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After an accident that damaged my hands, I am no longer able to do the two finger scrolling gesture on a MacBook touchpad. On Windows I set up so called "scrollzone", it allows me to scroll smoothly by dragging one finger along the right edge of the touchpad.

I would like to have this feature on macOS as well.

I tried many apps, namely these and none of them could do this:

I even tried to contact the developers if they would be willing to work on this, but they either ignore me or say they cannot do it.

People advise me to buy a Magic Mouse, which supposedly can do it, or to scroll with arrow keys. No, thanks. I know there are workarounds available, but I know what works best for me (scrollzone) and I am unwilling to settle for less.

I would gladly sacrifice other trackpad gestures. I cannot use them anyway.

There was a program called SideTrack that could do this, but it does not work any more. I wrote to the author, but got little help.

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  • Did you ever figure out a solution to your problem? If you are still interested in this, I don't mind giving it a go. I'm the developer of an app called Multitouch, and it wouldn't be that hard to build what you're asking for. The only weird part is that the mouse cursor might still move in addition to the scrolling. It's probably not something I would include in Multitouch, but I would consider open sourcing it as a really simple app if I make it.
    – Ryan H
    Jul 6, 2018 at 8:03
  • @RyanH I've asked this question on behalf of a fellow student at the college. I'll get in touch and see if the problem is still relevant. Thanks!
    – user7610
    Jul 9, 2018 at 20:02
  • It seems it still is.
    – user7610
    Apr 14, 2019 at 8:10
  • Ok, cool. I don't think I will get to this until next month but I will definitely do it. I'll post back here when it's ready. For the sake of time, I might build it into my app as opposed to open sourcing it at first.
    – Ryan H
    Apr 14, 2019 at 8:47

4 Answers 4

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I created a paid app called Scroll that allows one finger scrolling on Apple trackpads. You can download it at https://ryanhanson.dev/scroll.

As you can see from the following screenshot, it has scroll zones, scroll areas, and the ability to hold a modifier key and scroll with one trackpad touch.

Scroll Screenshot

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  • 1
    "Scroll" works amazing, but each time I scroll it removes focus from the current app and do not give it back( Is it an API limitation that focus can't be given back to an app?
    – grigoryvp
    Mar 25, 2020 at 17:44
  • @grigoryvp I did initially implement giving the focus back to an app, but it was a worse user experience than just not giving the focus back, as there is no elegant way to tell an app precisely which window to focus. The corner touch option in Scroll doesn't steal focus since you're not moving the cursor, if you wanted to try that out.
    – Ryan H
    Mar 26, 2020 at 9:14
  • Oh, I never thought about multiplt windows. 95% of my scrolling workflow is within a Chrome/Safari browser, and it has only one window. Right now focus goes away if I move mouse or scroll while "Scroll" is active with "hold-button-to-scroll" enabled, so I always need to click back after any mouse or scroll interaction. Maybe introducing the "give back focus" option and not taking focus on non-scroll mouse moves will make app really great!
    – grigoryvp
    Mar 28, 2020 at 5:54
  • @grigoryvp Thinking about it more, it was actually just really annoying to have focus change so much - the question of which window wasn't as annoying as the focus just changing twice every time scrolling, without it being done by you. Too bad there's not a good way to stop the cursor without focus. Maybe a better solution is to have a modifier key + corner touch? I don't mind adding in a config for what you want at some point, it's just a matter of getting the time for it :)
    – Ryan H
    Mar 28, 2020 at 10:12
  • With one-finger scroll I normally use the central part of the touchpad for scrolling, while most of my fingers lie on the touch-typing home row. For me the idea of this "one finger scroll" is to use it with touch-type hands position, where I can leave my hands on the home row and use thumb to scroll things.
    – grigoryvp
    Mar 29, 2020 at 12:06
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I would recommend using BetterTouch Tool with configs as shown in the img:enter image description here

This will scroll the page up with single finger tap on top right corner and scroll down with single finger tap on bottom right corner

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    This does not really answer my question and I am not sure why would anyone want to setup this (using trackpad to emulate Page Up/Down key) but thanks anyway.
    – user7610
    Oct 28, 2013 at 11:38
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Works with "SmartScroll", called "Grab Scroll" with "scroll without moving cursor" option. Karabiner-Elements also has this option, but it does not work with built-in trackpad yet.

enter image description here

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This is just an idea that came up reading this question. It's not a software solution, but hardware, well... I can't tell if it works or not. You know that smart phones have touchscreens, and there are pens that you can use for these touchscreens. I believe the Samsung Note has a pen like that.

Would such a pen work with a MacBook trackpad? I don't know. If it does, will two pens work similar to two finger scrolling? If so, read on...

You can make a double tip pen that can be attached to your finger. By changing the angle you can use one or two tips. Maybe even one tip is enough, by tilting your finger so that the pen and finger touch the trackpad at the same time. My guess is that won't work well, but maybe I'm wrong. That's for you to find out.

Maybe the touchscreen pens don't work, but something else will?

Just an idea this answer, thinking outside the box as they say nowadays, and maybe it inspires you or other people to come up with a better solution.

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