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HP Notebook PCs - Using and Configuring the TouchPad
A TouchPad is a pointing device with a touch-sensitive surface located on the palm rest of the notebook. The right side of the TouchPad typically has a vertical line that denotes a scroll function. Additionally, the TouchPad is usually accompanied by two or more buttons that function as left and right buttons on a conventional mouse pointing device.
Figure 1: Example TouchPad
1 - TouchPad LED
2 - Touch-sensitive area
3 - Left-click button
4 - TouchPad on/off button
5 - Vertical scroll zone
6 - Right-click button
The TouchPad interprets various gestures on its surface as different actions. For example, a two-finger leftward swipe while browsing a web site may take you to a previously viewed page; or, double-tapping the TouchPad while the mouse cursor hovers over a text file may open the file in your default text editor.
You can adjust the sensitivity of the TouchPad, and enable or disable some features and gestures. It may take a little practice to use the TouchPad well.
Common TouchPad gestures
The most commonly used TouchPad actions are gesture-based and provide shortcuts for quickly navigating in and working with windows and files. Depending on the model and software, your TouchPad should perform the following functions.
Open the TouchPad control panel
The TouchPad control panel is where all configuration options for the TouchPad are located. To open the control panel:
You can adjust the TouchPad settings for scrolling, buttons, touch sensitivity, edge sensitivity, and gesture actions to suit your personal preferences.
Adjust horizontal and vertical scrolling
The TouchPad features dedicated horizontal and vertical scroll gestures that allow you to scroll inside a program window. These are enabled and pre-configured by default. However, you can customize how each gesture is implemented in the TouchPad control panel.
To adjust the scrolling settings:
Configure the left and right buttons
The TouchPad features dedicated left- and right-click buttons that give you the same functionality as the buttons on an external pointing device. These are enabled and pre-configured by default. However, you can customize how each button behaves in the TouchPad control panel.
To configure the left and right buttons:
Adjust single- and double-tapping
The TouchPad features dedicated single- and double-tap gestures that mimic the single- and double-click behaviors on an external poiint device. You can also tap and drag an item in the same way as you click and hold the left button on an external pointing device to drag an item around the screen. These behaviors are enabled and pre-configured by default. You can customize how tapping is implemented in the TouchPad control panel.
To adjust the tap settings:
Adjust touch sensitivity
The Touch Sensitivity options allow you to adjust the responsiveness of the TouchPad to the pressure of your finger. If the cursor jumps while you type on the keyboard, or when your finger or palm accidently brushes the TouchPad, then the sensitivity setting is too light and you can decrease it to correct this issue. If the cursor does not move smoothly unless you press a finger firmly on the TouchPad, or if cursor movement is delayed or sluggish, then the sensitivity setting is too heavy and you can increase it to correct this issue.
To adjust the TouchPad's sensitivity:
Adjust edge sensitivity
When moving a finger across the TouchPad, you may notice that the cursor moves only part way across the screen. You may have to stroke the TouchPad two or three times to get the cursor from one side of the display to the other. Adjust the EdgeMotion settings to improve cursor movement and allow you to continue scrolling when your finger touches the edge of the TouchPad.
To adjust the TouchPad's scrolling:
Turn all gestures off and on
If you want the TouchPad to function like a standard notebook mouse that does not use gestures, you can turn off these features.
To turn all gestures off:
To turn gestures back on, simply deselect the Disable Gestures option in the pop-up menu.
Turn individual gestures off and on
By default, all TouchPad gestures are enabled. However, you may find some gestures easier to perform and more helpful than others. If you have a problem with or do not wish to use an individual gesture, you can turn it off.
To disable a gesture:
The gesture or action can be re-enabled when needed.
Disable the TouchPad
On some notebooks, the TouchPad can be turned off by pressing an on/off button located near the TouchPad. If the notebook does not have such an on/off button, you can still disable the TouchPad in its settings control panel.
NOTE: You will need to use an external mouse or some other pointing device to control the cursor when the TouchPad is disabled.
To disable the TouchPad:
The TouchPad can be re-enabled when needed.
Toggle the backlight
Some notebook models feature a TouchPad with a built-in backlight that can be toggled on and off by pressing Fn + Spacebar . This is useful for knowing where the TouchPad boundaries are while working in low light conditions.
Figure 2: The TouchPad backlight
Keep the TouchPad software up-to-date
HP constantly improves its products and provides software updates to its users. It is highly recommended that you periodically check for updated software, drivers, and even system BIOS to ensure you get the maximum functionality out of your notebook and TouchPad pointing device. To learn how to check for updates for your notebook, see HP Notebook PCs - Locate and Install Updated BIOS, Drivers, and Software .