But my friend’s question made me think. Is it really Mac specific? So I did some searching and found an unexpected answer. It turns out that some of the latest non-Mac laptops have similar features built in, and as for the older ones – as long as they use a Synaptic touchpad, you can easily add two finger scrolling using a little help from a little application called, well, Two-Finger-Scroll.
Using the Two Finger Scroll
The latest version of this tiny little app – version 1.0.6 – can be downloaded in the blink of an eye because its size is only around 290KB.
The Two Finger Scroll app could work out of the box without the need to install it. But before running it, you would want to move it to the “Program Files” folder and keep it safe there. If you run it and move the app later, you have to redo the settings one more time.
After you open the app, it will quietly reside in the taskbar on the bottom right of the screen and you can use it as is. However, there are several adjustments that you can do to have a better two finger scrolling experience.
Right-click the hand icon on the taskbar and choose “Settings” from the pop-up menu. This menu is also the place that you have to go to deactivate two finger scrolling without closing the app.
The first is the General setting. Check the “Start with Windows” box to make sure that the feature is always available after every system restart. I personally think that this option is important because to me using Windows comfortably is equal with a constant system restart at least once a day.
The next setting is the Scrolling. Even though there are several options that you can choose, I didn’t notice any significant differences between different combinations. Checking and unchecking the “Acceleration” box did not change anything either. The one that really determines user experience is the speed. After several trials, I settled with the minimum speed (the speed mark is far to the left).
To know more about the differences between “Scroll mode” options, click the “Help” link under the options. The developer also promises a circular scroll type for future versions.
The last setting is the Tapping. You can activate two finger and three finger tapping. All you have to do is choose which mouse button click to imitate when you do those tapping. The available choices are: left button, middle button, right button, button 4 and button 5.
I couldn’t find out what “One + one finger” and “Two + one finger” means, and experimenting on different taps didn’t give me any results either. So I disabled those two and went with “Two fingers” and “Three fingers” instead. I also left the “Minimal finger movement distance” setting alone.
Two Scroll Or Not Two Scroll
Compared to the common trackpad-side scrolling used by most non-Mac laptops, I feel that the two finger scroll is more comfortable. But maybe that’s just me.
After looking at the possibilities, I hope that the developer will make other trackpad gestures – like pinching, swiping and rotating – available in this useful application.
What do you think? Have you tried two finger scrolling? Which scrolling type do you prefer? Do you know other alternatives? Share your thoughts and opinions using the comments below.
Image credit: Apple