Reduce effective area of touchpad on Linux

cool_penguin_smallHaving a large laptop touchpad poses severe threat to typing. My touchpad is quite sensitive and whenever the lower areas of my palm touch the touchpad the pointer moves away. While the brilliant engineers at Sony designed this, it is counter-productive. And moving around with a mouse (when you have a touchpad) doesn’t see like a bright idea to me.

This morning I was quite determined to fix the problem, even if it needs a hook in the driver. Turned out if your touchpad uses the Synaptics driver, you can reduce its effective area easily. There is a userspace utility to change the parameters at runtime.

Get the default x and y axis range for your touchpad:

$ less /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep -i range
[ 20.616] (--) synaptics: SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad: x-axis range 1472 - 5638 (res 37)
[ 20.616] (--) synaptics: SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad: y-axis range 1408 - 4714 (res 59)

As you can see from the results, for me the width is 5638 and height is 4714.

I adjust these as below:

$ synclient AreaRightEdge=5000 AreaLeftEdge=2000 AreaBottomEdge=4000

The arguments are self-explanatory. If you want to adjust the upper limit, use AreaTopEdge.

Enable two finger scrolling for a better experience.

7 thoughts on “Reduce effective area of touchpad on Linux”

    1. Thanks for your suggestion.
      As per my understanding you are suggesting editing the file: /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf
      and adding the option there. In my case it was easier to try out the various range values from the command-line as it takes effect immediately without restarting syndaemon.
      Is my understanding correct or are you suggesting a different way to achieve this?

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