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crxMouse Chrome Gestures extension


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crxMouse Chrome Gestures is a free extension for the Chrome Web browser that adds mouse gesture controls to the browser.

The extension is not the first add-on to add mouse gestures to Chrome but it is probably the most popular one. Chrome does not support mouse gestures natively but when Google integrated extensions support in the browser, extensions did add the functionality to the browser.

Update: The reviewed extension has a bit of a checkered past as some users in the comments have mentioned. The current version is quite permission hungry; it does have an opt-out option for anonymous data collection and the developer's privacy policy states that they collect aggregate data only. Still, you may want to check out the "supposedly" privacy-improved fork Clean crxMouse Gestures instead. Note though that it has last been updated in 2017. End

The main appeal of mouse gestures is that users may perform certain actions by drawing on the screen with the mouse.

The extension adds numerous mouse gestures to Chrome by default including gestures to navigate back and forward, scroll, close tabs, or reload a page. While you can perform some of them using the mouse or keyboard as well, gestures add an option to Chrome to control Chrome from anywhere using just the mouse.

crxMouse Chrome Gestures

The Chrome extension works right after installation. While you can get started using it right away, you may want to check out the settings at least once as there is a ton to customize and explore.

Tip: you may want to disable the collecting of anonymous usage data in the settings.

The main method of drawing gestures is to right-click and start to move the mouse to draw on the screen. The drawing, e.g. a line down or up, determines which action is executed when you release the right mouse button. Up and down would scroll up or scroll down, for example.

The settings are divided into several sections. General settings is a good start as it defines the features and other core parameters such as the minimum length of the drawing.

The mouse gestures section displays all active gestures and appearance related preferences. You can edit any gesture, for instance by changing its gesture, and create new gestures as well.

If you prefer to use a different modifier for gestures, that is done here as well. You can switch from using the right-click to left- or middle-click modifiers, and assign a key to disable mouse gestures. The extension comes with a blacklist feature to block functionality on certain sites.

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As far as creating new mouse gestures is concerned: it is a two step process. You draw the mouse gesture on the screen in the first and select the desired action in the second. Note that gestures are limited to left, right, up, and down. While you can draw a circle on the screen, it is interpreted by the extension as left, down, right and up, or in whichever way you draw the circle on the screen.

The Chrome gestures extension supports plenty of actions divided into navigation, scrolling, loading, tab navigation, window management, copy operations, and other actions.

You can create mouse gestures to copy the URL of the active tab, stop the loading of all tabs, open a new incognito window, or any of the other actions provided.

crxMouse Chrome Gestures supports what it calls Super Drag functionality besides regular mouse gestures. Super Drag lets you perform drag actions on text, link or images displayed on websites.

Selecting text and dragging the selection to the left runs a search on Google or any other search engine you select. You can use Super Drag to search or copy text, open, copy or bookmark links, or open, copy, save or search images.

Additional customization options are provided for some actions. If you select open, you get to define where and how the link or image is opened.

Closing Words

crxMouse Chrome Gestures is a powerful browser extension for Google Chrome that adds mouse gesture and drag action support to the web browser. The gesture and drag actions worked fine and without issues during tests and they may speed up some actions, for example, the copying of the URL of the active tab or the downloading of images.

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