Mac Basics: Multi-Touch gestures

Tap, scroll, pinch, and swipe your way through your Mac with Multi-Touch gestures, directly controlling what’s on your screen in a more fluid, natural, and intuitive way.

Tip: The Trackpad or Mouse panes of System Preferences contains preview movie clips for each gesture.

Mission Control

Learn about the Multi-Touch gestures you can use in OS X v10.7 Lion or later and its applications. These gestures can be performed on a portable Mac's Multi-Touch trackpad, on a Magic Trackpad, or on a Magic Mouse.

Tip: Click here for a QuickTime movie that demonstrates a number of OS X Multi-Touch gestures. Click here for a web page containing animations for each gesture.

OS X offers more fluid and realistic gesture responses, including rubber-band scrolling, page and image zoom, and full-screen swiping. And with the new animations, gestures look and feel more responsive and natural.

Scrolling note: Scroll bars will only appear when you are scrolling. When not scrolling, they disappear to not get in the way of your content. You can change this behavior in the General pane of System Preferences, if desired.

  • Magic Trackpad – Two finger swipe in the direction you want to move your content.  For example, a two finger swipe up will make your content move up. Two finger swipe left will make your content move to the left. Tip: Flick your fingers at the end of the swipe to generate momentum with your scroll.  Note: Rubber-banding animations will spring back content to let you know that you are at the end of your content.

  • Magic Mouse – One finger swipe in the direction you want to move your content. For example, one finger swipe up will make your content move up. One finger swipe left will make your content move to the left.

Smart Zoom

  • Magic Trackpad – Double-tap with two fingers.  Double-tap again to return. For example, Double-tap on the column of a web page and Safari will zoom in on that column. Double-tap again to zoom out.

  • Magic Mouse – Double-tap with one finger. Double-tap again to return.

Pinch to zoomTip: Rubber-banding animations will spring back content to indicate that you are at your zoom limit.

  • Pinch out to zoom in. For example, put your thumb and index finger together and have them touch the surface of your trackpad. Glide them apart with continuous contact on the surface of your Trackpad.

  • Pinch in to zoom out. For example, put your thumb and index finger apart while touching the surface of your trackpad. Glide them toward each other with continuous contact on the surface of your Trackpad.

Swipe to navigate – Web pages in Safari, documents in Preview and more, just like thumbing a page in a book. Note: If there is horizontal content to scroll, this gesture will first scrolls to the end of content and then it will move to the next page.

  • Magic Trackpad – A horizontal two finger swipe will show the next or previous page. Tip: Once you pass the rubber-band threshold, lift your fingers to change page.  Also you can flick your fingers at the end of the swipe for momentum.

  • Magic Mouse –  A horizontal one finger swipe will show the next or previous page.

Mission Control

Three finger swipe up on your Trackpad, or two finger double-tap on your Magic Mouse.

While viewing Mission Control you will have these additional gestures:

  • Spread a cluster of Application windows or enlarge a single window.     
    • Magic Trackpad – Two finger swipe up. Tip: Press the spacebar to Quick Look a highlighted window.
    • Magic Mouse – One finger swipe up.
  • Move to the space on your left or right, including applications in full-screen view mode.
    • Magic Trackpad – Three finger swipe to the right or left.
    • Magic Mouse – Two finger swipe to the right or left.
  • Exit Mission Control 
    • Magic Trackpad – Three finger swipe down.
    • Magic Mouse – Two finger double-tap.

Swipe between full screen apps and spaces

Three finger horizontal swipe on your Trackpad, or two finger horizontal swipe on your Magic Mouse.

  • To move to the full screen app or space on the left:
    • Magic Trackpad – Three finger swipe to the right.
    • Magic Mouse – Two finger swipe to the right.
  • To move to the full screen app or space on the right:
    • Magic Trackpad – Three finger swipe to the left.
    • Magic Mouse – Two finger swipe to the left.

View Launchpad

Thumb and three finger pinch in your Trackpad, or click the Launchpad icon on the Dock.

While viewing Launchpad, you can use these additional gestures:

  • Swipe to the next Launchpad (if present)
    • Magic Trackpad – Two finger horizontal swipe.
    • Magic Mouse – One finger horizontal swipe.
  • Exit Launchpad – Thumb and three finger pinch in on your Trackpad.

App Exposé

Three finger swipe down on your Trackpad will bring the app you are in into App Exposé.

Previews of all windows of your app will be presented, regardless of the space they reside on. Note: App windows minimized on the Dock will be shown as smaller previews below a thin line on the lower third of your screen.

  • Click on the window you would like to bring to the front. Tip: Press the spacebar to Quick Look a highlighted window. Press the spacebar again to exit Quick Look.
    • Note: If you click on a window that resides on another space, you will be moved to that space when you click on it.
  • Exit App Exposé – Three finger swipe up.

Show desktop

Thumb and three fingers pinch out on your Trackpad to instantly show your desktop.

 

Lookup

Three finger tap on your Trackpad will do a lookup on the word you have under your cursor or highlighted. Note: OS X Lion uses a three finger double-tap.

The lookup will be a pop-up overlay that will show these details:

  • Dictionary – It will show a snippet of the definition of the word. Tip: Click "Dictionary" to open the app Dictionary to see the full definition.
  • Thesaurus – If present, it will show a snippet of the synonyms to the word highlighted. Tip: Click "Thesaurus" to open the Thesaurus section of the Dictionary app.
  • Apple – If present, it will show the Apple glossary term for the word highlighted. Tip: Click "Apple" to open the Apple section of the Dictionary app.
  • Wikipedia – If present it will show a snippet of Wikipedia articles pertaining to the highlighted word. Tip: Click "Wikipedia" to open the Wikipedia section of the Dictionary app.

Notification Center

Two finger swipe to the left from the right edge of the trackpad.

Place two fingers on the right edge of the trackpad and drag them toward the center to reveal Notification center.

To hide Notificaiton center, drag two fingers from the center of the trackpad to the right edge.

Show Safari tabs

When Safari has multiple tabs open and content is being view at Actual Size (⌘-0), a two finger pinch in will show Safari tabs with live content.

When showing Safari tabs, two-fingered swipes to the left or right will scroll through the Safari tabs.

Two finger pinch out will open the centered Safari tab or you can single finger click a Safari tab to open it.

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
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