There’s been some noise on the ‘net about missing scroll up/down buttons in the new Google design. Note that this only affects the browsers based on WebKit (Chrome, Safari and some KDE browsers, to name a few). Here’s a way to fix that.
Why are the buttons gone?
As IE before, WebKit has introduced styleable scroll-bars. (Whether that’s a good idea or not is not the point of this article.) The new Google design uses this new feature in a lot of places. This has two effects: 1) the scroll-bars fit in nicely and 2) the scroll buttons are gone. The special CSS selectors provide a very detailed, if verbose, way for making sure the scroll-bars on the site match the design; there’s a great article explaining them at CSS-Tricks.
I haven’t managed to find a way to disable this feature in Chromium; there’s no way to disable these customized scroll-bars. The best solution I could find is creating visible elements via a user stylesheet where the buttons should be. We can do anything with them, but in this example we’ll just make simple gray boxes.
1. Find the file / text box for custom stylesheets
For Chrome (and Chromium) you’ll need to find a file. The changes will be applied as soon as you save it – there’s no need to restart the browser.
%LOCALAPPDATA%GoogleChromeUser DataDefaultUser StyleSheetsCustom.css
%LOCALAPPDATA% is usually
AppData is a hidden folder)
/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/User StyleSheets/Custom.css
In Safari you don’t even have to leave your browser: you can create stylesheets in the Preferences → Advanced tab. Note that by default you’ll have to restart your browser for changes to take effect. Check out this Macworld hint if you want to work around that.
2. Add custom styles
Any CSS you enter here will be applied to all pages loaded in the browser. The following snippet makes sure that the scroll up/left button at the start and the scroll down/right button at the end of the scroll-bar are visible as a gray box. It does not contain anything to apply it to only Google applications, but chances are that if you want the scroll buttons here, you’ll want them everywhere.
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This is really unacceptable from a design perspective (read: it looks bad). It’s also ridiculous that we have to resort to hacks like this to have scroll buttons… Still, this is the only way I could come up with (other than disabling this extension in the Chromium/WebKit source and compiling).