How to use the Trackpad on Macbook effectively

The Trackpad in every Macbook allows users to tap, swipe, pinch, or spread one or more fingers to perform useful actions. How can you use the Trackpad effectively?

Here we list some common Trackpad gestures that you’d better know about. For more info about these gestures, choose Apple > System Preferences, and click Trackpad.

  • Tap to click: tap with one finger to click
  • Secondary click (right-click): click or tap with two fingers
  • Smart zoom: double-tap with two fingers to zoom in and back out of a webpage / PDF

  • Scroll: slide two fingers up or down to scroll
  • Zoom in or out: pinch with two fingers to zoom in or out
  • Rotate: move two fingers around each other to rotate a photo or other item

  • Swipe between pages: wipe left or right with two fingers to show the previous or next page
  • Open Notification Center: swipe left from the right edge with two fingers to show Notification Center
  • Three finger drag: use three fingers to drag items on your screen, then click or tap to drop

  • Look up and data detectors: tap with three fingers to look up a word or take actions with dates, addresses, phone numbers, and other data
  • Show desktop: spread your thumb and three fingers apart to show your desktop
  • Launchpad: pinch your thumb and three fingers together to display Launchpad

  • Swipe between full-screen apps: swipe left or right with four fingers3 to move between desktops and full-screen apps
  • Mission Control: swipe up with four fingers3 to open Mission Control
  • App Exposé: swipe down with four fingers3 to see all windows of the app you’re using

To do some tweaks on the way Trackpad gestures work on your Macbook, you can click the More Gestures tab in Trackpad < System Preferences > Apple, then tick or untick the controls you want to enable or disable. Additionally, there are more trackpad option you can explore in the System Preferences > Accessibility > Mouse and Trackpad, such as the the ability to select text by dragging three fingers over it.

If the Trackpad on your Macbook supports Force Touch, you can Force click by pressing on the Trackpad and applying more pressure, which allows you to take advantage of added functionality in apps and system features.

Finally, you can further customize your range of gestures by using third-party tools.


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