however many words or lines. Then copy and paste and all is good. You might find it useful for your habits, though.

In all, it’s a fair option once you get your eyes to adjust to the rhythm. I do wish the motion were more fluid; even checking “use smooth scrolling” in Firefox’s options didn’t help. NOTE: Owing to the nature of vocal mouse commands, particularly dragging, GD gets more mileage when Firefox is in full screen mode. Say “press F11” to toggle fullscreen on and off. It also helps if the Dragon bar is in Tray Icon Only mode, though that doesn’t seem to be strictly necessary.

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One Response to Grab and Drag: Rough autoscroll possibility for Dragon

  1. Tony says:

    Handy script. This is exactly what I’ve been trying to find for ages now. Thanks a million.

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