Using the trackpad, the scrolling in emacs/spacemacs is notably less smooth than in modern browsers and other editors. I have to confess that this jerkiness irks me more than I would prefer but I have not found a way to improve that situation. It is especially distracting once non-text elements appear on screen (e.g. inline images) but the problem is bad enough with text-only.

Is this an emacs problem that everyone has learned to accept or is there a solution that everyone is using without even thinking of it?

Any help would be much appreciated, especially if it was assuming little background knowledge (I am a neophyte and only using emacs b/c of org-mode). Thanks

I am using spacemacs 0.200.13 based on emacs 25.3.1 on a Macbook w/ macOS 10.13.4

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    Have you tried M-x pixel-scroll-mode RET already? "...offers a global minor mode which makes mouse-wheel scroll a line smoothly." (from documentation)
    – Marco Wahl
    Commented May 12, 2018 at 9:00
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    How would I install it in spacemacs where it is not included? Sorry for the basic question. Commented May 12, 2018 at 14:53
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    pixel-scroll-mode is new in Emacs 26.
    – npostavs
    Commented May 12, 2018 at 22:19
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    Ah, that's why. Switched to v26 (using self-contained package from github.com/railwaycat/homebrew-emacsmacport/releases for now) and switched to spacemacs develop branch. Scrolling is very smooth now, even without pixel-scroll-mode. I am still investigating what caused the previous jerkiness but thanks to you both, much appreciated. Commented May 13, 2018 at 7:09

1 Answer 1


Emacs scrolling is traditionally line-by-line. However, as of Emacs 26.1, pixel-scroll-mode gives smoother scrolling.


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