Enable smooth scrolling in Firefox

Firefox has been my favorite browser for as long as I can remember. Sure, there have been periods when the open-source web browser suffered from bloating and security vulnerabilities, but for the past five years, Firefox has been as solid a web browser as you can get. It’s fast, secure and cross-platform.

But for as long as I can remember, Firefox has suffered from a rather frustrating problem: poor scrolling (especially on Linux). Instead of enjoying the buttery smooth scrolling found in other browsers, it stutters its way up and down web pages. Needless to say, that can be frustrating. Worse, after hours in a web browser, it can get quite tiring on the eyes.

For those reasons, I finally sought the means to make scrolling easier in the Firefox browser. Fortunately, a developer has created an extension that greatly improves on this problem. The add-on not only smoothes out scrolling, but also allows you to adjust step size, smoothness, acceleration sensitivity, and acceleration by travel distance for both the keyboard (using your cursor keys) and the mouse wheel. You can create a smooth scrolling profile for each (cursor keys and mouse wheel) to make scrolling in Firefox perfectly suited to your needs.

Let’s install and customize this extension.

Enable smooth scrolling in Firefox

1. Open Firefox

The first thing to do is open your Firefox web browser.

2. Access the extension

You can click on the Firefox Menu and then select Add-ons and themes. In the resulting window (Figure 1), type “Another smooth scrolling” in the search bar.

Figure 1

Screenshot of the Firefox page search extension

The Firefox Extensions page manages your add-ons and themes.

Image: Jack Wallen

3. Install the extension

Click on the item titled Yet another smooth scrolling WE and then click Add to FirefoxFigure 2

Figure 2

Screenshot of the Yet Another Smooth Scrolling WE installation window

Adding another smooth scrolling WE to Firefox.

Image: Jack Wallen

If prompted (figure 3), Click To add and the installation is completed.

figure 3

Screenshot of the Firefox add prompt for installing extensions

The installation of Yet Another Smooth Scrolling WE is almost complete.

Image: Jack Wallen

Once the installation is complete, you will see a small steering wheel icon in the top right corner of Firefox (Figure 4), indicating that the add-on has been added.

Figure 4

Screenshot of yet another smooth scrolling WE icon

It’s yet another smooth scrolling WE icon in the Firefox toolbar.

Image: Jack Wallen

You should already notice a significant improvement in Firefox scrolling. Give it a try and see if scrolling is better than before. In my experience, this extension smooths out Firefox scrolling (even on Linux) to near macOS-level smoothness.

Personalize the smoothness

If you feel that the default settings are not flexible enough, click the icon in the toolbar and then click Preferences† In the resulting window (Figure 5), you can configure various options.

Figure 5

Screenshot of another smooth scrolling WE preferences window

There are plenty of options to configure the extension.

Image: Jack Wallen

In the Preferences window, you can configure the following options:

  • Step size (number of pixels shifted at the touch of a button)

  • Smoothness Forepart (interruption level in the front part of a movement)

  • Smoothness (blur level at the end of a motion)

  • Acceleration scale (scaling factor for an event caused by a key repeat)

  • Where to use smooth scrolling (with arrow keys, page up/down keys, home/end keys)

  • jumping edge

You can even create a list of URLs that should be exempt from smooth scrolling (just in case you find a particular site that doesn’t work well with the add-on). There are also three different presets to choose from: Blue (slowest), Green (smooth), and Red (fastest). Select one of those presets to see if one fits your needs before updating other options.

Adjust the sliders for the different smoothness settings until scrolling is to your liking. I found the defaults to be pretty good (using the green preset). Give this add-on a try and see how it improves your scrolling in Firefox’s open-source web browser.

Jack Wallen: So you can…

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