Friday, December 19, 2008

How to Fix Slow Scrolling in Firefox

Many Firefox users including myself have been complaining about slow, choppy scrolling when they visit certain websites. For example, with the recent redesign, ReCom has been scrolling pretty choppily for me. Another example is this forum and this university website.

Apparently, the slow scrolling is due to the presence of a fixed background image in the web page. In the case of ReCom, there is a fixed background blue gradient. For the second forum, it is the giant globe, and for the university website, it's the pretty orange intersecting lines.

Interestingly this problem doesn't affect all versions of Firefox and all machines in which Firefox is used. But if you happen to be one of the unfortunate users, fret not - a fix is just a click away! This is a bookmarklet you can drag to your bookmark folder or save as a bookmark (found here):

Zap Background!

Whenever you visit a problematic website, just click on this Zap Background bookmarklet and the problem will be solved instantaneously! How does that work? Basically it just tells Firefox to stop displaying the problematic background, so it could scroll smoothly again.

If you don't want to click on the bookmarklet every single time, there are more methods you could employ that solve the problem once and for all but involve some tweaking:

1. If the problematic website is one that you visits regularly, you could tell Adblock (if you have it installed) to block the problematic background image altogether. To find out the URL of the background image, just right click on the background and "view background image". Then go to your Adblock setting to add the background image to the blocked item list.

2. A more drastic action is to disable static background image altogether in all websites. Visit this page for more instruction.

Enjoy the smoothness! :)


Small talk: I have not disappeared. Exams were over two weeks ago and I have even gotten my results back. I attended five graduations in the past week and it was both gratifying (the photography opportunities) and physically demanding (you would know why if you have seen me at work :P) Camouflaged by the vibrance and joy was a little tinge of sadness, knowing that this is the end of social partnership I enjoyed tremendously with many good friends here. I am having holidays in Melbourne at the moment, and you will see me sporadically update this blog as I find the inspiration and mood.


caramel_nut said...

I got sick of the slow scrolling of Firefox that I eventually switched to Chrome all together.

Having a great time in Malaysia huh? Saw all the pictures in ReCom. :p

P/s: I've recently changed blog. Now ranting at instead. :P

Anonymous said...

Ah, nice! Thanks for the tip. I have adblock and can just right-click on the image and choose the "custom" option in the dialog that comes up, then reload the page and the bg is gone with the slow scrolling.