Controlling your Mac using multi-finger gestures on a Magic Trackpad is one of OS X’s key features and borrows from the touch screen experience of the iPhone and iPad, But remembering all the options can be tricky at first, so here’s a useful guide to the gestures you’re likely to use the most often.
Remember that existing gestures which you might have used in OS X Snow Leopard, such as dragging two fingers up and down your trackpad to scroll, will still work in OS X 10.8. Note that when talk about “tapping” your trackpad, we mean tapping, as opposed to actually clicking the button. TO change settings, see System Preferences.
How to use gesture on a Magic Trackpad
- Two-Finger Double-Tap > Double-tap twice with two fingers to zoom in on the part of a website ordocument where your pointer is. Apple calls this Smart Zoom, since it looks at where you’ve tapped and zooms in to give you the best possible view of that area. So if you’re looking at a multi-column website, Smart Zooming on one of these will focus on that column.
- Three-Finger Double-Tap > Move your mouse pointer over a word in a text document, email or website in Safari. Now Double-Tap on your trackpad with three fingers. The word you’re pointing at will be highlighted and a dictionary definition and thesaurus entry pops up. This gesture works as a truly fantastic timesaver when you come across words you don’t understand.
- Two-Finger Swipe > Rest two fingers on your trackpad and swipe them to the left to move back to the previous page in Safari, or the preceding page in a document you’re looking at (In Preview, for example). Swiping your fingers to the right has the opposite effect – like pressing your web browser’s Forward button or going to the next page in a text document.
- Three-Finger Swipe Left/Right > Place three fingers on your trackpad and swipe to the left or right to move between your desktop spaces, full-screen apps and Dashboard. As you swipe left or right, you’ll see the next application gradually slide into view. If the ordering of the apps becomes confusing, you can get a quick overview of things by looking at Mission Control.
- Three-Finger Swipe Up > Lay three fingers along side each other on your trackpad and swipe them upwards to bring up Mission Control, OS X’s nerve centre. From here, click through to one of your running apps, your Mac’s Dashboard or any open windows. Alternatively, swipe three fingers upwards or downwards to jump back to the app you were using initialy.
- Pinch Out To Zoom In > To zoom in your Mac’s screen, say a photo or a webpage, place your thumb and index finger cross together and spread them apart. To zoom out again, pinch the same two fingers back together. If you’ve ever used an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, this gesture will be familiar, and can be used really effectively with two-finger scrolling to move around.
- Four-Finger Spread > Place your thumb, index, middle and ring fingers close together on the trackpad and spread them outwards. You’ll see all the windows on your screen fly off to the edges, revealing your desktop. Drag the same four fingers back together to pull them all back again. This will work as a left-handed gesture.
- Four-Finger Pinch > Place your thumb and first three fingers slightly apart from the trackpad, then pinch them all together. This will bring up Launchpad, the iPhone – or iPad – like screen that contains all the apps you’ve got installed. Click the app you want to open, or leave the Launchpad window again by spreading the same four fingers outwards.
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