How To: Cus­tomize touch­pad ges­tures

MICHAEL AN­SALDO ex­plains how to con­fig­ure multi-fin­ger touch­pad ges­tures on a Win­dows 10 de­vice

Tech Advisor - - How To -

One of the big­gest im­prove­ments the Cre­ators Up­date re­cently brought to Win­dows 10 was en­hanced sup­port for Pre­ci­sion Touch­pads, the built-in mousepads on se­lect lap­tops that sup­port multi-touch ges­tures. As many a Mac user knows, the abil­ity to use one-, two-, and three-fin­ger ges­tures to

nav­i­gate apps, switch desk­tops, and per­form var­i­ous clicks and se­lec­tions can re­ally speed up your work­flow. Here’s how to con­fig­ure th­ese set­tings on your Win­dows 10 de­vice.

Open touch­pad set­tings

From the Start menu, go to Set­tings > De­vices > Touch­pad to ac­cess your touch­pad op­tions. You should see ‘Your PC has a pre­ci­sion touch­pad’ at the top of this page. (If you don’t, your de­vice doesn’t sup­port a pre­ci­sion touch­pad and you won’t see any of the as­so­ci­ated op­tions.)

You’ll also see a tog­gle but­ton for ac­ti­vat­ing/ de­ac­ti­vat­ing the pre­ci­sion touch­pad. If you’d rather it de­ac­ti­vate au­to­mat­i­cally when you con­nect an ex­ter­nal

mouse, uncheck the box next to Leave on when a mouse is con­nected.

Tweak your ‘taps’

In the Taps sec­tion, you can con­fig­ure how to use fin­ger taps for se­lect­ing and click­ing. You’ll first see a drop-down menu for set­ting your pre­ci­sion touch­pad’s sen­si­tiv­ity. There are four op­tions: low sen­si­tiv­ity, medium sen­si­tiv­ity, high sen­si­tiv­ity, and most sen­si­tive. It’s best to leave it set to ‘medium sen­si­tiv­ity’ to be­gin with, then ad­just up or down once you get a feel for how it responds. Be­neath the sen­si­tiv­ity set­ting are four pre­set tap ges­tures for click­ing and se­lect­ing. They’re all ac­ti­vated by de­fault, so uncheck any you don’t want: • Tap with a sin­gle fin­ger to sin­gle-click • Tap with two fingers to right-click • Tap twice and drag to multi-se­lect • Press the lower right cor­ner of the touch­pad to right-click

Set scroll and zoom op­tions

Under the Taps sec­tion, you have a cou­ple of cus­tomiza­tion op­tions for scrolling and zoom­ing. You’ll prob­a­bly want to leave the Drag two fingers to scroll and Pinch to zoom op­tions checked. In the Scrolling di­rec­tion drop-down menu, you can choose to have a down­ward swipe scroll the screen up or down.

Con­fig­ure multi-fin­ger ges­tures

The Cre­ators Up­date adds an ad­di­tional slate of set­tings: three- and four-fin­ger ges­tures and taps.

Th­ese will have the big­gest pro­duc­tiv­ity im­pact by in­creas­ing the speed with which you can ac­com­plish com­mon and repet­i­tive tasks when you’re work­ing.

To con­fig­ure three-fin­ger ges­tures, click the Swipes drop-down menu. You’ll see four op­tions:

1. Noth­ing

This dis­ables three-fin­ger ges­tures al­to­gether.

2. Switch apps and show desk­top

With this op­tion en­abled, a three-fin­ger swipe up will open Task View, down will show you your desk­top and all your open apps, and left and right will switch among run­ning apps.

3. Switch desk­top and show desk­top

Three-fin­ger swipes up and down will do the same as above, but swipes left or right will switch between vir­tual desk­tops.

4. Change au­dio and vol­ume

Swipe up to in­crease the sys­tem vol­ume, down to de­crease it, and swipe left and right to jump to the pre­vi­ous or next song us­ing your mu­sic app.

Three-fin­ger taps can be cus­tom­ized to open Cor­tana search or the Ac­tion Cen­tre, op­er­ate as a play/pause but­ton, or func­tion as a mid­dle mouse but­ton. You can also dis­able multi-fin­ger taps. Di­rectly be­neath the three-fingers sec­tion are the set­tings for

con­fig­ur­ing four-fin­ger ges­tures. They fol­low the same guide­lines as above.

Dive into ad­vanced ges­tures

Just con­fig­ur­ing and learn­ing th­ese pre­set op­tions should lead to a big pro­duc­tiv­ity boost. But if you’re feel­ing bold, you can ven­ture into cre­at­ing your own multi-fin­ger ges­tures. Click ‘Ad­vanced ges­ture con­fig­u­ra­tion’ under ‘Re­lated set­tings’. This opens a new screen where you can spec­ify ac­tions rang­ing from max­i­miz­ing/min­i­miz­ing win­dow to per­form­ing cus­tom short­cuts for your multi-fin­ger taps and swipes.

Credit: iS­tock

You can cal­i­brate the sen­si­tiv­ity of your pre­ci­sion touch­pad with four pre­set op­tions Credit: IDG

You can as­sign multi-fin­ger ges­tures to a va­ri­ety of ac­tions in the ad­vanced con­fig­u­ra­tion set­tings Credit: IDG

Credit: iS­tock

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