Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Middle-click taskbar button to close application – Windows 7 edition

As I’ve previously posted for Windows XP, a user interface convention that I really wish would become a universal standard for applications that support multiple tabs (such as modern web browsers) is upon middle mouse button click on a tab, the application would close that tab.  This is the standard behavior in Firefox, Internet Explorer 8, and Chrome (and probably other browsers, too).

I also wish Microsoft would match the IE8 behavior and make “close application” the default behavior for a middle-click on an application taskbar button in Windows, since the Windows taskbar is essentially just a tab bar for open applications.  Unfortunately, in Windows 7, middle-click on an application’s taskbar button is mapped to “launch new instance of application,” not to “close application.”  Furthermore, there seems to be no out-of-the-box way to change this behavior.

To the rescue: 7 Taskbar Tweaker by “RaMMicHaeL.”  Among a few other available features, this utility does exactly what I’m looking for: On a PC running Windows 7, it remaps a middle-click on a taskbar application button to close that application.  I’ve been using version 1.1 of the utility on my primary home PC running Windows 7 for months now, with no problems at all.  Highly recommended if you’re a fan of the middle-click-to-close UI convention!

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