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00 Two Finger Scroll.jpg“Wow! How did you do that?”, my friend asked me with amazement, when he looked at how I scroll up and down the webpage using my two fingers. “Can my laptop do that?” he asked. He was a bit disappointed when I explained that as far as I know, the feature is Mac-specific because Apple owns the patent to that multi-touch technology.

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.

two finger scroll

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.

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two finger scroll windows

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.

00_twofingerscrolling_settings.png

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.

01_twofingerscroll_general_settings.png

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.

02_twofingerscroll_scrolling_settings.png

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 finger scrolling

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

  1. jhkjdfsk
    June 3, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    This is built into the latest synaptic software . . . just update to the newest versions directly from the website and enable the feature . . . this is unnecessary to have two programs running that do the same thing.

  2. hopeless2
    April 24, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Patent of this feature belong to ELAN not Apple. Furthermore, ELAN won the lawsuit with synaptics and they both settle to use their all technology. Then now synaptic touchpads have all these gestures. All you have to do is to download latest synaptic touchpad drivers (http://www.synaptics.com/suppo... Moreover if you want more than two-three point gestures etc you could use Scrybe (http://www.uscrybe.com/go/Down... to use three finger tapping then for example writing a G or Y to launch Google or Yahoo, respectively (and many more). ELAN touchpad notebooks (eg my ASUS UL30) come with multitouch touchpad already installed. There is nothing here for mac specific here and as usual you could find more in other hardware. By the way these gesture thing etc will work even in old notebooks with synaptics touchpads. Almost all notebooks comes with Synaptics touchpads that you can install these drivers to XP, Win 2003, 2008 and 7 to see if it works. If not you could uninstall.

  3. Anonymous
    April 24, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Patent of this feature belong to ELAN not Apple. Furthermore, ELAN won the lawsuit with synaptics and they both settle to use their all technology. Then now synaptic touchpads have all these gestures. All you have to do is to download latest synaptic touchpad drivers (http://www.synaptics.com/support/drivers). Moreover if you want more than two-three point gestures etc you could use Scrybe (http://www.uscrybe.com/go/Download) to use three finger tapping then for example writing a G or Y to launch Google or Yahoo, respectively (and many more). ELAN touchpad notebooks (eg my ASUS UL30) come with multitouch touchpad already installed. There is nothing here for mac specific here and as usual you could find more in other hardware. By the way these gesture thing etc will work even in old notebooks with synaptics touchpads. Almost all notebooks comes with Synaptics touchpads that you can install these drivers to XP, Win 2003, 2008 and 7 to see if it works. If not you could uninstall.

  4. Rose
    March 29, 2010 at 8:22 am

    My 1993 laptop does this with one finger. Nothing new or amazing and you don't need to waste or time downloading/buying this.

    • Teguh Aditya
      April 5, 2010 at 5:11 pm

      Yes, it is a 'standart' now. but the idea of this article is how to do 'two finger' scrolling like you usually found on mac machines.

  5. wahid
    March 28, 2010 at 5:00 am

    Got the same message "Class not registered".. no idea

  6. Krum
    March 28, 2010 at 2:28 am

    i have a dell vostro with vista basic and when i tried to install this it shows me some error saying "Class not registered, ClassID: {9C042297-D1CD-4F0D-B1AB-9F48AD6A6DFF} "
    Does anyone knows why its happening?? Plz help!

    • snoman
      June 4, 2010 at 7:18 pm

      I got the same message on my Dell XPS M1530. No idea how to fix it...

    • user
      May 8, 2015 at 8:02 pm

      i got the same message too on my hp pavilion :(

  7. mohamed
    March 25, 2010 at 6:44 am

    my acer aspire has the pinch and swiping feature

  8. ldar
    March 24, 2010 at 11:05 am

    At ASUS X50 was unable to establish(((

  9. Nicola
    March 24, 2010 at 5:21 am

    Ubuntu do this from v9.04. It is very usefull!

  10. JBu92
    March 24, 2010 at 5:02 am

    Even most asus EeePC laptops have a few multitouch gesture capabilities from the get-go.
    two-finger scroll/middle click, zooming, rotation, magnifying, 3-finger prev/next page. and the hardware is elantech, not synaptic

  11. l3utterfish
    March 24, 2010 at 4:19 am

    I got an error message when i click the file in my Vaio VGN-AR21S

    • snoman
      June 4, 2010 at 7:17 pm

      I got the same thing on my Dell XPS M1530

  12. l3utterfish
    March 24, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    I got an error message when i click the file in my Vaio VGN-AR21S

  13. Teguh Aditya
    March 24, 2010 at 8:23 am

    A little note : It doesn't work on My HP Mini 1000, says it not supported.

    But then i found Scrybe from http://www.uscrybe.com/, installing it and now I able to do two finger scrolling alongside with other goodies such as gesture launcher and even three finger flick! :)

  14. Teguh Aditya
    March 23, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    A little note : It doesn't work on My HP Mini 1000, says it not supported.

    But then i found Scrybe from http://www.uscrybe.com/, installing it and now I able to do two finger scrolling alongside with other goodies such as gesture launcher and even three finger flick! :)

  15. Dr Phil Good
    March 23, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Never tried this before but my linux laptop (LG P1 running Mint KDE) does this. Although I dont know if I'll ever use it as I am so used to the trackpad side scroll.

  16. Sean
    March 23, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    The asus N61VN that I bought recently has a multi touch trackpad, and it recognises up to 3 fingers for gestures.

  17. Lisa
    March 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Both my ASUS netbook (Jolicloud) and laptop (Win 7) already do this. No third party application or Mac required.

    Cheers!

    • Dan
      January 31, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      My Latitude D420 will do it, both vertically and horizontally when running Linux, but when I boot into Windows it cannot. What has that got to do with Synaptics firmware?

  18. Zaid Pirwani
    March 23, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Great stuff.... as always....

    by the way, what is a SYNAPTIC TOUCHPAD

    • David
      March 23, 2010 at 11:52 am

      Synaptics produces the touchpad (mouse) hardware for a large portion of PC laptops. I think 3 out of 4 that I've owned were Synaptics.

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