24 March 2007

Synaptics Touchpad Options

After getting Synaptics virtual scrolling for Firefox, I fiddled with a few more settings. I slowed Coasting down to a minimum so that I can scan web pages and documents by swiping my finger down once the vertical scroll region. For drawing diagrams, I enabled Constrained Motion (the pointer would only move horizontally or vertically when I hold down the Left-Shift key) and Slow Motion (slow pointer to a minimum when I hold down the Left-Control key). These two two options are useful for drawing connection lines with elbows. Finally, I enabled Tap again and hold to drag and Locking Drags (try not to think too hard about the Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) so that I only need one finger to drag and drop objects. This gesture was the hardest to learn. I had to tap then press down on the touch pad for about a second before the Synaptics driver recognises the start of a drag event. If there is too long a delay between the tap and the press, the driver would generate two single click events. Another reason it's hard to learn is that Windows doesn't change the mouse pointer for a drag action until after the mouse pointer starts moving. Finally, if you're making a text selection, the selection action doesn't end until you tap the touchpad while the mouse pointer is within the selection area.