How to Enable Zoom Pinch on Firefox in a MacBook

by Aaron Parson

MacBook laptops with a multi-touch trackpad support two-finger pinch gestures to zoom in and out of Web pages in Mozilla Firefox. Some versions of the browser starting with version 4, however, disable this feature by default. Firefox doesn't provide an option for pinch zoom in its settings window, but you can still turn it on by editing a few lines on the Firefox configuration page.

1

Open a Firefox window and type "about:config" into the address bar. Press "Enter."

2

Click the "I'll be careful, I promise!" button on the warning screen.

3

Type "pinch" in the search bar at the top of the configuration page and press "Enter."

4

Double-click the preference named "browser.gesture.pinch.in" and type or paste "cmd_fullZoomReduce" into the message box. Click "OK."

5

Double-click the following three preferences to edit their contents: set "browser.gesture.pinch.in.shift" to "cmd_fullZoomReset," "browser.gesture.pinch.out" to "cmd_fullZoomEnlarge" and "browser.gesture.pinch.out.shift" to "cmd_fullZoomReset."

6

Close the configuration page window. Launch a new window of Firefox and your pinch gestures will now work.

Tips

  • In all steps, do not type the quotation marks around the commands.
  • You can alternatively install the Firefox add-on "pinchy," which automatically changes the above settings.
  • If any of the four preferences do not exist in the "about:config" page, right-click the page's background, select "New" and click "String." Type the preference name, such as "browser.gesture.pinch.in," press "Enter" and then type the corresponding setting, such as "cmd_fullZoomReduce" into the second message box.

Warning

  • Information in this article applies to Firefox versions 4 through 20, and may differ slightly or significantly in later releases.

About the Author

Aaron Parson has been writing about electronics, software and games since 2006, contributing to several technology websites and working with NewsHour Productions. Parson holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.

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