Macbook trackpad question

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by escalinci, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. escalinci macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2006
    I'm planning on buying a macbook, and am definitely getting a extra mouse as I am not a big fan of trackpads, but it is inevitable that I will have to use the trackpad at some point, so my question is this;

    If a motion is made on the macbook's trackpad, the speed of that motion will affect the distance traveled by the cursor, i.e. if the same motion is faster the cursor will move further. I personally find this unpredictable and hard to judge. Is there a way to stop this and make cursor movement directly proportional to only the distance of the motion and not the speed of it?

    I realise the above is a tad wordy, but neither me nor the guy in the apple store could find an option for this, so I'd be grateful if anybody knows if this is possible. ta.
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    The term you are looking for is mouse / trackpad acceleration (as opposed to proportional movement).

    I personally cannot live without it... but I think it's a weird divide thing. My computer progression was ancient history -> Amiga -> Windows 3.1/95/98/200 -> OS X. In the middle I used Unix a fair bit too. Unix and Windows are often configured without acceleration, but Macs and the other "old-school" GUI'd PCs (Amiga, etc) used it heavily. So I'm very used to it, and I had the opposite experience as you... I have to turn on acceleration when I get on a PC or it drives me insane. :(

    Anyway, though...

    Some options:

    1) SideTrack is a third-party trackpad driver. It was originally designed to give Windows-style side strip scrolling to a Mac trackpad, before Macs had the two finger scrolling feature. It has some other niceties, and it works with MacBooks and MBPs. One of the other things it does is to feature a Windows-style proportionality curve (It calls it "Redmond Switcher" :D ) But the cost of it is that you lose the Apple two-finger scrolling (plus, it's not free). I've had it on my iBook for something like 2.5 years now.

    2) MouseZoom is an acceleration control utility; I've never used it. I'm not 100% sure if it lets you go to *no* acceleration or not.

    3) Steermouse is another one that I'm almost certain allows for acceleration to be made totally linear / proportional. But I'm not sure it works on Trackpads.

    Hope that helps. If you want to google on this more, though, use the term acceleration. You'll find more hits, as that's the correct term.
  3. MatthewCobb macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2005
    Manchester, UK
    I think the software solution lies in your brain. If you always move your fingers at the same speed, then the movement the cursor makes will be proportional to the distance travelled on the track pad. Easy, no? Plus, I think with regular use, you'll just get used to it.
  4. escalinci thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2006
    I think it will, although it might be better to just try to get used to it then start using third-party drivers. Thanks for the help.
  5. Mac'Mo macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2006
    yeah i believe the trackpad's defaul is that the mouse pointer on the screen moves the EXACT same distance as your finger. HOWEVER this is only true if you are moving your finger slowly and at a constant rate. If you speed up your finger then it moves faster as well. I'm kinda playing with my trackpad right now as i type this and thats what i observe. Sorry i hope this answers your question(s). Also you can change the sensitivity by pressing on the Blue Apple Logo on your menu (top left) and go to "System Preferences...". After this click "Keyboard & Mouse" and click on the "Trackpad" tab. There are tons of preferences you can customize. GL!

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