Using trackpad gestures

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Using trackpad gestures

Lion has a number of new features, but one of the most important is the expanded use of gestures. With the help of a trackpad, either one on your Apple laptop or on a device like Apple's Magic Trackpad, you can control your Mac in a variety of ways. In the next few minutes we will look at some of the most important gestures. Now before we do that I am going to configure the Trackpad System Preference. So I will go up to System Preferences. I go to Trackpad and here are the preferences.

Now the first preference is off by default. This is called Tap to click. Now watch what happens when I enable it. Go over to my Desktop and then rather than clicking on the hard drive, all I have to do is tap on it and that's just like clicking. Now sometimes I tend to leave my hand on the trackpad, so I don't like this gesture on. So I am going to turn it off. There is another gesture that I am going to show you later called Three finger drag. So I will turn that on. We will go to Scroll & Zoom tab.

Now by default Apple has something called Natural Scrolling turned on. This is a new feature in Lion. Now once upon a time when you scrolled, a page would move in a certain direction. Apple has changed that. They have reversed the direction. So now when you scroll, the page moves in the opposite direction that it used to. Now why did they do this? It's because of iOS devices like the iPad, the iPod Touch, and the iPhone. When you scroll a certain direction it moves a certain way on those devices.

They've made that direction scrolling work the same way on the Mac OS. Some people like it; other people don't care for it so much. I'm an old-time Mac user so I prefer to turn that option off. So I will go ahead and turn it off here, and we will go to More Gestures. There's also App Expose. This is something else I am going to show you in another movie, so I am going to turn that on. Now we can get out of the System Preferences.

So the first gesture I am going to show you is the single click. To highlight my Macintosh hard drive, all I do is click once on the trackpad. Now if you have a mouse with more than one button, you're used to a gesture called right click, or if you have a single button you hold down the Control key and you click. So I tap with two fingers and I pull up a contextual menu. This works on the Desktop as well as within Applications.

Now let's add one more finger. I'm going to open a new Finder window, which is Command+N, place my cursor at the top of the window, and then with three fingers I can move that window around. I am going to go to the View menu, enable Show Status Bar, and that shows the status bar at the bottom of the window. With this exposed, I can also take three fingers and drag the window this way, and we will close that window.

You can also use this gesture to drag other objects around. You can drag an item out of a window and onto the Mac's desktop for example. So, new Finder window, select Documents, I'll select a few documents, and then I can three finger drag these to the desktop, if I want to. I don't. I am going to put them right back where they were. You can also go to a document and you can select things within a document using three fingers.

Here is Microsoft Word. I place my cursor at the beginning of this text and with three fingers I can select that text. Return to the desktop. You can also use three fingers to define a word. So we will go to Safari. So I will find a word I want to define. Let's find controversy. Double tap with three fingers. It highlights in yellow and I see the Dictionary definition as well as thesaurus entries.

I will move back to the Finder. Note the dictionary is not supported in all applications. To zoom-in on a page in a compatible application, just stretch two fingers. So go back to Safari, stretch and to shrink it down, pinch with those two fingers. I can also do something called Smart Zoom, which is to tap with two fingers in a column of text. And double tap again and we are back to the normal view.

You can also zoom in an application like iPhoto. Here is our picture. We will stretch, zoom in, and we pinch to zoom out. You can also rotate images in iPhoto by using the rotate gesture, which is two fingers, as if you're turning a knob. So I rotate it left and I rotate right and back to the Desktop. But we are not done yet. You know that you can swipe two fingers up and down to scroll a page, but swiping those two fingers to this side invokes actions too.

Let's go to Microsoft Word. I am going to scale this document down a little bit so it goes off the side of the page. If I take my two fingers and move them to the side, you see that I can scroll to the right, and of course going up and down, I scroll up and down. You can also use two figure gestures in Safari to move back and forward pages. So we go over to Safari, two fingers to the left and I have gone back a page.

Two fingers to the right and I move forward a page. You can also use this gesture move through multiple files when you're opening those files in Quick Look. So I will make a new Finder window, Documents folder, I'll select a few files, press the Spacebar, and there's Quick Look. So with my two fingers, I can move through different documents within Quick Look.

By default, if you swipe four fingers to the side, you move between apps that have been expanded to full screen. You can still see this effect because of the Dashboard screen. So I will take my four fingers and swipe to the left and there's the Dashboard environment. I want to return to the Finder environment. Four fingers, swipe to the right. If you have multiple workspaces you can flip between them in this way too. To enter Mission Control, which is something we talked about in another movie, swipe up with four fingers and to leave Mission Control swipe down.

You can also use four fingers to invoke App Expose, and it works like this. You are in application that has multiple documents open and you want to see all of the document windows. Swipe down with four fingers and you see the document windows. So I can choose either one of these documents simply by clicking on it. Another four finger gesture-- well actually three fingers and a thumb-- is used to show Launch Pad. Just pinch with your thumb and three fingers and there's Launch Pad. To make it go away just spread those same digits.

And finally, to show the desktop when you aren't in Launch Pad, just spread with your thumb and three fingers. So I will go back to Word. Now to show the desktop I spread with thumb and three fingers. There's the Desktop and now by pinching back, I am in my application. Now you can apply different gestures to some of these actions. To do that you go to the Trackpad System Preference and look for any gestures that have a triangle next to them. Click on the triangle and you see that you have alternate gestures that you can apply. And that's gestures on the Mac.

At first they may seem a little foreign to you, but after a while you'll start to depend on some of them.

Using trackpad gestures
Video duration: 8m 22s 6h 4m Beginner


Using trackpad gestures provides you with in-depth training on Business. Taught by Christopher Breen as part of the Mac OS X Lion Essential Training

Mac OS X
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