MacBook touchpad gestures. Comprehensive Guide to Magic Mouse Mac Gestures

Configure Your Mac’s Trackpad to Meet Your Needs

Tom Nelson is an engineer, programmer, network manager, and computer network and systems designer who has written for Other World Computing,and others. Tom is also president of Coyote Moon, Inc., a Macintosh and Windows consulting firm.

In This Article

The trackpad on a MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or the standalone Magic Trackpad, is certainly fun to play with in the store. An Apple salesperson shows you how to scroll, zoom, and right-click, but after you get your new Mac notebook or Magic Trackpad home, some things you remember doing in the store may not work the same way.

It’s not you, and it’s not the Apple salesperson’s fault either. The difficulty lies in how a Mac is configured by default versus the way most people end up configuring the trackpad. You need to customize your trackpad so that it works the way you want.

Information in this article applies specifically to Macs running macOS Sierra (10.12) through macOS Mojave (10.14). Similar trackpad preferences exist in earlier versions of the operating system.

Configuring Your Mac’s Trackpad

  • Launch System Preferences, either by clicking its Dock icon or by selecting System Preferences from the Apple menu.

Click the Trackpad icon to open the trackpad preference pane.

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Point Click Tab

Select the Point Click tab in the Trackpad preferences screen

Adjusting Tracking Speed

The speed at which the cursor moves across your Mac’s screen is a function of both how fast you move your finger on the trackpad and the tracking speed you select.

You set the tracking speed, from slow to fast, using a slider in the Point Click tab. Setting tracking speed to the Slow end of the slider requires you to move your finger farther along the trackpad surface to move the cursor. Using a slow setting allows for precise cursor movements, but it causes maddeningly slow cursor response. It may even require multiple swipes of the finger across the trackpad to move the cursor completely across the screen.

Set the slider to the Fast end, and the smallest amount of finger movement sends your cursor whizzing across the screen. Most users prefer to set the slider so that a full swipe of the finger across the trackpad causes the cursor to move from the left side of the display to the right side.

Trackpad Single Click

By default, a trackpad is set for a single click to be accomplished by physically pressing down on the trackpad, an action Apple calls a force press. You can feel the trackpad give as it is depressed. If you prefer, you can choose a single tap rather than the force press by selecting Tap to Click.

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Trackpad Secondary Click

The Secondary Click, also referred to as a right-click, is turned off by default. This is a holdover dating back to the original Mac, which had a single-button mouse, but that was so 1984. To move into modern times, you’ll want to enable the secondary-click functionality.

You have options for the secondary click. Check Secondary Click and then use the drop-down menu under it to select one of three options:

  • Click with two fingers: enables a two-finger tap on the trackpad as a secondary click.
  • Click in bottom right corner: enables a single click to the bottom right corner of the trackpad to serve as a right-click equivalent.
  • Click in bottom left corner: enables a single click to the bottom left corner of the trackpad to serve as a right-click

There are two basic categories of gestures. Universal gestures are gestures that all applications can use. Application-specific gestures are only recognized by some applications.

Scroll Zoom Tab

Select the Scroll Zoom tab in the Trackpad preference pane.

  • Scroll Direction: Scrolling is achieved by dragging two fingers across the trackpad. You can scroll up, down, and sideways. OS X and macOS support two different scroll directions referred to as natural or not. Natural refers to scrolling using the same method found in iOS devices. This may seem backward for Mac users, so you can change the preference by removing the check mark in the Scroll direction box.
  • Zoom in or out: The two-finger pinch lets you zoom in or out on an object on the screen. To zoom in, place two fingers slightly apart on the trackpad and then bring the fingers together (pinching). To zoom out, place two fingers together on the trackpad and then spread the fingers apart.
  • Smart Zoom: Double tapping with two fingers zooms in. Double tapping a second time zooms out.
  • Rotate: Rotate with two fingers.

Gestures Tab

The Gestures tab contains additional gestures.

  • Swipe Between Pages moves you back or forward in any application that makes use of back and forward commands, such as a web browser.
  • Swipe Between Full-Screen Apps activates a swiping motion on the trackpad to switch between any open full-screen apps you are using.
  • Notification Center defines a swipe motion to open and close the notification panel.
  • Mission Control defines a swipe gesture to open Mission Control.
  • App Expose is used to define a swipe gesture to enter Expose.
  • LaunchPad defines a gesture to open the Launchpad app.
  • Show Desktop makes use of a spreading thumb and three fingers to hide open Windows and display the underlying desktop.

You don’t have to—and probably shouldn’t—enable every gesture type available.

Equating Clicks and Taps

When you see instructions for using your Mac, they usually reference mouse clicks. Here is the translation for a trackpad.

  • Mouse click: Primary trackpad force press or single-finger tap depending on your chosen option.
  • Right mouse click: Secondary tap, either a two-finger tap or a single-finger tap to a specific corner of the trackpad, depending on how you set your preferences.

Comprehensive Guide to Magic Mouse Mac Gestures

In a recent article, I showed you how you can use gestures with your Force Touch-capable trackpad. That’s fine for people with newer MacBooks or Apple’s Magic Trackpad 2. However, I certainly don’t want to forget to show some loving to the most current Magic Mouse, since it has its own gestures. Here is an unabridged look at what gestures you can use with the Magic Mouse, as highlighted by Apple and (I hope) improved upon by yours truly. This guide to Magic Mouse Mac gestures assumes you are running macOS Sierra with the most current model of the accessory.

Getting Started with Magic Mouse Mac Gestures

The first thing you need to do is ensure the gestures are enabled. You do so from System Preferences. Mouse. You’ll see two tabs, one for point and click gestures, and another for additional capabilities. Let’s look at the point and click gestures first.

First, my old nemesis — Scroll direction: Natural. This is usually enabled by default, so I quickly turn it off. Leave it on if you prefer it. There’s also an option for Secondary click, which allows you to click or tap on the right side of Magic Mouse 2 in order to perform the Windows equivalent of a right-click.

A truly useful Magic Mouse Mac gesture, Smart zoom allows you to quickly and easily FOCUS in on a web page or PDF. Just double-tap with one finger to utilize this gesture.

Even Gestures

That’s not all the Magic Mouse can do, though. If you click on Gestures, you’ll see other possibilities to improve your productivity and efficiency when using your Mac. First, you’ll see the ability to swipe between pages in your web browser. With this Magic Mouse Mac gesture, you can just scroll right or left with one finger in order to go to the previous or next web page in your history.

Up next: moving through your full-screen apps with Magic Mouse Mac gestures

Next, we have the gesture to swipe between full-screen apps. If you swipe right or left with two fingers on Magic Mouse 2, your full-screen apps will cycle forward and backward.

Finally, Apple provides us with a quick way to access Mission Control. If you double-tap your Magic Mouse 2 with two fingers, the Mission Control app will launch, allowing you get a bird’s-eye view of all of your open Windows, full-screen apps, Split View spaces, and desktop spaces.

That’s All, Folks

Apple doesn’t provide as many Magic Mouse Mac gestures as it does for trackpads, but that’s pretty understandable. It’s a smaller device, and the trackpads allow for more of your hand on the device. These gestures allow for quite a bit more productivity and efficiency, though, which is always a good thing.

Here are all the iPad gestures available with Apple’s Magic Trackpad and Mouse accessories

iPad trackpad support in iPadOS 13.4 opens up whole new ways to use your Apple tablet. iPad trackpad and mouse gestures are supported by Apple’s Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro, as well as the company’s standalone Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse 2 accessories. Follow along with your favorite blog as we teach you about all of the iPad trackpad gestures that are available with the Magic Trackpad 1 and 2, Magic Mouse 2 and third-party mice.

Video: iPad trackpad gestures

If you don’t want to read the whole tutorial right now, we’ve put together a quick hands-on video walkthrough which highlights the ten essential Multi-Touch trackpad gestures that everyone should memorize to become more productive.

The full tutorial is included right ahead.

iPad trackpad gestures: Multi-Touch at its best

If you’ve ever used a Mac notebook, you definitely know that Apple’s implementation of Multi-Touch technology paired with precise glass trackpads is superior to similar offerings.

Once you get the hang of them, these fluid gestures will become second nature. And they’re quite intuitive, too, allowing you to perform useful actions right from the trackpad.

  • Switch between apps: Swipe left or right with three fingers to switch between apps.
  • App switcher: Swipe up with three fingers and pause to open the iOS app switcher.
  • Go home: Swipe up with three fingers to go home from anywhere in iPadOS.
  • Switch between spaces: Swipe left or right with three fingers.
  • Zoom: Pinch in and out to zoom.
  • Right click: Click with two fingers on the trackpad or one finger on your Magic Mouse.
  • Scroll: Use two fingers on the trackpad or one finger on your Magic Mouse to scroll.

Trackpad support is available on any iPad model running iPadOS 13.4 or later.

It works with Apple’s Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 accessories, as well as with the Magic Keyboard for the 2018 iPad Pro and later. While third-party mice connected over Bluetooth or USB are also supported, third-party wireless or wired trackpads are not.

Follow along with our step-by-step tutorial to learn about the differences between the iPad trackpad gestures that are available with the first and second-generation Magic Trackpad.

iPad trackpad gestures for all Magic Trackpads

The following Multi-Touch trackpad gestures are supported on both the original Magic Trackpad and the improved second-generation model:

  • Click: Press the trackpad with one finger until you feel a click.
  • Click and hold: Press and hold the trackpad with one finger.
  • Drag: Click and hold an item then slide the finger across the trackpad to move it.
  • Wake iPad: Click the trackpad or press any key on your external keyboard.
  • Dock: Swipe the pointer past the screen bottom with one finger to access the Dock.
  • Home screen: Swipe the pointer past the bottom screen edge with one finger. After the Dock appears, swipe the pointer past the screen bottom again to get to the Home screen. Alternatively, you can click the Home indicator (the horizontal line) at the bottom of the screen on Face ID-equipped iPad models to launch the Home screen.
  • Control Center: Move the pointer with one finger to highlight the iOS status icons in the top-right corner of the display, then click the trackpad or swipe up with one finger.
  • Notification Center: Move the pointer with one finger past the top of the screen near the middle. Alternatively, highlight the iOS status icons in the top-left corner of the display, then click the trackpad or swipe up with one finger.
  • Slide Over: To access Slide Over multitasking, swipe the pointer with one finger past the right edge of the screen. To hide the Slide Over overlay, swipe right again.

And that’s about it in terms of iPad gestures for the original Magic Trackpad.

As you can see for yourself, iPadOS doesn’t support scrolling and other Multi-Touch gestures with the first-generation Magic Trackpad and the original Magic Mouse.

iPad trackpad gestures for Magic Trackpad 2

The Magic Trackpad 2 supports all of the Multi-Touch trackpad gestures that work on the first-generation model. On top of that, the Magic Trackpad 2 supports the following additional trackpad gestures which don’t work on the original Magic Trackpad accessory.

  • Scroll: Swipe with two fingers vertically or horizontally to scroll up/down or left/right.
  • Home screen: Swipe up with three fingers.
  • Today view: Get to the first Home screen, then swipe right with two fingers.
  • Search: Swipe down with two fingers on any Home screen.
  • Switch between open apps: Swipe horizontally with three fingers.
  • App switcher: Swipe up with three fingers, then pause before lifting them. As an alternative method, place four fingers near each other on the trackpad then bring them closer together, pausing before you lift the fingers.
  • Zoom: Place two fingers near each other on the trackpad, then spread them apart to zoom in or bring them closer together to zoom out.
  • Secondary click: Tap with two fingers to show the contextual menu for Home screen icons, email messages, the Camera button in Control Center and other items.

You can disable the two-finger secondary click gesture for the connected trackpad by venturing to Settings → General → Trackpad → Two Finger Secondary Click.

If you disable this handy shortcut, clicking an item with two fingers on the trackpad will no longer pull up iOS’ contextual menu. Thankfully, however, you can achieve the very same effect by pressing the Control key on your physical iPad keyboard while clicking the trackpad.

iPad mouse gestures for all mice

Most Bluetooth mice work on iPads, but some devices may not be fully compatible with all iPad models. Definitely keep this in mind when purchasing a mouse for your iPad.

These common gestures are available when using any mouse device with your iPad.

  • Click: Press the left mouse button.
  • Click and hold: Press and hold the left mouse button.
  • Drag: Click and hold an item with the left mouse button, then move the mouse.
  • Wake iPad: Click the left mouse button or press any key on an external keyboard.
  • Dock: Position the pointer at the bottom edge of the screen.
  • Control Center: Position the pointer to highlight the iOS status icons found in the top-right corner, then click the left mouse button. An alternative method requires moving the pointer past the top-right corner of the screen.
  • Notification Center: Move the pointer to select the iOS status icons near the top-left corner of the screen, then click the left mouse button. Alternatively, move the pointer past the top-left corner of the screen or the middle of the screen.
  • Home screen: Position the pointer at the bottom of the screen. When the Dock appears, move the pointer past the screen bottom. Alternatively, you can highlight the Home indicator (the horizontal line) at the screen bottom on any Face ID-enabled iPad, then click the left mouse button to land on the Home screen.
  • App switcher: With the Home screen visible, move the pointer past the bottom of the screen. If you’re in an app, drag the Home indicator (the horizontal line) near the screen bottom toward the middle of the screen, then pause (requires an iPad with Face ID).
  • Slide Over: Move the pointer past the right edge of the screen. To hide the Slide Over overlay, simply move the pointer past the right edge again.

iPad mouse gestures for Magic Mouse 2

The following iPad mouse gestures only work with the Magic Mouse 2.

  • Scroll: Slide a finger on the surface of the mouse to scroll in any direction.
  • Search: Swipe down with a finger on the mouse surface on any Home screen.
  • Today view: With the Home or Lock screen visible, swipe right on the mouse surface.
  • Secondary click: Click the right mouse side to bring up the contextual menu when clicking Home screen icons, mail messages and other items.

Wanna tell your iPad which mouse side to use for secondary clicks?

It’s easy, simply venture into Settings → General → Trackpad Mouse → Secondary Click, then specify a finger to use for your secondary mouse button clicks. Note that you won’t see this section unless a mouse is paired with your iPad and turned on.

To disable the feature, set the value to “Off”. You can also perform a secondary click by pressing the Control key on your external iPad keyboard while clicking the mouse.

To reiterate, iPadOS doesn’t support scrolling and other Multi-Touch gestures on the first-generation Magic Mouse or the first-generation Magic Trackpad.

Need help? Ask iDB!

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How to use a third-party mouse on Mac and get trackpad gestures

Apple’s Magic Mouse is an excellent peripheral for Mac, but it has its fair share of flaws that deter users, especially newbies, from buying it. Hence, many tend to use a third-party mouse on Mac. This leads to missing out on some amazing trackpad gestures that otherwise are available on the Magic Mouse.

But there’s a way out! I recently found a workaround while setting up my Dell’s mouse, and now, it seamlessly runs all the macOS gestures. Let me show you how to properly set up a third-party mouse (like Dell, HP, or Lenovo) and get those Smart gestures on it.

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How to connect a wireless mouse to Mac

First of all, let’s get your mouse connected to your Mac. Don’t worry. Even if the packaging of your mouse says ‘compatible with Windows,’ there are high chances that the mouse will work with your Mac.

There are two types of wireless mouse in the market: one with Bluetooth, and the other with a 2.4GHz wireless USB connector.

    If you got a Bluetooth mouse, simply switch on the mouse’s Bluetooth, go to System Preferences → Bluetooth on your Mac and connect to the mouse.

How to select or drag using three fingers on your MacBook track pad #newmacbookpro #macbook

You may need to hold and press the power button to enable the pairing mode.

  • For a mouse with a USB stick, simply insert the USB stick in your Mac and start using it. The Mac will automatically install the drivers for the mouse in the background.Depending on your Mac or MacBook, you might have to spend a few more bucks on a USB-C to USB-A adapter.
  • Tweak the basic mouse settings on Mac

    Once you’ve connected the mouse to your Mac, tweak the settings as per your preference. After all, the mouse is the one that lets you navigate macOS.

    Turn off Natural Scrolling

    First of all, you’ll need to tweak the ‘Scrolling’ settings. You must have noticed that once you connect a mouse to a Mac, moving the wheel up and down does the opposite of what you want it to do. This is because, on a Mac, you’re used to using the two-fingers swipe-up gesture to move a website or a page in the downwards direction.

    However, when using a mouse, moving the wheel in the backward direction feels natural. You need to disable Natural Scrolling to stop this from happening.

    • Go to System Preferences.
    • Select Mouse settings.
    • Uncheck Scroll Direction: Natural.

    How To Use MacBook Pro Trackpad Tutorial. Force Click, Gestures, Tips

    Set Tracking, Scrolling and Double-Click Speeds

    macOS lets you set different speeds for controlling your mouse:

    • Tracking Speed: This speed means how fast your Mac can recognize a mouse movement. The faster the tracking speed, the faster the gestures.
    • Scrolling Speed: This determines the amount of page scrolled when you spin the wheel button. The faster the scrolling speed, the faster the page will be scrolled. I wouldn’t recommend you to change this speed.
    • Double-Click Speed: As the name suggests, it determines how fast the double click can be tracked. The faster the speed, the faster your Mac will determine click gestures. If you increase this speed, your Mac will even recognize faintest of faintest mouse clicks.

    Turn on Spring Loading

    I’m sure you’re aware of the feature when you hold a file over a folder, and the folder opens. Well, Apple has disabled this gesture with the third-party mouse by default.

    To enable, go to System Preferences → Accessibility → Pointer Control → Mouse Trackpad → turn on Spring Loading. The shorter the Spring Loading delay, the faster the folder will open when you hover a file over it.

    Use Mac Trackpad gestures with a regular mouse

    One of the limitations of using a third-party mouse with a Mac is that you don’t get to use the Mac trackpad gestures, such as three-finger swipe to switch Windows or three-finger swipe up to open Mission Control.

    Worry not! Using a third-party tool called xGestures, you can use some of the Mac trackpad gestures with your regular mouse as well. Follow these steps:

    xGestures is a free-to-use tool that helps you to map custom gestures to a mouse.

  • Now, go ahead and download three Apple Scripts.It will enable you to use a three-finger window switch gesture and a three-finger swipe up to use the Mission Control gesture with a mouse.
  • Save these Apple Scripts in a separate folder, and do not delete these Apple Scripts.
  • Note: Deleting these Apple Scripts will disable Mac gestures on the mouse.

  • Now, go to System Preferences → open xGestures.
  • Select if you want to perform the gesture while holding the middle button (the scrolling wheel) or by using the left or right button. You can even customize it to perform the gesture when you’re holding the Command button.
  • Go to the third tab — Applications.
  • Checkmark Enable Global Gestures and select New Gesture.
  • Swipe right while holding the middle button. The window screen should say ‘Right.’

    Choose Gesture Action as Run AppleScript.

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  • Select the ctrl Right file for the Left gesture and ctrl left for the right gesture.This is because when you switch a window from left to right, you actually swipe towards left thus performing the ‘Control ’ → gesture.
  • Similarly, add gestures for Swipe Left (Ctrl Right file) and Swipe Up (Ctrl Up file).
  • Click Apply Settings.
  • Go to the Options tab and select Start xGestures.
  • You can now go ahead and use the three-finger gesture on your Mac with the mouse. I’ve attached a GIF above to show how it works. (I’m holding the middle button while performing these gestures.)

    Note: The service might get killed abruptly due to macOS background processes. Just go to System Preferences → xGestures → Options → Start xGestures to re-enable it.

    With this guide, I hope you’re able to use a third-party mouse on Mac and run all the trackpad gestures.

    If you want to create your own AppleScripts to mimic Mac trackpad gestures, you can do so. Just copy the files given above and change the keycode and gesture action. You can find here the keycodes for Mac’s keyboard.

    If you have any issue mapping gestures to a mouse, let me know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section below. I’ll be more than happy to help!

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