February 02, 2013, 7:20 AM — Google Chrome does a lot of things well, but it's not the greatest when it comes to mouse-wheel scrolling.
Indeed, you may have noticed that when you turn your wheel, the page lurches up or down in "steps," instead of scrolling smoothly. This isn't the end of the world, of course, but certainly the experience could be better.
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The curiously named but very cool Chromium Wheel Smooth Scroller makes it better. This Chrome extension gives you control over the smoothness and acceleration of mouse-wheel scrolling. It works with keyboard scrolling, too, if that's your thing.
Once installed, simply refresh the page or tab you're already viewing; you should notice a difference right away. (You can also restart your browser to make it active on all open tabs.)
Of course, half the fun lies in tweaking the settings to make your mouse wheel just the way you like it. Chromium Wheel Smooth Scroller adds a little wheel icon to the browser (look to the right edge of the address bar); right-click it and choose Options.
You'll see here that you can adjust Step Size (how far the page scrolls for each "tick" of the mouse wheel), Smoothness (essentially how quickly scrolling starts and ends), and Acceleration Sensitivity. (These same settings can be adjusted for your keyboard.) What's nice is that you can immediately test out the changes you make; no need to restart, refresh, or anything like that. The adjustments are reflected in real-time.
The extension adds one other cool effect: a "bouncy edge" when you scroll to the top or bottom of a Web page. If you own an iPhone or iPad, it's the same sort of "bounce" that happens while scrolling in Safari and other apps.
I won't say this solves a hassle in the strictest sense of the word, but it does make scrolling in Google Chrome a lot cooler.
Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at firstname.lastname@example.org, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PCWorld Forums. Sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.