Touchscreen tip: widen those scrollbars!


TouchpackI often see forum questions around the TouchPack provided with official Origami devices. While the TouchPack is very useful, most of the enhancements it provides can be gained with a tweak in Windows XP. For example: I find the wider scroll bars extremely useful on my Samsung Q1 UMPC with the 7-inch display. They allow me to scroll up and down a little easier with my finger so that I don’t need to pull out the stylus.

So what if you want a wider scrollbar? This simple tip works on non-touchscreen devices as well, but the true benefit is on the touchscreen, so if you’ve got an ultra-mobile or handheld device running Windows XP, you can increase the scrollbar width. Note: you don’t need to be running the Tablet Edition of Windows XP to take advantage of this: touchscreen devices running XP will benefit as well.

Simply go to Display Properties (a right click on the desktop will get you started) and click the Appearance tab:

Once there, find and click the Advanced button to go to the Advanced Appearance settings:

In the Item dropdown, select the Scrollbar and set the width size to as many pixels as you like:

On my Q1, I set this to around 25 pixels. Click OK through the dialogs to save your settings and you’re all set! You’ve got a wider scrollbar just like an Origami device!



I decided to do this, but it doesn’t work for Firefox (or at least the theme I am using). I’m currently searching for a fix for this, but I’m afraid the scrollbar sizes might be determined by the theme. I hope I’m wrong.

Gordon Cahill

fantastic. just what I’ve been looking for for my UX. You really should start a category called “small screen tweaks” so you can gather all these great little thins into on easy to find place.


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