Chapter 4. Common Tasks

Navigating Documents

T.C. Hollingsworth


You're probably familiar with the scrollbar that appears on the right side (and sometimes the bottom) of documents, allowing you to move within documents. However, there are several other ways you can navigate documents, some of which are faster and easier.

Several mice have a wheel in the middle. You can move it up and down to scroll within a document. If you press the Shift key while using the mouse wheel, the document will scroll faster.

If you're using a portable computer like a laptop, you might also be able to scroll using the touchpad. Some computers allow you to scroll vertically by moving your finger up and down the rightmost side of the touchpad, and allow you to scroll horizontally by moving your finger across the bottommost side of the touchpad. Others let you scroll using two fingers: move both fingers up and down anywhere on the touchpad to scroll vertically, and move them left and right to scroll horizontally. Since this functionality emulates the mouse wheel functionality described above, you can also press the Shift key while you do this to scroll faster.

If you use the KDE Plasma Workspaces™, you can control mouse wheel behavior in the Mouse module in System Settings, and you can control touchpad scrolling behavior in the Touchpad module in System Settings. Otherwise, look in the configuration area of your operating system or desktop environment.

Additionally, the scrollbar has several options in its context menu. You can access these by right-clicking anywhere on the scrollbar. The following options are available:

Scroll here

Scroll directly to the location represented by where you right-clicked on the scrollbar. This is the equivalent of simply clicking on that location on the scrollbar.

Top (Ctrl+Home)

Go to the beginning of the document.

Bottom (Ctrl+End)

Go to the end of the document.

Page up (PgUp)

Navigate to the previous page in a document that represents a printed document, or one screen up in other types of documents.

Page down (PgDn)

Navigate to the next page in a document that represents a printed document, or one screen down in other types of documents.

Scroll up

Scroll up one unit (usually a line) in the document. This is the equivalent of clicking the up arrow at the top of the scrollbar.

Scroll down

Scroll down one unit (usually a line) in the document. This is the equivalent of clicking the down arrow at the bottom of the scrollbar.


Many applications permit you to zoom. This makes the text or image you are viewing larger or smaller. You can generally find the zoom function in the View menu, and sometimes in the status bar of the application.

You can also zoom using the keyboard by pressing Ctrl++ to zoom in, or Ctrl+- to zoom out. If you can scroll with the mouse wheel or touchpad as described in the section called “Scrolling”, you can also zoom by pressing Ctrl and scrolling that way.