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  1. #1


    Member Since
    May 26, 2012
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    Question Finger Scroll vs. Scroll Wheel Scroll
    Ok, so I just switched to a MacBook Pro and am having trouble getting my various scroll options the way I'd like. I hope I'm missing something and not just butting up against a UI oversight.

    Basically: I want content to track my finger movement when using the trackpad but follow traditional movement when using the scroll wheel on a mouse (i.e., scrolling the wheel backwards moves content UP, and scrolling the wheel forward moves content DOWN).

    If you think about it, the concept of content tracking finger movement matches up perfectly with the concept of traditional scroll wheel movement (That is, both methods of scrolling act as if the bottom of each - your finger and the scroll wheel - are directly interacting with physical content and obey real-world physics).

    But here's the problem: The available settings do not allow for this. If I check "Scroll Direction: Natural" in the Trackpad settings and then uncheck the "Move content in the direction of finger movement when scrolling or navigating" in the Mouse settings, the "Scroll Direction: Natural" automatically unchecks itself. These two items should be able to be set as-desired independently of one another.

    Simply put, if "Scroll Direction: Natural" stayed checked, things would be exactly as I need them to be.

    Is there a way around this?

  2. #2


    Member Since
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    This is what you're missing. I don't know if it was always part of Universal Access, but that's where it is in Lion:

    Step 1:



    Once you click on trackpad options, you get this:



    This should (in effect) give you two sets of preferences: one for the external device, one for the trackpad.

  3. #3

    CebuCity's Avatar
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    Use magic mouse @TyVega. I find the scrolling annoying at first but when I got used to it, I enjoy it very much. With built-in trackpad and magic mouse together you have the same gesture as scrolling up/down.

    It will be more annoying if you have different gesture to scroll in your mouse and in your trackpad. They should be the same. Using mouse with wheel is obsolete. I hate hearing the wheel scroll sound especially when long scroll......I hope you understand my point here.

  4. #4


    Member Since
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    I agree wholeheartedly with CebuCity, it took me about 15 minutes of using it (after initially HATING IT!!) to get used to "natural" scrolling and once my brain clicked over it was indeed natural and I wouldn't go back now.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    May 26, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    This is what you're missing. I don't know if it was always part of Universal Access, but that's where it is in Lion:

    Step 1:



    Once you click on trackpad options, you get this:



    This should (in effect) give you two sets of preferences: one for the external device, one for the trackpad.
    In theory, this should have worked, and I was confident it would. But in practice the exact same issue arose. Even though the trackpad was disabled, when I set my scroll wheel to use traditional scroll movement, the "track finger movement" for the trackpad was automatically unchecked. When I removed my mouse and trackpad came back online, it was no longer using "track finger movement".


  6. #6


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by CebuCity View Post
    Use magic mouse @TyVega. I find the scrolling annoying at first but when I got used to it, I enjoy it very much. With built-in trackpad and magic mouse together you have the same gesture as scrolling up/down.

    It will be more annoying if you have different gesture to scroll in your mouse and in your trackpad. They should be the same. Using mouse with wheel is obsolete. I hate hearing the wheel scroll sound especially when long scroll......I hope you understand my point here.
    I understand your point. Fortunately I have a very nice wireless mouse with a toggle to silence the scroll wheel - and is MUCH faster at scrolling through long documents than any finger gesture is because I can "whip" the scroll will and the generated momentum will continue to scroll a document long after I remove my finger.

    Like I said before, traditional scroll wheel movement has the exact same effect as "track finger movement" for the trackpad.

    Put a piece of printer paper on a desk in front of you. Now put two fingers on that piece of paper and pull "down" (or back towards yourself). The paper itself moves "down" (or back towards yourself) with your finger movement.

    Now take that same piece of paper and put a ball on it. Rotate that ball forward as if it were rolling away from you. The paper will move "down" (or back towards yourself).

    The two methods (natural finger gesture and traditional scroll wheel movement) have the exact same effect (the paper moves "down"), and both obey real-world physics.

    This is what I am looking for.

  7. #7


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    This is what you're missing. I don't know if it was always part of Universal Access, but that's where it is in Lion:

    Step 1:



    Once you click on trackpad options, you get this:



    This should (in effect) give you two sets of preferences: one for the external device, one for the trackpad.
    The same problem still arose. The "track finger movement" setting for the trackpad still automatically unchecks itself, even if it is disabled while a mouse is present.

  8. #8

    CebuCity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TyVega View Post

    Put a piece of printer paper on a desk in front of you. Now put two fingers on that piece of paper and pull "down" (or back towards yourself). The paper itself moves "down" (or back towards yourself) with your finger movement.

    Now take that same piece of paper and put a ball on it. Rotate that ball forward as if it were rolling away from you. The paper will move "down" (or back towards yourself).

    The two methods (natural finger gesture and traditional scroll wheel movement) have the exact same effect (the paper moves "down"), and both obey real-world physics.

    This is what I am looking for.
    YES YOU ARE RIGHT THEY BOTH OBEY WITH PHYSICS, but the issue here is the one saved in your brain when you get used to doing a certain task. If you are used to move your fingers down to move the page down then your brain will save that movement for quick response regardless of if there's a wheel or not. Now, if you will used yourself to move down to scroll down WITHOUT a wheel and move down to scroll up WITH wheel...... Trust me, it will take long for your brain to response. PHYSICS WILL BE SET ASIDE.

  9. #9


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by CebuCity View Post
    YES YOU ARE RIGHT THEY BOTH OBEY WITH PHYSICS, but the issue here is the one saved in your brain when you get used to doing a certain task. If you are used to move your fingers down to move the page down then your brain will save that movement for quick response regardless of if there's a wheel or not. Now, if you will used yourself to move down to scroll down WITHOUT a wheel and move down to scroll up WITH wheel...... Trust me, it will take long for your brain to response. PHYSICS WILL BE SET ASIDE.

    I don't agree at all. It is a relative issue. I could just as quickly navigate any document or program using my desired layout as you could using your layout. It's all in how you think about the world your'e navigating. However, I feel that it's a little naive to think that down always means down and up always means up - and that that is somehow indefinitely more efficient.

    Further, we largely live in a PHYSICAL world. I would argue that our digital-world interactions should very closely reflect our real-world awareness of physics, and that this would actually enable MUCH faster and more efficient navigation in a digital world because we are merely using what we already know - instead of developing a secondary sense of movement (i.e., down is always down, up is always up).

    Regardless, thanks for the insight. Guess I'll just have to create my own multi-billion dollar OS.

  10. #10

    Smalltowntech's Avatar
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    Physics aside, as mentioned before the Magic Mouse has a trackpad like feel with the added bonus feel of a mouse.

    And more importantly, to address your issue of motion "natural or not" you can select either motion as your preference when you scroll. It will also do the momentum thing and allow you so scroll very fast and continue the motion after you stop. One other plus, you can scroll pretty much anywhere on the mouse top.

  11. #11

    CebuCity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TyVega View Post
    I don't agree at all. It is a relative issue. I could just as quickly navigate any document or program using my desired layout as you could using your layout. It's all in how you think about the world your'e navigating. However, I feel that it's a little naive to think that down always means down and up always means up - and that that is somehow indefinitely more efficient.

    Further, we largely live in a PHYSICAL world. I would argue that our digital-world interactions should very closely reflect our real-world awareness of physics, and that this would actually enable MUCH faster and more efficient navigation in a digital world because we are merely using what we already know - instead of developing a secondary sense of movement (i.e., down is always down, up is always up).

    Regardless, thanks for the insight. Guess I'll just have to create my own multi-billion dollar OS.
    .....PHYSICS.......DIGITAL-WORLD..... cut the dancing!

    let's make it plain and simple.
    -Get used to scroll with wheel.....time....time...time.... then suddenly use finger scroll (trackpad- natural setting). ooops... surely you will go the opposite.

    -Get used to finger scroll with magic mouse.....time....time...time.... then suddenly use finger scroll (trackpad- natural setting).... it's flawless. no mistake at all.

    My main point is, Wheel concept on mouse + finger concept on trackpad, NO GOOD MIX.

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