Working Around A Touchy Touchpad

One of my computers (laptop) has a touchpad that is a bit too egar to click and I sometimes find myself initiating accidential clicks with my palms. To make matters worse this machine does not have a hardware button to turn the touchpad on or off, nor does it have a function key to enable or disable it. Further towards this end, I often sit at a desk, table, or use a desk-like surface to work on and make sure of a blutooth mouse. When I am using an external mouse I have no need or want for the touchpad to be working. This touchpad is a synaptics branded one which is well supported. My solution? Write a simple bash script to enable or disable the touchpad and make a keyboard shortcut to execute it.

First off we need to make a bash script to do the magic by creating a file in /usr/local/bin/touchy:

#!/bin/bash

RUNFILE=/tmp/touchy.run

if [ -e $RUNFILE ]; then

# currently disabled, enabling

rm -f $RUNFILE

synclient Touchpadoff=0

else

# currently enabled, disabling

touch $RUNFILE

synclient Touchpadoff=1

fi

Next make the script executable by running “chmod +x /usr/local/bin/touchy”.

Now you can configure your window manager of choice to make a hotkey, also of your key combo choice, to run the script.

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