17 Mac Trackpad Gestures and How To Customize Them.
The Mac trackpad isn’t just a replacement for your standard mouse. In fact, it is much more. there is even a separate panel for customizing the trackpad on your computer. You can use the trackpad to switch between apps, get more information about a file, open Launchpad to access your apps, among other things.
It’s a good idea to learn these Mac trackpad gestures so you can get the most out of your device with much less effort. Most of these gestures are customizable, so if you don’t like the way they work by default, you can change them.
How to customize Mac trackpad gestures
Setting up your Mac trackpad gestures is pretty easy. There are alternatives that you can change your current gestures to.
- Click on the Apple logo in the upper left corner of the screen and select “System Preferences.”
- Click a trackpad on the next screen to view its settings.
- You now have three tabs at the top that allow you to access various trackpad gestures.
- To change a gesture, click the down arrow icon below the gesture and select an option.
What are the different Mac trackpad gestures?
There are a number of gestures that can be used from the trackpad on a Mac. They are divided into three categories as shown below.
Point & Click
This category contains the most commonly used and standard gestures, such as single-click and right-click.
Search and data detectors
This allows you to quickly find standard file information. You can select a file in Finder and click with three fingers to view information about it. This is one of the gestures that cannot be customized and using three fingers is the only way to perform it.
Those of you with Windows PCs would like to call it right-clicking, and that’s exactly what it does. It allows you to right-click on an item to open a context menu. To right-click, tap the file with two fingers.
Tap to click
Tap to Click is a single click you make when you want to select a file or folder. You only need to click on an item once and it will be selected. Again, this is one of the gestures that you can’t customize, but you don’t really need to do it, as it’s already very simple.
Scroll and zoom gestures
If you’ve used the arrow keys and magnifying icons to scroll and scale items, you no longer need to do so with these gestures.
Scrolling direction: natural
As long as this gesture is enabled, the Mac will have natural scrolling. You cannot customize it, but you can disable it, which will change the way the pages scroll. When it’s disabled, your scroll is flipped.
Zoom in or out
You are used to this gesture as it is used on most smartphones and tablets. You can pinch with two fingers and the selected object will zoom in. Likewise, you can pinch and this will zoom out on the screen. You can’t customize it, but you can turn it on and off if you like.
Smart Zoom lets you zoom in and out without having to pinch your fingers. To zoom in on an item, hover over it and double-tap the trackpad with two fingers. To zoom out, place two fingers on the trackpad and it will return to normal.
This gesture may not work in all applications, but it works great in the built-in preview application. You can open an image or PDF file in preview mode and rotate it with two fingers as if you were rotating a real object. You will see your image or PDF rotate in the direction of your fingers.
These are some of the gestures that will help you quickly switch between different macOS features.
Scroll between pages
This is an extremely useful gesture as it allows you to quickly navigate between pages in the browser. You can swipe left with two fingers to go back to a page and swipe right with two fingers to go forward a page. You can also configure it to use three fingers.
Swipe between full screen apps
This is the most productive gesture on your Mac. By swiping left or right with three fingers, you can switch between full-screen applications open on your Mac. You can use it to quickly jump from browser to desktop and so on. You can also customize it.
Mac Notification Center contains important notifications and weather information. This gesture allows you to quickly identify it by swiping two fingers to the left of the right edge of the trackpad. Swipe right with two fingers to close Mac Action Center.
This gesture lets you open Mission Control by swiping up on the trackpad with three fingers. Then you can quickly jump from one application to the next. It is a customizable gesture and you can use it with four fingers if you want.
Some applications, such as Finder, may have multiple windows open at the same time. To view them all on one screen, you can swipe down with three fingers to launch App Expose. It allows you to view all open application windows side by side on the screen. You can customize it for use with four fingers.
Launchpad is one of the most used tools on Mac, and this gesture makes it easy to launch. Simply squeeze with your thumb and three fingers and Launchpad will launch. The gesture cannot be customized, so there is no other way but to get used to it.
Sometimes you need to quickly jump to the desktop, and this gesture helps you with that. Just use your thumb and three fingers and spread them apart to view your desktop. This will take some training, but you will get used to it over time. You cannot customize this gesture.
Do you use gestures to access some of the macOS features? What is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.