How to Use Trackpad Gestures to Navigate OS X

hardwaresoftware hero 670x386

One of the areas where Macs beats PCs is gesture support. The MacBook trackpad features a wide range of gestures that allow you to quickly perform actions, such as switching between apps, zooming and seeing all of your notifications. Use these gestures to start zipping around OS X like a pro:

View Mission Control: Swiping up on the trackpad with three fingers causes your open windows to explode outward, allowing you to see all of the windows simultaneously. Apple calls this Mission Control. Swiping back down with three fingers collapses the windows, placing the window you last viewed at the top. Click here to watch a video of this gesture in action.

swipeup 320x400

Swipe between full-screen apps: Swipe with three fingers to the left or right to switch between any apps that you have open in full-screen mode.

threefingergestures 318x400

Tap to zoom: Tap the trackpad with two fingers simultaneously to zoom in on a page in Safari or a PDF.

twofingertap 314x400

Swipe to navigate: Swipe with two fingers to the left or right to flip through Web pages and documents.

twofingerswipe 316x400

Open Launchpad: Pinch toward the center of the trackpad with your thumb placed in either the bottom left or bottom right corner and three fingers in the opposite corner above. The Launchpad lets you see your installed apps and launch them with a single click.

PinchLaunchpad 318x400

Show desktop: Spread your thumb and three fingers apart to show the desktop. This gesture is the exact opposite of the previous gesture.

Spreadapart 315x400

Look up: Tap a word with three fingers to immediately look up the word’s definition, synonym and more.

Tapaword 317x400

Three-finger drag: Slide three fingers around the trackpad when you’ve positioned the cursor at the top of the window to drag the window around the screen.

Slide3Fingers 318x400

Notification Center: Swipe in with fingers from the left to open the Notification Center.

twofingerswipe 316x400

Show Safari tabs: Pinch with two fingers to see all of your Safari tabs simultaneously, and then swipe left or right with two fingers to scroll between the tabs.

PinchSafari 317x400

LEAVE A REPLY
Name*
Email* (will not be published)
Website
*Indicates required field
Comments*
Submit Comments

  1. Phil Says:

    Try swiping from the *right* for Notification Center, like the video shows…

FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE