Proposal for a better mouse selection in text fields

Robin Dinse robindinse at
Sun Dec 7 21:15:46 PST 2014

Hello XDG maintainers and list.

I have a proposal for improving the text field UI element.  I hope this list is the right place to bring it up.  First of all, I don’t know whether this behavior is already implemented somewhere or whether it is even patented.  I couldn’t find anything about it in a quick search.  Anyway, here is what I mean:

The problem is that one can select the individual letters of the text field only within the narrow region highlighted in the upper picture.  Beyond this region the selection gets extended either all the way to the left or to the right.  Staying within this region requires precise movements both vertically and horizontally which seems to be sub-optimal from a usability point of view.

My proposal is simply to extend this region vertically so that the intended selection can be achieved with less effort and/or faster.  I’m not sure yet which height would work the best, but I could imagine 3-4 times the commonly used height would work well.  Here is a halfway functional prototype with a three times larger region (best viewed in Firefox):

What do you think?

Best Regards.

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