Scrollbars not working in Chrome (32.0.1700.76 m)

No doubt there was some good reason for the recent changes (around 15th Jan) to the Chrome browser which can seriously affect a users web-browsing experience.

The current version of Chrome (32.0.1700.76 m) has introduced a number of issues which should surely have been caught by their testing department prior to releasing the product.

Initially, I thought the problem was due to badly implemented web-sites using scrolling list box controls but it seems to have been caused by Chrome.

I’m using Windows 7 on a laptop.

The problem I noted was when I wanted to select an item from a list box control with a scrollbar on a webpage. When trying to scroll through the list, the system will instead make a selection from the list !! making it impossible to choose the item you require.

If you are using a mouse, you may find you can scroll through the list using the middle mouse button. You may also be able to use the arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll through the list.

After a period of intensive investigation I discovered a lot of chatter on the internet discussing this and other “improvements” introduced by Google in version 32.0.1700.76 m of the Chrome browser.

For example, the Google product forums at!topicsearchin/chrome/scrollbar%7Csort:relevance%7Cspell:true

Until (and IF) the problem is resolved, potential workarounds include:

  • On the Windows 7 Performance Options dialog box untick the option “use visual styles on windows and buttons” (unfortunately I think this spoils the overall appearance of Windows)
  • Use the arrow keys and/or middle mouse button.
  • Use a different web-browser.

Conclusion, it is disappointing that there seems to be a lack of response from Google to a known problem that seriously affects the ability to use the software. If this had been a serious breach of security, one can only hope for a speedier response. The constant drive to create a better User Experience(s) seems to override the need to check that some changes are actually for the better and do indeed work!

Techniques Tools WordPress

Archiving a WordPress Blog

As part of my annual spring-clean, I decided to archive some of my old WordPress blogs which I no longer update and will give up the related domains.

There are a number of different ways in which you can archive the blog, for example, you can simply dump the blog database, export the blog posts and save all the media files you may have used with the blog. This allows you to regenerate the blog if you so decide in the future,

Another alternative, is to simply save all the articles in a pdf file or multiple pdf files – an easy way to do this, in the Chrome browser is using the “RMB … Print option on the page you want archive and select the “Save as PDF” option. If you want to save the whole blog in this way, simply ensure that all the posts/articles are currently being displayed when you print the page. (This may not be practicable for blogs with a lot of posts)

While thinking about the different possibilities, I toyed with the idea of converting the blog into a linked set of static HTML files and discovered the really-static plugin for WordPress.

The really-static plugin will generate a static, HTML version of a WordPress blog. In addition, it will make  changes automatically to the static version of the blog when a post is published, edited or deleted.

In my case, I only want to generate a static HTML version of the blog, but because of the possible performance improvements in serving static HTML pages over the usual generation mechanism, I may use it in conjunction with my live blogs too.


Gmail – Scrolling through Labels

Has something affected your ability to scroll through your labels in Gmail ?

I’m not sure when this started happening, but I recently noticed that I could no longer scroll through my labels when using Gmail in Chrome on my desktop.

A “More labels option (button) is now available under the visible labels and a scroll bar appears if you select this button – now you can scroll through the list of labels and the button changes to Fewer labels

Even worse, however, if you scroll down through your list and pick on one of your labels – the mail associated with that label are displayed as usual BUT the button reverts back to “More labels” again removing the ability to scroll back up the list. In my case, I had to reselect “More labels” to get the scroll bar in order to get back to my Inbox (which is near the top of the list !!)

Solution is quite simple – unselect the option  “Touch-enabled”

How ?

Under Gmails Settings…Display Mode…

you’ll find a new option Touch-enabled in addition to the usual Comfortable, Cosy and Compact modes.

This setting is the cause of the problem on my non touch-enabled desktop machine.

It’s not clear how it became selected – possibly, when I accessed Gmail from my iPad, Google changed it for me on ALL my devices.

Come on Google – why not test your improved “user experience” before releasing changes like this. In this case its simply backwards compatibility – believe it or not, not every device is touch enabled. Perhaps if you (and other companies) concentrated more on the Usability of your software, problems like this wouldn’t arise.


Chrome – Remove resize in textarea

The Chrome and Safari browsers provide the ability for a user to resize a textarea.

However, you may want to disable this feature in order to prevent your carefully designed layout from being broken. In addition, this feature is not provided in Internet Explorer and you may want to keep the appearance the same across all browsers.

Simply use the following CSS to disable this feature

textarea{resize: none}

Open URL Shortcut in non-default Browser

I use a number of different web browsers and when I create Desktop shortcuts to URLs they are always opened using the current default browser, in my case Chrome. Sometimes, you may want to open the URL in a different browser and an easy way to do this is to create a new shortcut.

This is how I managed to create a new, relevant shortcut on my Windows 7 Desktop.

  • Right Click on the Desktop and choose New … Shortcut
  • This launches a dialog “What item would you like to create a shortcut for? Insert the full path to the Web Browser program. On my Windows 7 64-bit machine, this was “C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe”
    Click Next, and in the next page enter a name for the shortcut, then click Finish.
  • This will create a shortcut on the desktop.
  • Right Click on the Shortcut and choose Properties.
  • In the Shortcut tab, enter the required URL at the end of the string in the Target: box so that the complete entry now reads “C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe”
  • Cick OK to close the properties dialog.

Now, when you click on the shortcut, the required Web Browser will open on the relevant web page.