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Middle clicking doesn't work on Google Image Search

  • 8 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • 14 views
  • Last reply by MartyJames

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With a normal Google search, I can middle-click all the results to open them in new tabs.

But when I middle-click in a Google image search, it just scrolls the page. If I move focus away from Firefox then come back, sometimes it lets me middle-click.

Does anyone know what's going on here? (Firefox 77)

Chosen solution

Hi MartyJames, every site has its own approach to usability and preventing unwanted copying. And we have our workarounds. ;-)

I don't see how a site could be allowed to stop the browser opening a link in a new tab.

The right-click context menu method should work reliably. If you don't want sites to replace the right-click context menu, you can change a setting to ensure that you always get Firefox's menu. On sites with custom menus, Firefox's menu will usually block most of that and you may need to tap the Alt key to peel off Firefox's menu to use the site's menu. I think you need to try it for a while to decide which is most convenient/productive for you:

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button accepting the risk.

(2) In the search box in the page, type or paste context and pause while the list is filtered

(3) Double-click the dom.event.contextmenu.enabled preference to switch the value from true to false

More info on about:config: Configuration Editor for Firefox.

Some sites even stop you from selecting text, this simply should not be allowed, the ability to select text, download images, open links in new tabs, these are all basic functions of HTML pages that should not be messed with!

There is a style rule that blocks selecting text, and scripts may remove a selection. I think sites that use these features are demonstrating their distrust of visitors and maybe they should not get your attention?

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I was having a similar problem with "middle-click for opening a new tab" a few Firefox versions (a few months) ago after Google Images pages were updated. But now with Firefox 77 I don't have the same problem as I was having or I was opening different type images when I ran into that. And back then it wasn't all the time either.


All I can suggest is to try it in the Firefox SafeMode, which can be accessed thru Help > Troubleshooting Information or about:support in the URL bar, and upper right is Try Firefox Safe Mode - not the Windows Safe Mode.

That might help you if an extension or other user customization is causing the issue.

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Edmeister,

Thanks for your help. Restarting in safe mode didn't fix the problem, when I right-click, the cursor always turns into the scroll icon and the page starts scrolling. Sometimes the clicked link opens in another tab, sometimes it doesn't. It seems very inconsistent!

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MartyJames said

Edmeister, Thanks for your help. Restarting in safe mode didn't fix the problem, when I right-click, the cursor always turns into the scroll icon and the page starts scrolling. Sometimes the clicked link opens in another tab, sometimes it doesn't. It seems very inconsistent!

???

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Sorry Edmeister, I meant middle-click!

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Hmm, unfortunately when I middle-click those links I get blank Google search tabs. This is because I use an extension named "Google search link fix" which cleans tracking code from links -- it seems to be removing a little too much in the case of image results. If I disable the extension, middle-clicking opens what looks like the sidebar view in a new tab.

Google often toys with its users, I mean, performs user interface experiments on its users, so it's not unusual for different people to encounter different layouts/behaviors on search results page. What is "normal" these days? I couldn't say for sure.

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Thanks Mr Scher.

I don't see how a site could be allowed to stop the browser opening a link in a new tab. Mozilla seems to be giving way too much power to web developers. Some sites even stop you from selecting text, this simply should not be allowed, the ability to select text, download images, open links in new tabs, these are all basic functions of HTML pages that should not be messed with!

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Chosen Solution

Hi MartyJames, every site has its own approach to usability and preventing unwanted copying. And we have our workarounds. ;-)

I don't see how a site could be allowed to stop the browser opening a link in a new tab.

The right-click context menu method should work reliably. If you don't want sites to replace the right-click context menu, you can change a setting to ensure that you always get Firefox's menu. On sites with custom menus, Firefox's menu will usually block most of that and you may need to tap the Alt key to peel off Firefox's menu to use the site's menu. I think you need to try it for a while to decide which is most convenient/productive for you:

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button accepting the risk.

(2) In the search box in the page, type or paste context and pause while the list is filtered

(3) Double-click the dom.event.contextmenu.enabled preference to switch the value from true to false

More info on about:config: Configuration Editor for Firefox.

Some sites even stop you from selecting text, this simply should not be allowed, the ability to select text, download images, open links in new tabs, these are all basic functions of HTML pages that should not be messed with!

There is a style rule that blocks selecting text, and scripts may remove a selection. I think sites that use these features are demonstrating their distrust of visitors and maybe they should not get your attention?

Helpful?

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Thanks, Mr Scher!

I forgot that you can use the right-click context menu to open in a new tab. That is helpful, thanks!

As for all the things that sites are allowed to do these days, they have too much liberty. I'm sure there are workarounds, but people shouldn't have to workaround. Everyone should have the right to do basic stuff like selecting text or copying the target of a link. The browser should make it impossible for sites to disable such features.

Anyway, thanks :-)

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