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I am trying to find out if there is a hot key to turn off the touchpad when using an external mouse. In windows I just double tap in the upper left hand corner and it disables the touchpad. Makes it nice when typing a long document or using an external mouse.

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You can use Touchpad Indicator to assign a hotkey to enable and disable touchpad.

You can install Touchpad Indicator by downloading this installation package. If there is some dependency issue, you can install python-pyudev as

  sudo apt-get install python-pyudev

Or,

You can install it via ppa as follows.

  sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/atareao
  sudo apt-get update
  sudo apt-get install touchpad-indicator

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