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So I have a windows 8 laptop at home, and a windows 7 laptop at work. Both have synaptics touchpads. The problem is that on the work laptop, I can scroll any window regardless of which one is currently focused. That is the behavior that I want on both computers.

This does not currently happen on the windows 8 computer. I know I can use (and have tried!) wizmouse, alwaysmousewheel, katmouse, etc; but none of them work 100% like the work computer. katmouse sometimes stops working, alwaysmousewheel, ive had problems with it scrolling on its own, wizmouse sometimes makes the mouse lag. Others have just not worked.

Before I got the work computer, I had resigned myself to it, but now I see that it works, out of the box without using any external programs, on an older operating system, and wonder why I cant get it to work the same way on my own computer!

All my searches have just been people suggesting the external programs that ive already tried, so answers suggesting those aren't really what I'm looking for (unless its some magic I can do with the synaptics driver, which by the way is more up to date on the windows 8 computer that is doesnt work on).

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Have you asked any IT people at work what they used to have the scrolling work on the window under the cursor rather than the focused Window? I'd be interested to know myself. I use Katmouse and have had it just stop working like you mentioned (I've found RDP is usually the culprit). I just made an AutoHotKey script to reload it whenever I notice that it stopped. – techturtle Feb 7 '13 at 21:57
up vote 10 down vote accepted

altdrag has this feature as well.

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This actually seems to work very well, and has some other features that I quite like. – DanielCardin Jul 3 '13 at 22:58
altdrag is the best thing since sliced bread, but I use it for automatic window snapping (although I would call it window mangetiziation instead).. that + GridMove, makes me a true master of my mulit-monitor setup - I tried basically every other multi-monitor or window management tool and these are the best (although i kinda like LG's buggy stock software on the ultrawides) – Mikey Mar 27 at 19:53

I use XMouseButtonControl on my computer. I have found it to be the most compatible with all the programs I use.

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+1 That is a cool program. Doesn't seem to suffer from the scroll speed limitations my posted AHK script does, plus it responds quicker on some problem programs like Visual Studio. – techturtle Feb 7 '13 at 23:18
Ill try it when I get home. Though ultimately id mostly like to know why it can be done without software on the work computer. I have a feeling its a lenovo synaptics driver or something but there's no option for it on the driver and I don't know why that sort of thing would be enabled only on lenovos. – DanielCardin Feb 8 '13 at 12:33
worked well at first, then it sort of stopped after about an hour. Sigh – DanielCardin Feb 11 '13 at 12:55

There is a way to do this in AutoHotKey. As an active KatMouse user for many years now, this one tested well enough for me that I have turned off KatMouse for now (we'll see if the AHK script holds up).

Here is the script (source):

CoordMode, Mouse, Screen

    MouseGetPos, m_x, m_y
    hw_m_target := DllCall( "WindowFromPoint", "int", m_x, "int", m_y )

    ;   WHEEL_DELTA = 120
    SendMessage, 0x20A, 120 << 16, ( m_y << 16 )|m_x,, ahk_id %hw_m_target%

    MouseGetPos, m_x, m_y
    hw_m_target := DllCall( "WindowFromPoint", "int", m_x, "int", m_y )

    ;   WHEEL_DELTA = 120
    SendMessage, 0x20A, -120 << 16, ( m_y << 16 )|m_x,, ahk_id %hw_m_target%

So far in my brief testing, it has worked everywhere that KatMouse used to, plus several others. KatMouse never used to work properly for me in Visual Studio 2010, but this appears to. I also found it does not disable when I use Remote Desktop like KatMouse did (although the active scrolling did not pass through to the remote computer).

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Further testing: When I set my Logitech mouse to "hyper-fast scrolling" it did not go quite as fast as it should, however it fixed a weird issue KatMouse had of intermittently scrolling horizontally when I did that. I had to add #MaxHotkeysPerInterval 200 to the top of the script or AHK would pop up a warning that there were too many calls to it in a short time (trying to prevent infinite loops). Otherwise, still a promising replacement for KatMouse. – techturtle Feb 7 '13 at 22:45

Some specific older versions of the Synaptics driver appear to send normal mousewheel events, so AlwaysMouseWheel and similar apps function correctly.

One such example is

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