BlackBerry Tip: Hold Down on the Alt Key While Scrolling To Jump Cursor Across the Screen. Does it Work for you?

By Kevin Michaluk on 26 Aug 2009 02:13 am EDT
Fast Scroll on BlackBerry Smartphones 

I received an email the other day from one of our readers/podcast listeners (thanks Chris!) that brought up a good tip that some of you may not be aware of and also raised a valid question/concern:

Have you noticed that on the Curve 8900 and Curve 8520 holding alt + scrolling left or right scrolls all the way the left or right of the text. Example: when your typing a email or text, once you get a few lines down hold alt and scroll left to right or up and down. I've noticed this doesn't work on the Bold, but I've tried it on the 8900 and 8520. 

Being able to fast scroll when reading/composing by holding Alt is definitely a great feature for trackball/trackpad BlackBerry smartphones, but as Chris points out there does seem to be at least some inconsistency as to what devices/os versions offer this feature. For example, it's working flawlessly on my Tour, on some older devices doesn't appear to want to work at all, and on my Curve 8900 (which I just upgraded to, I can fast scroll when composing but not while reading emails. So the question is, does it work for you?! I'd assume it's a gimme of a function and should always work, so I'm not quite sure why it wouldn't in some situations. Try holding down alt while scrolling on a message with a lot of text to see if your cursor makes the big jump.

Reader comments

BlackBerry Tip: Hold Down on the Alt Key While Scrolling To Jump Cursor Across the Screen. Does it Work for you?


Well i use a Pearl 8130 and a Curve 8900 and the fast scroll works on both ... i just wanted to ask u what u meant when u said ,

"Curve 8900 which just got upgraded to"

thanks a lot

It works both going left and right. also it scrolls up and down by skipping three or four lines making it faster to scroll, but you can also use the space bar and the letter "t" for top

left to right is the bigger thing here for me vs. top/bottom...  key use for me is if i make a type at the beginning of a sentence and want to go back and fix it when i'm now at the end of the line on the right, the alt scroll left jumps you back quick (vs. the slow scroll).



During composing email:
alt + scroll right -> go to the end of line that I'm writing
alt + scroll left -> go to the start of line that I'm writing
alt + scroll up -> scroll up a variabale number of line (I haven't identified a precise logic)
alt + scroll down -> scroll down a variabale number of line (I haven't identified a precise logic)

It seems to work on my 8900 for both reading and editing emails, sms etc.

To be honest, I can't really see any benefit of it though.

Neil L

Hasn't this always been around ? I'm a bit confused cause I know, or maybe liked to think that I do, that my past phones have done this. Maybe I'm just "imagining".

I use the bold and the ALT+scroll doesn't work for me but I found that the space bar acts as a page down key

Not only does it scroll side to side in a jump but also from top to bottom and back on the current screen and jumps screen to screen (or break to break)

Thanks for the tip. It works well on my tour also. I use to scroll for days trying to get through the text. Again thanks.

I have a Tour and this function has been a hindrance more than anything. If you compose a long email and see that you have a typo 4 sentences above and in the middle of the sentence, it is extremely hard to maneuver your cursor back to that exact location. On my 8830, you could scroll back to the line, hold the ALT key and the cursor would remain fixed on that line and you could move from left to right one letter at a time. With my Tour, the cursor jumps to the beginning or end of the sentence. If you release the ALT key and try to scroll from left to right, your cursor jumps all over the damn place.

I have had to take it to the Verizon store to show a tech person because most people had no idea what I meant when I first described it. I also called Verizon technical support and they said that they have had many complaints about this but he doesn't know if they are including a fix in the update.

It makes composing longer emails a pain in the ass!!!

Hmmm, well it goes left to right quite well on my tour, but when I try up and down I get an unexpected error on my messages.

It's tips like this that make me love I get completely annoyed when I have to scroll all the way back to the being of something and it takes forever or I can never scroll the way I want. This has made my very boring Wednesday. Thank you very much

This only works on my Tour for messages I'm composing. Seems to have no effect (i.e., acts the same as if I'm not holding down the [alt] button) for messages I'm reading. Am I doing something wrong? I thought I saw another comment from a Tour user who said it works for both.

The other thing this tip is great for is long lists. For example bartender pro is something I just purchased here (great program) but some of the lists are really long especially because you can't just hit a letter to jump down. Alt-scroll makes it a lot less painful to get from page to page of a long list.

(edit: I have an 8900 btw)

Well well, I must say once I read this , I immediately tried it and it does jump across the screend. thanks for the advice!

keep them coming :)

I've got a Curve 8330 on Sprint and this tip doesn't work for me. But space (1pg down) & cap+space (1pg up) works for me. I also use "t" (top) and "b" (bottom) alot. But very annoyed that this tip doesnt' work since I tend to have to scroll r/l 1-char at a time! Well, at least I still got one great new tip from this article - Thanks!