Using The Multi-Touch Glass Trackpad On Your MacBook

Using The Multi-Touch Glass Trackpad On Your MacBook

Range Govindan
Nov 10, 2009

There are a lot of MacBooks out there, but someone pointed out to us that not everyone is using the glass trackpad to its full multi-touch potential, especially if you've just bought your first Mac. With this being said, we've decided give a few pointers on how to use that fancy new trackpad.

We've had a few questions about the multi-touch trackpad that comes on all MacBooks now, leading us to research exactly what is possible with that funky pad. The thing about this trackpad is that it creates a bunch of shortcuts that are easily accessible in order to streamline actions that you often do on your computer. Take the example of a mouse with programmable buttons. We've used one with CTRL+A (select all), CTRL+C (copy), CTRL+V (paste), CTRL+X (paste), delete, and ALT+F4 (to close apps) programmed into the buttons instead of the standard ones.

But what about the Apple glass trackpad? There are a total of 5 new different finger gestures that the trackpad recognizes. There are probably a few more that exist. If you add the existing ones, you'll end up doing quite a bit with simply your trackpad. Let's just stick to the basics. You've got secondary clicking, two-finger scrolling, two-finger rotating, two-finger pinching, three finger swiping and four finger swiping. The last three don't work with all apps, but most of them do. Most of these are self-explanatory, but let's just go through them quickly since most of them are turned off by default. Go to Apple > System Preferences > Trackpad in order to activate them.

Secondary clicking lets you right-click by using two fingers. You need to enable tap clicking. You can also do a secondary click by holding down the Control key while you click. You can scroll up and down using two fingers. This is enabled by default. Two-finger rotating lets you rotate photos and pages. Two-finger pinching lets you zoom in and out. You can even use it to magnify an area of the screen. The same thing can be done by holding down the Control key while doing a two-fingered swipe. Three-finger swiping lets you page through a document rapidly or move to the next photo. Four-finger swiping upward lets you minimize all of your windows and reveal your desktop. Swipe downward, and it all comes back. Swipe down again with your four fingers and all of your windows line up next to each other. Swipe left or right to switch apps. You can also tap a corner to perform a double click.

For more information, check out this post over at Apple support or click the Options on the Trackpad preferences pane. You can expect to get more gestures with OS updates, since this glass trackpad can recognize up to 11 different touches at the same time.

[images via Apple and Multitouchtechnology]

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