Make The Back Stop...

april 13, 2007

In Firefox in CentOS4, most everything worked correct on my Synaptics Touchpad.  For instance, I can move the cursor around and tap on the touchpad for clicks.  One annoyance I found with "newer" Linux distros is that the Synaptics Touchpad drivers have a new feature:  Scrolling.  It is a lot like how it is on my Powerbook.  I put my finger at the right edge of the touch pad and slide my finger up and down, that will produce the same effect as a mouse wheel scrolling on a long page.  But, there is also the same functionality for the bottom strip of the touch pad, which will result in horizontal scrolling. Neat feature except for the fact that Firefox is setup to translate "scroll left" as "go back" and "scroll right" as "go forward".  That makes life really hard when pages are suddenly changed while I am moving my cursor around.  Anyways, here is a fix: Open up about:config and change the following settings:

mousewheel.horizscroll.withnokey.action => 0 mousewheel.horizscroll.withnokey.sysnumlines => true
This will let you scroll left/right with the bottom strip of the touch pad on pages that stretch too far -- and it will disable the annoying back/forward problem.