How To Series 3: Using Gestures on a Mac.

Updated: May 29

Here are the basics for anyone coming from Windows, to help get you up and running.


Use Multi-Touch gestures on your Mac

With a Multi-Touch trackpad or Magic Mouse, you can tap, swipe, pinch or spread one or more fingers to perform useful actions.


Trackpad gestures

For more information about these gestures, choose Apple menu () > System Preferences, then click Trackpad. You can turn a gesture off, change the type of gesture and learn which gestures work with your Mac.


Trackpad gestures require a Magic Trackpad or built-in Multi-Touch trackpad. If your trackpad supports Force Touch, you can also Force click and get haptic feedback.




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 or PDF.




Scroll

Slide two fingers up or down to scroll.1




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

Swipe 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. Turn on this feature in Accessibility preferences2.





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.





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.




Swipe between full-screen apps

Swipe left or right with four fingers3 to move between desktops and full-screen apps.




Mouse gestures

For more information about these gestures, choose Apple menu () > System Preferences, then click Mouse. There you can turn a gesture off, change the type of gesture and learn which gestures work with your Mac. Mouse gestures require a Magic Mouse.



Secondary click (right-click)

Click the right side of the mouse.



Scroll

Slide one finger up or down to scroll.1



Smart zoom

Double-tap with one finger to zoom in and back out of a webpage or PDF.


Mission Control

Double-tap with two fingers to open Mission Control.



Swipe between full-screen apps

Swipe left or right with two fingers to move between desktops and full-screen apps.



Swipe between pages

Swipe left or right with one finger to show the previous or next page.




1. You can turn off trackpad scrolling in Accessibility preferences: choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Accessibility. In the Mouse & Trackpad section, click Trackpad Options, then deselect the Scrolling checkbox.


2. Accessibility preferences also has options for one-finger dragging: choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Accessibility. In the Mouse & Trackpad section, click Trackpad Options. Select 'Enable dragging', then choose one of the 'drag lock' options from the pop-up menu. Click the question-mark button to learn more about each option.


3. In some versions of macOS, this gesture uses three fingers instead of four.




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