Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding gesture control with mice and trackpads, part of Mac OS X Yosemite Essential Training.
Touch controls are absolutely essential for modern smartphones and tablets. Fortunately, some of those touch controls have migrated over to desktop computers, as well, in the form of gesture controls. Now, I'm not talking about touch sensitive screens. I'm talking about how you can use a trackpad or certain types of mice for controlling special options on your computer just by sliding your fingers in a certain way. Let's talk about what gestures are, and how you can use them. To do that, we're going to go into System Preferences, so I'm going to go into the system menu, to System Preferences, and in a previous movie, we talked about options for both mouse and trackpad.
We're going to look at some more options, starting with the trackpad. Now, I do have a magic trackpad connected to my computer. You can see there are three tabs for different options. Now, I want to talk about some of these gestures, but it's hard to describe some of these gestures. It's a lot easier to see them, so I definitely recommend you point at these different options when you're interested in them, and you look at the video that plays that shows you the gesture. That'll help us understand what gestures we're talking about as we go through them.
Now, in the previous movie we talked about natural scrolling, but let's talk a little bit more about scrolling. This is probably the most basic gesture. I'm going to open up Safari, and when you've got a long page that you need to scroll up and down on, if you're using a trackpad, generally what you'll do is, you'll place two fingers on the pad, and just move those fingers up or down. That's how you can scroll. So that's a simple gesture. Let's go back to System Preferences. Let's look at this option for zoom in or out, and look at the animation.
You can place your fingers on the pad and move them apart, and move them back together, and I can do that here on the web page, and you can see if I move my fingers apart, I can zoom in, move them together, and I'll zoom back out. There's also the option for smart zoom. You can see how that looks. You just place two fingers on the pad, and you don't click. You just tap lightly on the pad. You can zoom in and out. So I double tap here. I zoom in. Double tap again, and I zoom out.
So these are pretty handy gestures. Take a look at these and play around with them. Let's finish up by looking at the rotate gesture. That's not going to work in Safari, but it will work if I open up a picture, so I'll open up this picture here. This is San Francisco skyline picture, and you can see I can rotate it just by placing two fingers on the pad, and rotating them. Let's see that animation here. See how the fingers are moving on the pad to rotate that picture? You got to have your fingers separated, and then move them around as if you're rotating clock hands.
You can see I can rotate this back, and there we go. This works in a few different applications, usually photo editing applications. Photoshop. Preview. Stuff like that. So I'll go ahead and quit this, and then there's a tab for more gestures. There's just more gestures to check out. Swipe between pages is interesting, and let's look at the animation. You've got two fingers on the pad, just moving left or right. Again, not clicking. Just moving left or right. So if I'm browsing the web, and I click on a link here, I go to another page, and I click on another link, I go to yet another page, and if I want to go back to the previous page, I just place two fingers on the pad, and I can swipe to the right, and I go to the previous page.
Let's do that again. If I want to go forward to the next page, I can swipe to the left. So that's a very handy, very common gesture. Next, let's look at this option to swipe between full screen apps. You can see it's sort of like the two finger swipe, it's just four fingers, but you can hit this little drop menu, and you can change it to three fingers if you prefer that. I'm going to stick with four fingers. Let's see how it works. You see the video. You can see what it looks like to move four fingers on the screen, so I'm going to go to Safari, and I'm going to set this to be full screen by hitting the green button, and now if I swipe left and right with four fingers on the pad, you can see I can go left and right, so let me jump out of full screen here, and for the next few, we want to talk about mission control, so we need several applications open, so I'm going to go to Launchpad, and I'm going to launch Dictionary, and I'm going to launch Calculator, so now I've got several applications and windows open.
So let me go back over to System Preferences. I'll click on the icon on the doc to make that active. Let's look at this option for mission control. Swipe up with four fingers, and you can see what that looks like, so if I swipe up with four fingers, it tiles out all these windows. I can swipe down again with four fingers to go to normal, but what I would normally do is swipe up, then click on the window I want to be active, and it comes to the top. I can open up Launchpad by placing four or five fingers on the trackpad, and swiping in, and you can see how that just jumps over to Launchpad.
I'm kind of pinching together with four or five fingers, and if I pinch out, I go back. You can see that animation here if I look at show desktop. That's the pinch out with four or five fingers, and between the Launchpad and the show desktop gesture, we're actually toggling between three positions. I can bring up Launchpad by pinching in with four or five fingers. If I pinch out, I go to normal. If I pinch out again, I show desktop. So I can swipe between those three different positions.
Now, I skipped over notification center. This is something we're going to talk about more later in the course, but you can see you can open up notification center by placing two fingers on the far right edge, and swiping to the left. Swipe to the right again to dismiss that. So those are some gestures you should play around with on your trackpad. I'm going to shift show all on System Preferences, and I'm going to jump over to mouse, and if you have a magic mouse, you get some of the same gestures. If I go to point and click, we've got that option for smart zoom.
I already have that enabled. If I do that, I can just tap on the surface of the mouse twice with one finger, and it zooms in. But let's look at some of the other options under more gestures. I can swipe between pages as I'm navigating through a web page. Take a look at the video. You can swipe by just moving your finger across the surface of the mouse. I have to go through here, and let's say I click on another page, and click on another page here, I can swipe back, but it's not working, of course, because I didn't turn that option on, so let me enable that here in System Preferences.
Now, if I swipe back, back, or forward by just swiping my finger in the other direction. I can switch between full screen apps by swiping with two fingers on the pad, so if I switch Safari back into full screen, now it's just two fingers on the surface of the mouse, and I can swipe between full screen apps and desktops. I'm going to jump out of full screen here, and we'll finish up with mission control, which is just tapping twice with two fingers on the surface of the mouse, so a double tap with two fingers, and it tiles out all these windows, and I click on the one that I want.
So you can see gestures can really give you a lot more control. I found that they make my day-to-day user experience much more fluid. Of course, there are some options for gestures with a magic mouse, but I found that gestures really sing when you use a trackpad, so if you have a laptop with a trackpad built in, you're already set, but if you're using a desktop, and you like gestures, you may want to look into picking up a magic trackpad, as well.
- Installing and running Mac OS X 10.10 for the first time
- Organizing your desktop
- Browsing file folders with Finder
- Creating, copying, moving, and renaming files and folders
- Launching and quitting applications from the Dock
- Using Dashboard Widgets and Mission Control
- Saving and searching
- Browsing the web with Safari
- Communicating with iMessage and FaceTime
- Using iTunes, QuickTime, and Maps
- Installing applications from the App Store
- Sharing over a network
- Backing up and restoring Mac OS X 10.10