Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I sometimes open large files with dozens of pages of text in them. However, often I find that I drag the overlay scrollbar to the top or to the bottom of the window, but I am nowhere near the beginning or the end of the document.

Currently to finish scrolling I either:

  • a) click the scroll button 50 times to go page by page.
  • b) drop the scrollbar, move my mouse towards the bottom of the scrollbar and click and rescroll

I am really getting annoyed with this! Is something I am doing wrong? Is there another way to make it work just like regular scrollbars where you grab the elevator and drag to where you want to be?

share|improve this question
Yes, I see that. If I want to go to the top (or bottom) of a page, I prefer control + page up (or down). I know that's not the answer to your question but this stuff is relatively new and evolving. Though, and this is a "rough" observation, if you've got the little box (with the up and down arrows) right at the top of your scrollable area and you aren't at the top of the document, shift + top arrow click in the little box should get you there. Vice versa for getting to the real end of document. Not at all intuitive (to me) but that's what I'm seeing. – user25656 Aug 1 '12 at 3:01
I'd be cool with shift-click taking me all the way to the top and the bottom, but I'm not seeing that have any effect! – HDave Aug 1 '12 at 3:42
Which version of Ubuntu are you using? In which program are you seeing this behaviour? Are you you clicking and dragging from "somewhere" or are you using the orange bit that marks the current position? – Marcel Stimberg Aug 2 '12 at 21:06
12.04 - I see the same behavoir in all programs including gedit, eclipse, nautilus, liferea, pysvn, etc. I guess I am dragging from "somewhere"...I never really paid attention to the thin orange line as its hard to see sometimes with my not-so-great eyes. I just go to the edge, wait for the box to appear and click and drag. – HDave Aug 3 '12 at 0:55
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The problem is most likely that you are not using the position indicator (the orange bit), but instead are scrolling using a random point of the right edge. So your scrolling looks like this:

not scrolling to the top

Therefore, you finish with your dragged part at the very top, but because the handle keeps a constant position relative to the position indicator, the position indicator is not at the top -- and consequently your content is not at the top either.

Instead, you should drag the position indicator directly (for long documents, it can be a bit hard to see. To aid with recognition, the handle also gets an orange outline as soon as you are over the indicator):

scrolling to the top

This way, you drag the position indicator and if you scroll all the way to the top, also your content scrolls to the top.

That said, if all you want to do is scroll all the way to the top/bottom, there is quicker way to do that: Aim your mouse pointer to the top right or bottom right of the overlay scrollbar and press the middle mouse button -- this will directly jump to the corresponding position, i.e. to the top or the bottom of your document.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for your help. The mouse middle thing is huge...and I also never noticed the color around the box before. Wonder how many others hate this scroll-bar because they just don't understand it! – HDave Aug 6 '12 at 2:25

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.