A Beginners Guide to MacBook trackpad gestures and Commands
Macs are designed with built-in multi-touch trackpads that respond to various swiping, tapping, and pinching commands. Even if you’re using an external mouse or Apple’s magic mouse, it can respond to commands and help you rotate images, zoom or reveal extra options without hassle.
After testing the mouse or touchpad commands, you can change them to suit your specific needs. You can even disable them altogether.
Is your Mac’s Trackpad working perfectly?
Before going ahead with the touchpad commands, it is essential to ensure that your Mac’s touchpad works perfectly. If a touchpad suddenly stops working, it can ruin your day. The reasons why your Trackpad is unresponsive are:
- Your Mac isn’t updated
- An application is causing issues
- Your system is overworked
- The touchpad is unable to keep up with your commands and clicks
A simple fix to the touchpad issue is plugging in an external mouse or Trackpad to your Mac. But if you enjoy using the touchpad, click here https://setapp.com/how-to/how-to-fix-macbook-trackpad-not-working to learn a few quick fixes.
Performing touchpad commands on your Mac
The commonly used touchpad commands on Mac are as follows:
- Click and secondary click: The former is done using one finger, and the action mimics the left-click on a conventional computer mouse. You need to use two fingers for the latter, and it mimics right-click on a computer mouse.
- Smart zoom: Use two fingers to double-tap, and you can easily zoom in and out of a PDF or webpage.
- Scroll: For scrolling, you need to slide two fingers up or down.
- Zoom in and out: To zoom in & out, you have to use two fingers and make a pinching motion.
- Swipe between pages: Using two fingers, you can move left or right to show the previous or next page.
- Rotate: To rotate an image, move two fingers around each other on the touchpad.
- Swipe between full-screen apps: Use four fingers to swipe left or right and easily toggle between full-screen apps.
- Show desktop: Spread 3 fingers and your thumb to show the desktop.
- Show active apps: Use three fingers to swipe up, and you can easily zoom out of your present window and see all the currently active apps.
Performing commands using Mac’s Magic Mouse
- Click and secondary click: Click the left and right sides of the Mouse as you would on any computer mouse.
- Scroll: Slide a finger up and down the magic mouse to scroll.
- Smart zoom: Zoom in and out by double-tapping with one finger.
- Swipe between pages: To show the next or previous page, swipe one finger left or right.
- Swipe between full-screen applications: Use two fingers to swipe left or right and toggle between full-screen apps.
Changing the trackpad settings on your Mac
If your Mac’s touchpad doesn’t play nice with your fingers, you can edit the settings and customize them. You can even change the mouse settings on your Mac.
Here are a few ways to change the trackpad settings.
Add clicking features on the touchpad
If you don’t enjoy using magic mouse and want to continue using the Trackpad, but want clicking features enabled, here’s what you can do:
Click the Apple icon > choose System Preferences > select Trackpad from the dropdown menu > click Point & Click > tick the LookUp and Data Detectors box to enable the ability to search phrases and words in Safari and other searchable services.
You can also tick the Secondary Click box to enable one-click double-clicking > tick the Tap to Click box to allow tapping lightly on the touchpad.
Enable gestures on the Trackpad
Want to make the touchpad work like a touch screen? You can enable additional pinching and swiping gestures. Click the Apple icon > go to System Preferences > click on Trackpad > click on More Gestures > tick the Swipe Between Pages box to enable easy switching windows in Safari or iTunes. Also, tick the Swipe Between Full-screen apps to swipe with three or four fingers > tick the Notification Center box to swipe left from right with two fingers > tick the Mission Control box to enable gestures to access Mission Control.
For enabling gestures to highlight a single application, you can click the App Expose box and use your thumb and three fingers to switch back from Launchpad to the desktop. Tick the Show Desktop box.
Similarly, you can change the mouse setting by clicking the Apple icon > choosing System Preferences > clicking Mouse. You can see the list of available gestures. You can either choose to change the gesture for a specified command or turn off gesture-activated commands.
So, go ahead and make use of Mac’s unique touchpad or mouse commands to make the most of your computer. Knowing these commands can improve your Mac experience.