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For my personal computer, I use a keyboard that has a
built-in touchpad. It is more efficient than using a
separate from the keyboard (hand moves less distance
between keys and the cursor-control).
For some reason keyboards with touchpads were quite
popular for a few years (about
15 years ago), and then
mostly disappeared. You can still find old models on
and other places, if you want one. And, of course, the
huge majority of laptop computers have touchpads near
It happens that while I greatly appreciate the basic
about touchpads ("no moving parts!") there is a
"feature" of touchpads that I dislike intensely. This is
"tap to click" feature. The problem is, you have to
the touchpad in order to move the mouse-cursor, but if
you touch it just a touch too much, then the device
a "click" signal to the computer, and undesirable things
tend to happen as a result (suppose you were trying to
move the mouse-cursor AWAY FROM a "delete data"
Depending on the "driver" software for a touchpad, its
"touchiness" can be adjusted somewhat, to make it less
likely that a touch gets registered as a click, and
sometimes the touch-to-click feature can be disabled
entirely. Except for one thing! Because the keyboards I
have are old, the drivers are old, too. They don't
work with today's versions of the Operating System!
the touchpad technology has itself changed so much that
new drivers don't work with old touchpads.)
Now let's consider Posting an Idea here at the Half-
You click the "add" link, and the browser obliging opens
a window in which you can type text like you are reading
right now. Every now and then you make a typographical
error, and need to use the Backspace key to fix it.
Meanwhile, because the mouse-cursor is covering up
of the text you are writing, and you need to re-read that
text to maintain the writing "flow", you have moved it
the main text-editing area. If you clicked the mouse-
button, the overall browser window would be selected,
the text area in which you are writing. GENERALLY, this
not a problem.
However! Remember the need to use the Backspace key
occasionally? Sometimes when I am in a bit of a hurry
am typing madly, part of my arm brushes the touchpad
hard enough to register as a "click". Because of the
physical location of the touchpad, the probability of that
event is increased when I reach toward the Backspace
So, after typing a nice long and brilliant Idea for an hour,
the following events can happen Very Quickly:
1. I make a typographical error.
2. I reach for the Backspace key.
3. My arm brushes the touchpad and a "click" is
4. The main browser window becomes selected. It will
receive the next input that I give it.
5. I press the Backspace key.
6. The browser obligingly closes down the "add Idea"
page, and goes Back to the previous Web Page.
All that work is lost!!!!
I try not to be a violent person, but I am quite willing to
scream from mental agony when that happens.
PLEASE, Let Me Have A Way To Disable The Browser's
Connection Between The Backspace Key and the "Back To
Previous Web Page" functionality!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The browser still offers a "Back Button" on the screen,
and I'm perfectly willing to use that to go to the previous
page, when that is what I want to do. I'm sure they
created the connection between the Backspace key and
the "Back" browser-feature because using the keyboard
IS more efficient than moving the hand over there where
the mouse is. But I have a nice efficient keyboard-with-
a-touchpad, remember?!?! For me, it is so easy to move
the mouse-cursor that I have no need of that
"shortcut to disaster" connected to the Backspace key.
How to disable backspace as back button in Chrome and Firefox
God help you if you're using IE. [ytk, Oct 04 2013]
||Hmm.... well, generally I find that I can hit the "Next" arrow and restore the Add page and anything in the box. (happens to me quite a bit; the laptop keyboard is just a smidge too small for me)
||There should be some kind of setting for touchpad clicking, and "disable backspace previous page" produced quite a number of Google hits. (in fact, now that you jog my elbow, I'm just about to install a fix right this minute [edit: done]).
||I was just discussing with my daughter the fickle
ways of browser windows, urging her to compose and
save her work in Word then copy and paste.
||I agree that backspace should not behave like that; it doesn't in Firefox. Are you using IE or something?
||I also feel your pain. I literally cried once after losing a mere annotation.
||Mmm, firefox here and backspace does indeed return one to the previous wondow. I have never known this before trying it right now though.
||Anyway pressing "forward" brings me right back to this half finished anno so no worries there.
||To be precise, I have iceweasel (the Debian fork of
firefox). It seems to be an exception. Opera on my
windows installation has backspace to go back a page
||Wgy disnt ecryone jysr usw a rouch sxreen mivle drvice like
ne, ans thrn ypu wiuldnt hsve ti deak wuth thst priblwm. Grt
wuth thr tumes folkd. Tecjnoligy is flyung firwsrd abd lravinf
yoi un thr dustr.
||ah, shoulda mentioned I'm on Waterfox. According to Google there isn't a direct IE fix, but there are some workarounds like installing a hotkey tsr to force a backspace to act like a backspace.
||I may have picked the HalfBakery as a bad
because the event described in the main text
depends somewhat on the Web site, not just the
browser. Using the forward button DOES
restore your work. But definitely not always.
||[21Quest], this issue is not about Tab-closure. It
is about the page loaded into the tab, and the
previous page that had been loaded into the tab.
You generally cannot open a tab and immediately
go to the add-new-text-for-something editing
page; you usually go to an initial page where you
click a button to go to the add-new-text page.
So, when that is a different page from the first,
the Tab would stay open if a "Back" happens.
||Also, when you open a new Tab and go to some
site, if you immediately try to do a "Back", so far
as I know nothing ever happens, certainly not Tab-
closure. In theory, then, that could be an
alternate solution to the problem posed here,
except, as just noted above, you can't always
immediately get into an add-new-text web page as
the first thing you do after opening a new Tab.
||You CAN directly reach the add-new-text page
here at the HalfBakery, provided you have
bookmarked it. I'll have to remember that....
That may have to do with whether the page is reloaded from cache or fetched fresh from the 'net.
||I'd just like IE and Sun to get together to fix the basic BACK button problem. Massively irritating.
||Wish I could use something besides IE. The all-powerful IT gods have this machine on install lockdown.