I would like to be able to scroll horizontally with my mouse wheel and holding something like Alt. I have had to resort to making the scrollbars fat and fugly in the meantime. Running elementary OS 0.3.1 Freya on a desktop, so not trackpad scrolling.

1 Answer 1


While it used to be possible to scroll horizontally while holding down the Shift key while scrolling, that unfortunately doesn't work anymore.

There is a workaround that might do the trick for you using xbindkeys and a small script, though (as originally described here).This would allow you to toggle back and forth between vertical and horizontal scrolling by pressing Control + Right mouse buton.

Open a terminal and do the following:

1.Install xbindkeys:

sudo apt-get install xbindkeys

2.Create the toggle script and open it

>> ~/.toggle_script.sh  
scratch-text-editor ~/.toggle_script.sh

3.Paste this into the file and save

  xmodmap -e 'pointer = 1 2 3 6 7 4 5 8 9 10'

  xmodmap -e 'pointer = default'

if xmodmap -pp | grep -q '4.*6'; then

4.Make it executable

chmod +x ~/.toggle_script.sh

5.Create the config file for xbindkeys and execute xbindkeys

echo $'\"~/.toggle_script.sh\"\n\tcontrol+b:3' >.xbindkeysrc

You should now be able to toggle back and forth between scrolling modes by pressing
Control + Right mouse click

Please tell me if this works for you :)

  • There seems to be another problem. I tried to install a character map indicator earlier today to no avail. Could this be interfering? Nov 25, 2015 at 19:52
  • I don't think this is related. scratch-text-editor gives me the same error messages, it doesn't seem to influence functionality for me. You could always use a different text editor, though, I personally prefer gedit. Other than that, please let me know if the solution above did the trick for you.
    – adriaano
    Nov 25, 2015 at 20:02

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