Review of Synaptics Scrybe – Draw On Touchpad to Launch Programs

Consider it Synaptics touchpad enhancements or a separate application in itself, Synaptics Scrybe is a great extension to your touchpad that allows you to launch applications, tasks and even websites by drawing simple gestures on the touchpad. You need not scan the Start menu nor do you need to struggle with the Start screen to locate and open applications. Once you learn how to use Synaptics Scrybe, you can simply draw a gesture on your touchpad to open websites or apps of your choice. This review of Synaptics Scrybe actually tells you how to use the application – or enhancements to the touchpad – whatever you call it.

Synaptics Scrybe Review

Enhancements To Synaptics Touchpad?

Synaptics touchpads already carried the feature to open any application of your choice by tapping one of the four corners of the touchpad. The new drivers (ver 6.0 onwards) offer further Synaptics touchpad enhancements by letting you use two finger scroll and three finger flicks.

With the new drivers now available at the Synaptics website, you can only define hot corners on the touchpads, you can also enable three finger tap. Hot corners allow you to define an application to be launched when tapped. For example, you can set up the top-left corner as a hotspot to open MS Paint and the top-right corner as a hotspot to open MS Word. That depends on how easy you find it to use. For some people, it becomes irritating as programs open accidently when they tap on the hot zones (called tap-zones officially). I recommend turning off the right side hotspots as your fingers would be moving more in that direction.

The three finger tap is an addition to the four hotspots available with the Synaptics touchpad. You can define an application to be launched when you tap using three fingers in the edgemotion area. If you download and install Scrybe, you can initiate the canvas (where you draw the gesture to open a program or website) simply by tapping using three fingers anywhere on the touchpad except for the area defined for edgemotion. If you tap three fingers in the area defined for edgemotion, you will be launching the application(s) you defined under three finger touch in Synaptics touchpad under mouse option in Control Panel. Under the three finger touch/tap, you can add one or more applications to launch when tapped in the top edgemotion region of the Synaptics touchpad (see image below).

Since Synaptics Scrybe is based on how you use the pointing on the touchpad, I would call it enhancement to Synaptics touchpad. And since it is also available as a separate application for download and may be compatible with some other touchpads as well, it can also be called gesture software.

How to Use Synaptics Scrybe – Using Default Gestures

When you start your computer, it loads Scrybe into your computer’s memory. The icon sits in the taskbar. To invoke the drawing canvas where you will draw an application to launch an application or a website, you have to tap the touchpad using three fingers. This tap should be below the edgemotion area and there should be ample distance among the three fingers for Scrybe to differentiate between “invoking drawing canvass” and “launching a three finger tap application”.

Another method to invoke drawing canvas is to press SHIFT+CTRL and draw the gesture straightaway. You can check out what all gestures are available by clicking the Scrybe icon in the taskbar.

How to Use Synaptics Scrybe – Editing Default Gestures

You can also edit the default gestures. For example, the default gesture for search opens Yahoo search. If you wish to use Google or Bing instead of Yahoo, open Scrybe by clicking on the tray icon. Scroll down to the gesture related to search and click the wrench icon on the bottom of Scrybe window. You can then change the properties of that gesture.

Here is a video I created to explain how to use Synaptics Scrybe. This first part explains using default gestures and how to edit the default gestures in Synaptics Scrybe.

How to Use Synaptics Scrybe – Creating Custom Gestures

If the applications you use regularly are not listed in the default gesture list, you can create on easily. Open the Scrybe window by clicking its icon in system tray. Towards the bottom left corner of the window, you can see a plus icon. Click on it to open New Gesture window.

Select a symbol from the list of available symbols. You can switch between drawing shapes (including alphabets) and numbers by clicking on the tab below the symbol selection window. Name the symbol to something that you can easily recall in case you forget it later. In the Type drop down list, select Visit Website or Launch Application depending upon what you intend to do. If you select Launch Application, Scrybe will present an Open File dialog box that you can use to browse and select the application you wish to launch. If you select Visit Website, simply type the URL of the website in the text box below Type drop down list. Click OK to close the New Gesture window and then click the X button to close the Scrybe window.

You can now tap with three fingers to invoke the drawing canvas where you can draw the gesture you just created. Alternatively, you can press SHIFT+CTRL and draw the symbol to launch the app or website you created.

Here is the second part of my video explaining how to create custom gestures in Synaptics Scrybe.

If you ask me, Scrybe is a useful software that saves time and makes working fun on laptops. But since we can add icons to the Windows Taskbar, it is easier to click the icon to launch the application you wish. Further, since you can always pin websites to Windows 7 taskbar, Scrybe becomes unimportant here. If Chrome is your default browser, you can create gestures for different websites to use them if you do not feel comfortable creating and using Chrome jump lists. But for other versions of Windows – XP, Vista and even Windows 8 – Scrybe can save considerable time.

VERDICT: Highly recommended.

Synaptics Scrybe download

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN


  1. Stievu

    How did you get it to work on Windows 8?

  2. Arun Kumar

    Actually, I had to download the latest version of Synaptics driver as the one supplied with Win8 was not functioning properly. Scrybe was auto-installed with the driver.

    Then, on Windows 7, when I removed Scrybe and tried to install it separately, it says my version of synaptics driver wont support Scrybe.

    I have this doubt if Scrybe will install w/o latest “synaptics touchpad with workflow enhancement” drivers. Can you confirm this? That may lead to modification of this article. Thank you. 🙂

  3. Stievu

    I just tried that, I deleted my old driver and installed the new one (which I was told is older than the one I had installed before) from here:
    I still can’t get Scrybe to work. It doesn’t even work with CTRL+SHIFT.

    Did you use the 32bit driver or the 64bit one?

    I also tried installing the standalone synaptics driver and scrybe via webinstaller seperately. Same problem.

    The touchpad works flawlessly. I can use multitouch and momentum.

  4. Arun Kumar

    I am using 32 bit. That link is correct. I will write to Synaptics in a while and update you as soon as I receive a response. So you are not getting Scrybe on Win8 and I cannot just go and install the standalone Scrybe even with the latest driver.

  5. Stievu

    Contacting Synaptics is a good idea. Somehow I couldn’t find anything on the internet relating to my problem, which is weird as we are already on Win8 RTM.

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