I have run into trouble trying to configure the ClickPad areas of the Cypress trackpad in the Dell XPS 13. By default, if I press the left button, I get a left click, if I press the right button, I get a right click. I would like to change these areas (perhaps disable the right button and/or add a middle button).

Setting in synclient the RightButtonAreaLeft/etc. does not seem to produce a change in the area that registers a right button click. Similarly, setting it in 50-synaptics.conf or setting it in xinput "Synaptic Soft Button Areas" does not seem to produce a change.

Would it be possible that changing these options doesn't do anything because the Cypress driver does not support these changes? See https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/978807/comments/108

I am running a fresh install of Ubuntu 13.04 (also tried on Xubuntu 13.04). Kernel 3.8.0-19 (everything else works, including backlight and Wifi). My understanding is that I don't need to add the Sputnik PPA because everything has been pushed into 13.04...

I confirm that synclient and xinput are accepting other options, e.g. TouchpadOff, TapButton, ClickFinger.

Setting ClickPad to 0 does not turn the ClickPad left/right button functionality off, too! Still, I can left and right button click in the same trackpad areas.

Perhaps this is relevant: I have noticed is that xinput test seems to show x,y coordinates that correspond not to the position of a touch but to the position of the mouse cursor on the screen (left upper corner being 0,0 and bottom right corner being 1600,900). But synclient -m 1 (needs SHMConfig enabled, set in 50-synaptics.conf) produces coordinates that correspond to the touch position (bottom right corner being 1100,620).

This seems odd because the default RightButtonAreaLeft in synclient (equivalently, the first value of Synaptics Soft Button Areas in xinput) is set to 800 (exactly half of 1600, the x coordinate shown by xinput when the cursor is at the right edge of the screen). Shouldn't this be half of the right edge touch position, 550? Similarly with the y coordinate.

Any insight would be much appreciated.

1 Answer 1


Call me pedantic but your question isn't precise in one point: Did you try to apply RightButtonAreaLeft as well as SoftButtonAreas to your 50-synaptics.conf or did you try the SoftButtonAreas settings via xinput only?

For me the the following (applied to my own 60-my-own-trackpad.conf which is recommended) is working:

Option "SoftButtonAreas" "0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0"

This is disabling the areas completely, changing the corresponding RightButtonAreaLeft, Right etc., and that is exactly what I wanted. Any other way except directly applying it via synclient on the terminal didn't work for me. To make sure the changes were set list your settings with:

synclient -l

If the areas still seem unchanged check the following settings:

  • RTCornerButton
  • RBCornerButton
  • LTCornerButton
  • LBCornerButton

This is what the synaptics man page says about it:

Option "RTCornerButton" "integer" Which mouse button is reported on a right top corner tap. Set to 0 to disable. Property: "Synaptics Tap Action"

I had to apply these settings as well.

If all this won't work it should always be possible to swap the buttons via xmodmap. The following line swaps your right and middle button:

xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 3 2"

But I don't like this one. It's hackish for this kind of issue.

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