How to use MacBook trackpad gestures

The trackpad is a useful addition to laptops as it means people don’t have to carry a mouse with them. Aside from the functions performed by a mouse, the trackpad has evolved to provide the user with many more options. But, the majority of MacBook or any laptop Users are not aware of the multi dimensional tasks that can be performed using trackpad gestures.

We will discuss the main trackpad gestures (other than the obvious) and the functions they serve In this tutorial.

1. Two Finger Horizontal Swipe

When you swipe two fingers horizontally on the trackpad, as shown in the image below, it will open and close the notification center. This allows you to see notifications, and perform quick tasks.

2. Three Finger and Thumb Pinch

With a three finger and thumb pinch, you can open the Launchpad of your MacBook Pro/Air and get to all Applications.

3. Reverse Three Finger and Thumb Pinch

A reverse three finger and a thumb pinch gesture will minimize your windows and bring up the desktop.

4. Three Finger Upward Swipe

A three finger upward swipe will open the mission control function. It will bring all the currently open windows to the desktop, and show any multiple desktops currently in use.

5. Three Finger Downward Swipe

This will show open applications and tile them on the desktop.

6. Three Finger Horizontal Swipe

With this gesture, you can switch between desktops if you are using multiple desktops simultaneously.

We have discussed the main trackpad gestures that can be used to perform certain desktop functions. Now, let’s check how we can use gestures to perform certain functions within applications.

7. Two Finger Horizontal Swipe

Using this gesture, you can go back and forward in most of the applications you use. The most common example is the Safari browser, where you can use this gesture to navigate back and forward to the websites you’ve visited.

8. Three Finger Tap

A three finger tap on a Safari browser website link will open up a preview of that link. You can try this gesture in other applications as well.

9. Two Finger Pinch

Anyone with a cell phone will use this gesture to zoom in and out. It works the same way in MacBook applications. 

10. Two Finger Rotate

With two (or three) finger rotate on the trackpad, you can rotate images in My Pictures, in photo editing software, and also objects in 3D or other similar software. You might be able to use this gesture while playing games as well.

That’s all! You now know how to tap, pinch, and swipe your trackpad to get the most out of your MacBook Pro/Air.

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