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Learning To Use Mac Trackpad Gestures


Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. If you’re a trackpad user like me, and most
MacBook users are by default, then you probably know there’s some special gestures you can
use to control your Mac. But have you taken the time to learn what
they are. It’s pretty easy if you look in System Preferences. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great
group of supporters. You can read more at MacMost.com/patreon. Join us and get exclusive content. So it’s really easy to see where gestures
are available on your trackpad. All you need to do is go to the Apple Menu
and then System Preferences and then Trackpad. Here you’re going to see various categories
at the top. Now these screens have all changed as trackpads
have evolved and Macs have evolved through each operating system. So you’re going to see different things if
you’re using an older system or trackpad. But the Point and Click and Scroll and Zoom
categories are pretty basic. More Gestures is where it gets interesting
as there is a bunch of extra stuff some of which will be on by default. I’ve turned them all off here so we can go
through them one-by-one. Let’s start with Swipe Between Pages. If I turn that on I get the option to scroll
left or right with two fingers, three fingers, or either two or three fingers. You always get these handy little previews
over here that show you exactly what the gesture is like. So you can just basically follow along with
what’s on here. They’ll change if you change the option here. So when I change it to three fingers you’re
going to see a three finger preview there. So what does this do? Well this works in some apps to scroll between
pages. So, for instance, let’s go into Safari here. I’m going to use two fingers and go from left
to right and you can see it basically goes back to the previous page and loads that in. It’s the same as using the Back button. So you could basically use the back button
instead, if you like. Under History Back is Command and the left
square bracket. Forward is Command and the right square bracket. So you could basically use these two fingers
on the trackpad to do it, use these buttons, or the keyboard shortcut. Now it doesn’t say anything here about Safari
so this must work in other apps, right? Well, it does but it’s pretty limited. For instance, I can go into Preview. So you’d think it would work here. But it’s not going to because I first have
to turn off Continuous Scroll and go to Single Page. Once I do that then I can actually use two
fingers to go onto the next page or back to a previous page. Now you also have the ability to swipe between
full screen apps. You can do this with three or four fingers. Now it only mentions full screen apps here. So if we were, say, to go into Pages here
and make that a full screen app I can use three fingers left or right to go back to
the Desktop and back to Pages. But I could also do that for any Desktop in
Mission Control. So I’m going to activate Mission Control with
Control up arrow to bring up Desktops here. You can see I have the desktop in Pages. I’m going to add another desktop. So I’ve got Desktop 1 and Desktop 2. Now when I use three fingers to swipe I can
go to Pages and continue onto the next desktop. So it really is basically Mission Control,
Next Screen and Previous Screen. It’s not really swiping between full screen
apps. So next we have the ability to swipe left
from the right edge of the screen. So I’ll put my cursor all the way to the right
edge of the screen and swipe left with two fingers. It’s not going to work for me, I think, because
I have multiple screens here so this really isn’t the full right side of my screen here. But it basically imitates clicking on the
Notification Center icon at the upper right. Now we have got the ability to bring up Mission
Control by swiping Up with three fingers or with four fingers. So three fingers up brings up Mission Control
and you can do the same thing with App Exposé which is swiping down with three fingers and
it basically shows you all the windows for the current app. You can change that to four fingers as well. I’m going to skip over here to show Desktop
because it’s kind of the opposite of that. You select that and you spread with your thumb
and three fingers out and it shows you the desktop. It gets rid of all the extra windows. So if I have a bunch of extra windows open
here, like this, I could use this to get rid of them, see files or something that are on
my desktop, and then I could use the opposite gesture to bring everything back like it was
before. Now, Mission Control, App Exposé and Show
Desktop Features are all part of Mission Control and their are keyboard shortcuts for those. So for Mission Control just Control, not Command
but Control, and Up arrow brings up Mission Control. Down arrow will make it go away. Doing App Exposé is Control and Down arrow
from here and using the F11 key shows the Desktop. Now these can be changed if you go in System
Preferences to Keyboard and then you look under Shortcuts. Under Mission Control you see all the settings
there for it. There’s also a setting there for Show Notification
Center. So you can turn that on and have a shortcut
for that as well. I should point out that Show Desktop, F11
here, sometimes isn’t set there. So you might want to check that if F11 is
not working for you. Of course you may also have to hold down the
fn key on your keyboard to make the F11 key an actual F11 key and not something that controls
volume. Also for Launchpad and Dock there is the ability
to set a keyboard shortcut to Show Launchpad. By default it’s nothing. So you’ve got to actually activate it and
then give it a shortcut to have a Launchpad keyboard shortcut. Here is the gesture, you can turn it on and
it’s pinch with thumb and three fingers. So basically the opposite of Show Desktop
brings up Launchpad. You have the ability to do that with a gesture,
you can do that, of course, by clicking on Launchpad in the Dock, and you can also set
a keyboard shortcut. I should point out that you have some of this
under Mouse as well. You have to have a mouse connected so I have
connected an older Magic Mouse here and you can see I’ve got Point and Click and More
Gestures. Some of the things, like swipe between pages,
full screen apps, and Mission Control, can actually be set as Gestures using the top
surface of an Apple Mouse. If you’re using a third party mouse it doesn’t
have the little trackpad surface on top of the mouse which is one of the things that
makes the Apple mouse so good. But if you install drivers from the company
that makes your mouse often there’s a separate control here, or sometimes a completely separate
app, gives you some gestures you can use with the scroll wheel or various buttons on that
mouse.

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