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How-To Disable The Touchpad On Laptops When Writing

SNAGHTML1d57077Touchpads vary from regular point and click to groovy multi-touch pressure sensitive ones.  They make our lives easier and harder at the same time. If you own a laptop and use it pretty intensively, primarily for writing then you will know what a mess it is to be writing something and then suddenly mess up because your palm brushes the touchpad, moves the mouse pointer and….  Yeah you get it.  It’s a real annoyance, isn’t it? Luckily, we’ve got some tips that will help you outsmart the touchpad and get it working the way you want to.

 

Step 1 – Downloading Touchpad Drivers

If you haven’t already, download and install the drivers for your touchpad, either from your laptop manufacturer’s website, or directly from Synaptics’ Official Driver Page.  Never heard of Synaptics?  Not surprising however their technology basically drives all Touchpads out there.  Anyway, even though touchpads can function just fine on built-in Windows drivers, downloading a Synaptics driver will let you get more out of your touchpad, such as multi-touch, pressure sensitivity, advanced settings and more.

Step 2 – Opening The Driver Configuration Window

After installing the driver and rebooting your machine (depending on the type of driver), you should now have a new icon in your tray representing the driver.

It will look either like this:…
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…or this.:

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Double click on it and then (depending on your version of Windows) find an Options or Settings button and click it to get to the Configuration Window.

Step 3 – Disabling The Touchpad While Writing

Option One – Using PalmCheck

PalmCheck is a new technology which can be found on most of the new laptops coming out now. To tweak your PalmCheck setting, navigate to Pointing > Sensitivity > PalmCheck and then drag the slider left or right to adjust PalmCheck to your preference.

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Option Two – Using Coasting

Most typing fails occur because of the scrolling area of the touchpad and its scrolling abilities. If you do not have PalmCheck on your touchpad, then you can use Coasting. To enable coasting, navigate to Scrolling > Two-Finger Scrolling (may be One-Finger Scrolling or other, depending on touchpad model) and click the Enable Coating checkbox.

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After tweaking all settings to your preference, you can click Apply and then OK to exit out of the driver properties. You can now give typing another go, this time, hopefully, without any accidental touchpad presses.

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2 Responses to How-To Disable The Touchpad On Laptops When Writing

  1. chewbie April 18, 2011 at 1:59 am #

    as an easy alternative (maybe if your hardware is older and the drivers don’t have the feature built in) you can use TouchFreeze

    http://code.google.com/p/touchfreeze/

    the only downside I found was that when playing games mouseclicks are disabled for a few seconds after hitting a key as it doesn’t make the difference between mouse and touchpad

  2. Ziggy April 22, 2011 at 12:13 am #

    Here’s another program which may work for you…TouchPad Blocker. Been using it for sometime now – it’s unobtrusive and works really well when typing with your laptop’s keyboard. You can set it up with the options provided; I have it starting automatically with no impact on start-up time, using Win 7 O/S.

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