How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

In the Preview pane of a Finder window, you get a small view of what a document contains or an image looks like, and a comprehensive list of all the metadata for the file. It’s helpful for checking details like the date a document was created, the type of camera or lens model used for a photo, and more. There are also Quick Actions buttons you can click to perform certain tasks without opening an app, right from the Finder.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

On your Mac, click the Finder icon in the Dock to open a Finder window.

Select the folder or file.

If you don’t see the Preview pane on the right, choose View > Show Preview.

Choose View > Show Preview Options, then select the checkboxes for the options you want to show for the file you selected (available options depend on the file type).

If you want to perform some tasks with the file right from the pane (such as rotating an image or creating a PDF), make sure the Show Quick Actions checkbox is selected. See Perform quick actions in the Finder.

Tip: Change the size of the Preview pane by dragging the separator line that’s between the files and folders and the preview details. Drag the separator line all the way to the right to close the Preview pane.

In the Preview pane of a Finder window, you get a small view of what a document contains or an image looks like, and a comprehensive list of all the metadata for the file. It’s helpful for checking details like the date a document was created, the type of camera or lens model used for a photo, and more. There are also Quick Actions buttons you can click to perform certain tasks without opening an app, right from the Finder.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

On your Mac, click the Finder icon in the Dock to open a Finder window.

Select the folder or file.

If you don’t see the Preview pane on the right, choose View > Show Preview.

Choose View > Show Preview Options, then select the checkboxes for the options you want to show for the file you selected (available options depend on the file type).

If you want to perform some tasks with the file right from the pane (such as rotating an image or creating a PDF), make sure the Show Quick Actions checkbox is selected. See Perform quick actions in the Finder.

Tip: Change the size of the Preview pane by dragging the separator line that’s between the files and folders and the preview details. Drag the separator line all the way to the right to close the Preview pane.

I miss the ability to go back to previous directory via a gesture (swipe with two finger right like in Safari or Chrome) in Finder. Is it possible to enable it?

Edit: I’m on a MacBook Pro, and using the trackpad.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

2 Answers 2


It looks like this has been broken in Mac OS X 10.9 (and wasn’t fixed in 10.9.1)

This works again in the latest Mac Os X 10.10.1, and presumably also in 10.10.

Trackpad Three-finger swipe left goes back and forth in Finder, just like in Safari. You don’t need 3rd party software to do this, simply make sure your settings are correct.

Go to System Preferences via Spotlight or Launchpad, navigate to Trackpad and click the tab More Gestures . The first option is “Swipe between pages”, which enables swiping in Finder, Chrome etc. Make sure to choose one of the two Swipe options.

I’ve attached an image showing the screen for you here: How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

Make sure that you’ve chosen Swipe left or right with four fingers in the Swipe between full-screen apps so the two options don’t overrule each other. How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

You also want to make sure there is no checkmark in the Three finger drag . They are mutually exclusive. You can check this in the Point & Click tab. How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

Magic Mouse If you use a Magic Mouse and want to be able to swipe back and forth in Finder, you have to turn off the Swipe between full-screen apps and change Swipe between pages to either Swipe left or right with two fingers or Swipe left or right with one or two fingers (both options enables you to swipe back and forth in Finder when using both fingers. How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

The first time I got my hands on a MacBook, I was 13. I used to do everything to explore macOS. That was when I accidentally noticed that doing certain gestures on the trackpad trigger some actions. Upon some exploring, I found out a list of Mac trackpad gestures and ever since I’ve been using them extensively. They’re super useful.

So here I’ve curated 7 of the most useful gestures you need to know if you use a Mac as your daily driver.

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How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

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1. Look Up Files/Words

This is the handiest trackpad gesture in macOS. You can see previews or details of any file or folder or even use the dictionary with QuickLook. And this gestures makes QuickLook super handy.

So all you need to do is tap on any file or folder and then tap on your Mac’s trackpad with three fingers.

From Apple

You can use this gesture to

  • To see a preview of any image, video, audio, presentation etc file without opening it. (You can also press Space bar for this)
  • Tap with three fingers on any word and you can see its meaning show up instantaneously.
  • Do this gesture on any link and see a link preview.

2. Go Back Or Forward In A Browser

This one is super handy if most of your time on a Mac is spent on a Browser. To go back to the previous page or to go forward to a page you’ve backed from, there are two easy gestures.

From Apple

Just swipe right with two fingers to go back and swipe left go forward. This works smoothly on most browsers including but not limited to Chrome and Safari.

3. Open Launchpad

Launchpad is where all the apps on your Mac show up. Most users including me don’t use it often because Spotlight Search and the Dock are more than enough to open an app. But launchpad shows you all apps in a grid. And it’s great for times when you’re looking for apps you haven’t put in your Applications folder. Or for apps, you don’t use frequently.

So, just use five fingers — or, four fingers (five is easier) — and pinch in. In other words, keep your fingers on the trackpad and move them inwards.

From Apple

To exit Launchpad, you can either press the esc button or the F4 button (In some Macs, Fn + F4 ).

4. Show App Exposé

Some apps (like Finder) let you open more than one window at a time. This can be hard to manage. App Exposé makes this easy. One gesture shows you all the open windows of the current app, making it easier to manage.

From Apple

Swiping down with three (or four) fingers is the gesture to open App Exposé. Note that this doesn’t work in full-screen apps. No matter how many windows you’ve opened app Exposé shows them all.

5. Show Mission Control

Mission control is like a more powerful App Exposé. I always prefer using Mission Control more than App Exposé because it does what App Exposé does but not one app at a time. It shows all open windows of all apps including full-screen apps and Desktops.

From Apple

You just need to do what you did to open App Exposé but in reverse. I mean you’ve to swipe up with three (or four) fingers on your Mac’s trackpad. You can then take your cursor to the top of the screen to see all full-screen apps, desktops, and the Dashboard (if you’ve updated to macOS Catalina). You swipe left/right to switch apps and desktops.

6. Show Desktop

When you have a ton of windows open, it’s really hard to manage or see files on your Desktop. That’s when this Show Desktop gesture helps you.

If you’ve ever used a Windows PC, you’d know the little button on the right end of the taskbar that clears all windows and shows you the Desktop. In a Mac, it’s similar except that you have a cool gesture for it.

Besides clearing the screen from windows, you can use this to get back to your Desktop from Launchpad and App Exposé.

From Apple

You just need to do what you did to open Launchpad but in reverse. With four or five fingers, pinch out. To get back all windows back, pinch in with five/four fingers.

7. Open Notification Centre

Notification Centre on a Mac isn’t as useful as it is iOS. Yet it can be of help. You can see date and time, world clock, the song playing currently, calender events, stocks, reminders and of course app notification.

The reason I use it mostly is to toggle on Nightshift which makes your Mac’s screen kinder on your eyes, reducing digital eye strain.

To open you have to swipe left from the right edge of the trackpad. You can then edit items there with the button down below.

If you’re looking for Night Shift, you’ll have to scroll down in the Notification centre.

How To Change Or Disable Mac Trackpad Gestures?

  1. Click on the  icon on the top-left of your screen and select “System Preferences
  2. Go to Trackpad preferences.

There you can see a list of all trackpad gestures with options to change or disable them.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

The visual flip-through folder view on the Mac OS X operating system is called “Cover flow.” Based on the graphics created to flip through albums in iTunes, cover flow view lets you flip through your folders, documents and other files in your MacBook’s “Finder” window. The MacBook Pro’s multi-touch trackpad makes scrolling through this view quick and responsive, as you can do everything directly from the trackpad with taps and swipe gestures, including controlling the speed of the folder view.

Select the "Finder" icon in your MacBook Pro's dock area at the bottom of the screen.

Choose the area you want to search in the left pane. For example, if you want to flip through your "Documents" folders, choose "Documents." For photos, choose "Pictures."

Click the "Cover flow" icon in the top portion of the Finder window. This is the last of the four icons in the upper left. It looks like a filled rectangle with vertical lines on either side. This will place the current folder in cover flow view.

Place two fingers on your trackpad, and swipe from right to left to flip through the folders in your chosen category. You can swipe in the other direction to go back through the folder list in the opposite direction. The icons for each folder will flip past in the main pane of the Finder window.

Double-click your trackpad to select any folder, and then use the same two-finger scroll gesture to flip through its contents. Swipe slowly to browse your files at an easy-to-read pace, or swipe quickly to flip directly to the folder you want. The scrolling cover flow will track with your gesture's speed.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

Previously on the Mac Security Blog, we outlined how to set up your Mac’s trackpad. Whether you’re using a Mac notebook or a desktop machine with a Magic Trackpad, multitouch input — when mastered — can greatly improve your productivity.

However, the options Apple provides in the System Preferences Trackpad pane only go so far — and it turns out your trackpad is far more capable than you may have ever realized. Fortunately, this power can be unlocked by third-party software like BetterTouchTool.

Introducing BetterTouchTool

On installing and launching BetterTouchTool, the app will appear in the menu bar. From there, you can access its preferences. This large window offers a number of sections, which typically involve you defining inputs and assigning actions to them.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

For this article, we’re primarily interested in the Trackpad settings, so click Trackpads. Next, click Add New Gesture and you’ll see the Touchpad Gesture menu appear at the bottom of the window. From there, you select the gesture you’d like to use to trigger your action.

Create your first gesture

Within the Touchpad Gesture menu, open the Single Finger Gestures section; you’ll quickly see how much more nuanced BetterTouchTool’s settings are than Apple’s. With a single finger, Apple enables you to activate tap to click. By contrast, BetterTouchTool offers gestures that track where you tap or click.

Let’s try a quick example. Select 1 Finger Tap Top Left as your gesture. Next, click the Predefined Action menu, scroll down, and open Utility Actions. From within, select Open URL/Open URL With Selection. In the sheet, type a favorite website address and then click Save.

Tap at the far top-left of your trackpad and Safari should open your defined website. If you’re concerned about accidentally triggering this in general use, you can always add a modifier key by checking one of the checkboxes under Touchpad Gesture. For example, check Shift and the action will only be triggered when you hold Shift and tap the top-left corner of the trackpad.

Use advanced trackpad gestures

In reality, it’s unlikely basic tap gestures will interfere with day-to-day trackpad use or existing settings, but more advanced ones can. In relevant cases, BetterTouchTool provides warnings about potential clashes, such as for three-finger tap and swipe options.

One way to ensure there are no clashes is to go ‘maximum digits’ and create five-finger gestures, which Apple doesn’t offer a means to do anywhere in System Preferences. In Five And More Finger Gestures, select Five Finger Swipe Down. From Predefined Action, use the search menu to find Minimize Window Below Cursor, and then select it. Now, when you five-finger swipe over any window, it’ll minimize to the Dock.

Let’s keep going. Create new five-finger swipe gestures for upwards, leftwards, and rightwards swipes. Respectively, assign Maximize Window, Maximize Window Left, and Maximize Window Right actions. In Finder, open a new window and use your new gestures to rapidly make the window fill the screen, and then just its left and right half.

Take things further

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to BetterTouchTool. There are many more gestures and actions to discover, the latter encompassing everything from taking screenshots to triggering system actions. Keyboard shortcuts can be triggered instead of actions, too. You can also assign gestures to specific apps: add an app to the sidebar, and select it rather than Global before creating a gesture.

Elsewhere, explore the other categories. Consider setting up keyboard shortcuts to launch often-used apps, or to open up folders you regularly work with. And if you find BetterTouchTool becomes indispensable, select Basic Settings and make sure you check Launch BetterTouchTool on startup.

BetterTouchTool offers a free trial; if you wish to continue using the app indefinitely, you’ll need a license, which is on a ‘pay what you want’ model (ranging from $4.99 to $50.00).

New to Mac? Let’s get you started on the right track!

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

Apple is running full steam ahead with integrating Multi-Touch into Mac notebooks. For the past couple years, they’ve shipped trackpads capable of advanced gestures – such as the versatile 3-finger swipe – that make everyday tasks smoother.

A couple months ago, MacYourself published an article describing the Multi-Touch gestures built into Safari and Firefox. Using finger movements on the trackpads of recent MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models has turned out to be a great way of reducing mouse clicks and keystrokes when browsing the web. The fun doesn’t stop there, though. Slowly but surely, Apple keeps adding more and more Multi-Touch gestures to Mac OS X’s core applications.

The three-finger swipe appears to be the most universal gesture, and that’s what we’re going to focus on here. Some of these may be exclusive to 10.6 Snow Leopard, while others could be available to 10.5 Leopard users on certain Air and Pro laptops. The best way to know if these apply to your Mac is to check out System Preferences, click the Trackpad pane, and see if “Swipe to Navigate” under the Three Fingers header is checked.


Much like Safari and Firefox, Finder’s three-finger gesture navigates backwards and forwards between recently viewed folders. Swipe left to go back and swipe right to go forward.

Scroll, click, scroll, click, scroll, click… you get the point. Pointing and clicking on messages in Apple’s Mail program is cumbersome when there’s a lot of them. Three-finger swipes up and down, however, require much less effort and move through emails just as well.

Address Book

Similarly to Mail, a three-finger swipe up or down will effortlessly cycle through contacts one-by-one.


Forget about hitting the Next and Previous buttons to navigate through a series of images or pages in a PDF. That’s just crazy! Instead, put three fingers down on the trackpad and swipe up or down to move between images/pages. And if the animated PDF page movement is too slow for you, swipe with the cursor over the sidebar for faster action.

Depending on whether you have iCal set up to view events by the Day, Week, or Month, you can easily toggle between them by three-finger swiping left or right.

iPhoto ’09

If you’re looking at thumbnails in grid view, three-finger swipe left, right, up, or down to navigate through your photos. It’s almost like using the directional arrows on the keyboard, except in a much more fluid (and fun) way. Left and right swipes can be used when viewing enlarged photos one at a time as well.

iMovie ’09

This one kind of caught me by surprise, so I’m glad I found it! Let’s say you’re selecting a video clip from your library on the bottom half of the window and you want to add it to your project on the top half. This would normally be done by clicking on the selected video, dragging it to the project, and releasing the trackpad button. The folks at Apple decided that’s too many steps. You can actually achieve the same result with a simple three-finger swipe up while the cursor is anywhere inside the iMovie window. The video will smoothly move itself from the library right into the project – no clicking, no dragging, no nothing. You can’t beat that!

If you own a MacBook, you’re likely well aware of how scrolling and right-clicking work on the trackpad, but you may not know how to invoke Quick Look, Notification Center, or Exposè. Whether you’re new to macOS or you just never bothered to learn them, these gestures can make your life a little simpler.

Open and Close Notification Center with Two Finger Swipe

You might not use Notification Center often, but it’s gotten pretty useful after the updates in Sierra . Now that you can use Siri to save all types of life info, like movie showtimes, sports schedules, and even Finder results, it’s nice to know that getting to the Notification Center just takes a two finger swipe. This one’s a little tricky to get the hang of though, as you have to swipe from the far right of the track pad for it to work properly.

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Open Launchpad with a Three Finger and Thumb Claw-Pinch

Launchpad is one of those oft-forgotten macOS features, but it’s still occasionally useful. If you’ve forgotten what it even is, Launchpad is simply a way to access all your apps in a grid. If you don’t keep an Applications folder on your Dock, Launchpad’s a useful way to access all your apps. The Three finger and thumb pinch is a bit awkward to get used to, but once you do you’ll be opening up Launchpad with ease. From there, you can customize Launchpad to make it more useful.

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Show the Desktop with a Three Finger and Thumb Reverse Claw-Pinch

This one’s a bit awkward to actually do, but it’s useful. Place your thumb and three fingers on the trackpad, then spread them apart in a reverse pinch, just like as if you’re praising a meal , to reveal your desktop. If you store files on your desktop while you’re working this is the easiest way to get to them. Since this hides all your open windows, it’s also an excellent way to hide what you’re doing if someone surprises you.

Invoke Mission Control with a Three Finger Upward Swipe

Speaking of oft-forgotten features, Mission Control is one of those that might have escaped your memory. If you swipe up with three fingers (on some models of MacBook it’s four fingers), you’ll pull up Mission Control, which displays all your open applications and all the your current desktop spaces. This is a crucial feature for working on a smaller laptop screen because it’s the easiest way to glance at what apps you have open. While you’re in Mission Control, you can click and drag any application to any desktop space in the menu at the top.

Zoom In on One Application's Windows in Mission Control with a Multitouch Gesture

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Show All Your Open Application Windows with a Three Finger Downward Swipe

Need to quickly glance at all the open windows in a particular app? Swipe down with three fingers (on some models of MacBook it’s four fingers). This pulls up “Exposè,” which makes is super easy to select a window in an app.

Switch Between Desktop Spaces with a Three Finger Swipe

Using multiple desktop spaces is one of the key ways to keep yourself sane when you’re working on a small screen, and this gesture to switch between them makes the process of switching between them easy. Just lay down three fingers and swipe left or right to swap between your different desktop spaces (on some models of MacBook it’s four fingers). If you’ve never used the Spaces feature before, it’s time to start. It essentially creates a new empty desktop in each space, and then you can assign certain apps to certain spaces, which can keep your desktop nice and organized even though you don’t have a lot pixels to work with.

Go Back and Forward in Your Web Browser, Calendar, or QuickTime with a Two Finger Swipe

One of the most useful trackpad gestures lives in your Web browser. Place two fingers on the trackpad and swipe left or right to go back or forward a page. This works in a number of other apps too. In Calendar you can switch between days or months, and in QuickTime you can use the two finger swipe to scrub a video forward or reverse.

Look Up Word Definitions, Preview a Link in Safari, or Invoke Quick Look with a Three Finger Tap

There’s a chance you’ve invoked this one on accident before, but it’s really useful when you get the hang of using it right. Tap a link in Safari with three fingers and you’ll get a preview of that web site. Tap any word with three fingers and you’ll get the definition of the word. Do the same on any text file or image and you’ll bring up Quick Look. It’s probably my favorite little gesture in macOS even though it takes a little while to get used to using it.

Pinch to Zoom in Preview and Safari

Everyone’s pretty used to pinching to zoom in and out on their iPhone, but that gesture works in macOS too. Just do the same pinching gesture you’d do to zoom in on a photo in iOS to zoom in on an image in Preview or zoom in a web site on Safari. This works in a number of third party apps too, including most notably Adobe PhotoShop and the rest of Creative Suite.

Rotate an Image in Preview with a Two Finger Rotate

While it’s a bit awkward to do this one, you can use the trackpad to rotate an image in Preview. Just put two fingers on the trackpad and turn them, like you would opening a soda bottle, to rotate an image in that direction. Like Pinch to Zoom, this also works in most versions of PhotoShop and other Creative Suite applications.

A Mac’s built-in Trackpad offers a wealth of customizable options. Learn how to make the most of macOS multi-touch gestures with these tips.

Most Mac users know how to right-click using two fingers and zoom in or out by pinching their fingers together or apart, but a host of other lesser known options unleash a macOS-powered Trackpad’s potential.

Review and configure multi-touch operation in macOS using System Preferences’ Trackpad settings. The Trackpad option has three tabs: Point & Click, Scroll & Zoom, and More Gestures (Figure A).

Figure A

Point & Click

Point & Click presents three options (Figure A) that can exponentially increase the utility of your Mac’s Trackpad in everyday use.

Look Up & Data Detectors permits tapping the Trackpad with three fingers to search the dictionary and Wikipedia for a highlighted word or phrase. As a tech professional that frequently works within contracts, agreements, reports, project plans, and other documents, the three-finger tap is a time-saving shortcut.

Secondary Click is a critical checkbox that enables right-clicking by clicking the Trackpad with two fingers. I can’t imagine using a Mac without the box checked (without the option selected, you have to press the Control key when clicking to specify a secondary or right-click action).

Tap To Click. Check this box to require only a lighter tap on the Trackpad to indicate a click.

SEE: Home usage of company-owned equipment policy (Tech Pro Research)

Scroll & Zoom

The Trackpad’s second tab, Scroll & Zoom, boasts four options (Figure B).

Figure B

Scroll Direction: Natural ties content tracking to what Apple describes as natural movement. In other words, with natural scroll direction enabled, scrolling two fingers scrolls content down. I find that movement the opposite of my natural inclination, however, and prefer to clear the setting so that sliding two fingers down the Trackpad scrolls to the bottom of the screen.

The Zoom In Or Out box permits pinching with two fingers, while Smart Zoom permits tapping two fingers twice to zoom in or out on an element.

Rotate permits rotating objects by rotating two fingers on the Trackpad. Most users typically rotate their thumb and index fingers on the Trackpad when using this feature.

More Gestures

Seven additional multi-touch gestures are available from the More Gestures tab (Figure C). Don’t let the fact that these features are lesser known fool you–the utility these options present can change the way you use a Mac laptop every day.

Figure C

Swipe Between Pages permits scrolling sideways. For example, you can move between webpages using this technique by swiping two fingers right or left.

The Swipe Between Full-Screen Apps option empowers the same functionality, only using three fingers you can move between open full-screen applications. It’s a handy shortcut I leverage often when using my 13″ Macbook Air with no external display, as the quick gesture helps instantly recall information present within another window.

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Selecting the Notification Center checkbox permits you to open the macOS Notification Center by swiping to the left from the Trackpad’s right edge. Alternatively, with the option selected, you can close the Notification Center by sliding two fingers to the right from the Trackpad’s left edge.

Another of the handiest gestures I’ve found, especially when using a 13″ Mac display, is the three fingers up swipe, which opens Mission Control. With Mission Control, all open apps including those hidden behind open programs display within separate sections of the display, thereby permitting rapid switching between apps.

With the sixth option enabled, swiping three fingers down calls App Exposé. With App Exposé, all open applications appear one at a time, and you can cycle through them using the Tab key.

The Launchpad option, in which you perform a pinch motion using your thumb and three fingers, is another significant time saver. Use the gesture to rapidly open the Launchpad, which permits quickly opening an application without having to click Finder, click the Applications directory, and navigate to the correct program, which itself would require a double-click to open.

Show Desktop lets you immediately cut through the clutter of open windows to view the Desktop. Perform a spread gesture with your thumb and three fingers, if you’ve checked this box, to perform this operation. Reverse the gesture (perform the same movement as used to draw Launchpad–pinch three fingers and a thumb inward) to return the formerly open windows to their previous display state.

Don’t forget to use these features

Once enabled, don’t forget to use these features. Establishing a new habit takes some patience, but once it’s in place, you’ll find the Mac is a much more responsive platform.

For more guidance, open the Trackpad System Preferences option and click on any of the previously mentioned gestures. macOS provides a helpful preview video that shows a demonstration of the gesture and function’s performance.

MacOS screen zoom FAQ: Is there a way I can zoom in and zoom out my Mac screen (iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro)?

Yes, you can “zoom in” or “zoom out” your Mac screen. The solutions are shown in the sections that follow. Note that this solution has been tested on macOS (formerly Mac OS X) systems from OS X 10.6 through macOS 10.14.

Mac Pro and iMac zoom in/out commands

If you’re using a Mac desktop system (iMac or Mac Pro) with a keyboard and a mouse with a mousewheel, just press and hold the [control] key, then scroll the mousewheel up and down, and you’ll see what I mean. The entire Mac screen zooms in and out, just like the “software zoom” on a digital camera.

Note: If this doesn’t work on your system, scroll down to the “Not working?” section below, where I describe how to fix this problem.

To summarize, here are the Mac/iMac screen zoom commands:

Zoom In: Press the [Ctrl] key and scroll up with the mouse.

Zoom Out: Press the [Ctrl] key and scroll down with the mouse.

Zoom in and out using a MacBook trackpad

You can also zoom in and zoom out your screen on a MacBook Pro trackpad. Again, hold down the [ctrl] key, but this time take two fingers and swipe upwards on the trackpad area to zoom in, then use your two fingers to swipe downwards to zoom out.

This is very cool. A lot of times I’ll find myself making text larger in Firefox by changing the font size ( [command] + to make the font larger, [command] – to make it smaller), but I prefer this Mac zoom-in/zoom-out approach.

Zoom in and out with a Magic Mouse

I just bought an Apple Magic Mouse for use with my iMac, and you can use it to zoom in/out just like you can use a mouse with a scrollwheel. Just hold down the [control] key, then slide your finger to the top or bottom of the mouse, and you’ll zoom in and out just like you would with a mouse scrollwheel.

Not working? Look in Preferences

If this tip doesn’t work for you by default, take a look at your System Preferences settings. On Mac OS X 10.9 (and possibly 10.7 and 10.8), I find it easiest to search for the word “zoom” inside of the System Preferences dialog, then go to the Accessibilities option that lets you click the checkbox that needs to be clicked.

In the following image, the “1” indicates that the first step in the process is to search for “zoom,” and then the “2” shows the checkbox that needs to be clicked:

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

Once you click the “Use scroll gesture with modifier keys to zoom,” you should find that the zoom-in, zoom-out feature works as I’ve described here.

Preferences on older Macs

On Mac OS X 10.6.x, follow these steps to set this preference:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the menu bar.
  2. Click System Preferences
  3. Click the Mouse icon

In that panel there will be a setting that says, “Zoom using scroll wheel while holding . ”, and then you can select which key to use. Mine shows the “^ Control” key. This preferences panel is shown in the following image:

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

This screen may be a little different on newer Mac OS X systems, but I’ve loaned my new MacBook Pro to a friend, and can’t look at it at the moment.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview paneWillis Lai/IDG

The Mac is festooned with features, some of which are more obvious than others. This collection should help you get things done on your Mac just a little faster.

Open in work mode

You’ll save a little time if your Mac automatically opens up to your work folder. Set this up in Finder>Preferences in the General pane, where you should set New Finder windows show to the folder you need to explore most often.

Get fluent with Finder

You spend a lot of time in Finder, so why not make it work for you?

The best starting point is to define your most important folders as Favorites on your Mac. You can also define key folders to iCloud. I prefer the latter as it means my work is available across all my devices, but you may not want to share your data with the cloud; choose the option that’s most relevant to you.

To place a folder in either section, just drag and drop it into the relevant part of the left column in the Finder. You can also drag and drop your most important folders to the top of the Finder menu; just select the item, press Command and drop it right beside the controls there. Don’t place too many items as you’ll clutter the UI; the object is to make things faster to find.

Finally, switch to Column view in your Finder and you’ll find it easier to drill down through to the items you need.

Never forget that the fastest way to find anything on the Mac is to type Command-Space to summon Spotlight.

[Also read: 30 keyboard shortcuts Mac users need to know]

Rename files faster

The fastest way to rename a file or folder in Finder? Select it, press Return, and you’ll be in the text entry mode for that item so you can immediately type the new name.

Tidy your Desktop with Stacks

We all strive to keep our Desktop tidy – and most of us fail. Apple knows this and introduced a handy feature called Stacks to organize all this clutter for us. Just tap an empty section of your Desktop, select the View menu and choose Use Stacks. Your Mac will immediately tidy your Desktop into useful stacks, grouped by file type. Just click on a Stack to find what’s inside it.

Use text clippings

Text clippings are a great way to automatically paste regularly used text into any app, and don’t require as much thought as text replacement on Mac. All you need to do:

  • Select some text you use regularly and drag and drop it to your Desktop.
  • A text snippet will be created there, to drop it into anything just drag and drop the snippet into an app.

I find it convenient to gather these in a Snippets folder I keep as a Favorite in Finder.

Use QuickLook to check items

You don’t need to open a file to check its contents, use QuickLook instead. Select an item in Finder and then press the Space bar, a preview of the item will appear. Not the item you needed? Press the Space bar to lose the preview and choose another item.

Learn your trackpad tips

I think most Mac users working from home probably have access to a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, both of which support MultiTouch.

You can access a tutorial to show you all the ways you can use this on your Mac in System Preferences>Trackpad where you’ll find all the gestures yours supports. Select each one to see a short demonstration of how it works.

There are three main families: Point & Click, Scroll & Zoom, and More Gestures and they can do a variety of useful things, for example:

  • Open Launchpad fast: Pinch with thumb and three fingers to open Lauchpad to select an application you want to open.
  • Show Desktop: Too many windows in the way? Spread with thumb and three fingers on the touchpad.
  • Switch between Spaces: You really should use Spaces. If you do, you can swiftly switch between them using a left or right swipe with four fingers.

Use Smart Folders

Smart Folders are a useful way to automate project management. They’ve been part of the Mac for decades and can do useful things such as finding work completed in the last month, documents and more. Once you create a Smart Folder it will automatically update itself with any relevant new files you add. Here’s a short tutorial on how to use Smart Folders.

Take control of Hot Corners on Mac

Does your Mac do things you don’t want it to do when your pointer hits the corner of the display? Here’s how to take better control of this and make Hot Corners useful to you.

Open System Preferences, select Mission Control and tap Hot Corners and you’ll see how the ones you currently have are configured on your Mac. You can also define the functions you want for each corner here.

To prevent your Mac launching one of these functions when you don’t want it to, you should hold down a modifier button (Control, Alt, Command) for each corner as you set the function. In the future, you’ll only initiate a Hot Corner action when you hold down that modifier key at the same time as putting your pointer in that corner.

Full screen, Split View

Tap the green traffic light icon in any app to enter full screen mode. This gives you the greatest possible display space and lets you open two applications side-by side.

  • Launch both apps and tap the green button in the first application.
  • Tap F3 (or slide four fingers up on your trackpad) to enter Mission Control.
  • In Mission Control drag the preview of the second application you want open into the Space that contains the first full screen application — you can identify this in the previews at the top of the window.

The applications will open together side-by-side, reducing distraction.

If you’re looking for more ideas, please explore these earlier collections.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Jonny is a freelance writer who has been writing (mainly about Apple and technology) since 1999.

macOS gestures can do a lot with tapping, swiping and pinching helping to activate Exposé, Mission Control, switch between apps and more.

Anyone new to a MacBook may not realize that Apple designed special gestures in macOS that are only accessible with a multi-touch trackpad. There are fourteen shortcut actions possible with a touch or swipe of one or more fingers. For example, pinch to zoom works just like it does on an iPhone or iPad. It’s worth mentioning that Apple makes multi-touch trackpads for Mac desktop computers and all of the trackpad gestures that work on the MacBook’s built-in trackpad will provide the same function on a Mac with an added trackpad.

Apple has a long history of focusing on the user interface and this is represented in the icon for the Finder file manager. The ‘Happy Mac’ icon shows a curved human face connecting with a square computer face. Beyond the aesthetic, Apple did the work, researching how to make computers easier to use. The research led the company to Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center, where the concept of mouse-based control, facilitated by a graphical user interface, was being tested. In fact, the Xerox Alto, released in the early 1970s, was the first computer to implement this new type of computer interaction, but the price was exorbitant, costing over $30,000. With the first Macintosh computer in 1984, Apple brought this advanced technology to small businesses and professionals at a more affordable $2,500 price.

Apple’s MacBook laptops have multi-touch trackpads, allowing them to detect more than one finger at a time. This isn’t unique to Apple with many laptops having the same ability, but Apple may make better use of the capability than its competitors. In macOS Big Sur, the MacBook recognizes fourteen trackpad gestures. The basics are tap once to click and tap with two fingers to simulate a right mouse-click. Slide two fingers up, down, right or left to scroll in any direction. This works with virtually every modern laptop regardless of manufacturer. Double-tapping with two fingers on a MacBook toggles Smart zoom, which zooms in to hide margins or to focus on a single column of text in web pages and PDFs.

Others include, pinching or spreading two fingers apart to zoom in or out on a page, touching the trackpad with two fingers and angling them to rotate a photo or other item, swiping left or right with two fingers to go forward or back in the browser (and other apps). As well as swiping two fingers to the left from the edge of the trackpad to open notifications (or off the edge to the right to close them). One and two-finger gestures are the most often used, but there are some more advanced functions that are unique to the MacBook.

Special MacBook Trackpad Gestures

Multi-touch trackpad gestures that use three or four fingers have special purposes on a MacBook. Some gestures can be customized in the Settings app to activate with different actions, such as Force Touch, if supported by the trackpad in use. Also, Accessibility settings can change the meaning of gestures. Default settings on most MacBooks use a three-finger tap to activate automatic data detectors on text. This feature recognizes phone numbers, dates, addresses and other data and provides a menu of useful actions. Spreading thumb and three fingers apart on the trackpad will show the Desktop and pinching them together will show Launchpad, where most apps can be found. Swiping with four fingers to the left or right switches between full-screen apps or Spaces when using multiple Desktops. What may be the two most useful four-finger gestures on most MacBooks are sliding up with four fingers to open Mission Control to view Spaces and swiping down to show App Exposé (and all windows of the current app).

As nice as a mouse is, laptop computers typically come with a trackpad. Of course, a mouse can be added to a MacBook, but most won’t have the special trackpad gestures described above. Apple does make a ‘Magic Mouse’ that has a touch-sensitive surface to allow the use of some gestures, but it hasn’t been updated in years and is one of the few Apple products that has proven unpopular. Fans of a mouse may never get used to a trackpad, but it can still be used in combination with a mouse to access the special gestures. Taking a moment to get familiar with the MacBook trackpad gestures will likely not only prove useful, but also save time.

All of Apple’s Macs come with Preview, a feature that’s built into macOS. Preview is the default app that opens up whenever you view an image or a PDF, and it actually has quite a few useful tools built into it, which we’ve explored in the latest video over on our YouTube channel.

  1. Editing a Clipboard Image – If you copy an image to your Clipboard from another app, you can quickly edit what’s on your clipboard in Preview. To do so, copy an image, open the Preview app, and use the Command + N keyboard shortcut. Alternatively, choose File –> Open New From Clipboard in the menu bar.
  2. Filling Out Documents – When you open up a PDF in Preview, there’s a whole toolbar of tools that you can use to fill out blank boxes. To access these tools, select the Markup icon (a pen in a circle).
  3. Signing Documents – With the Markup tools for editing PDFs, you can even virtually sign a document with your own signature. From the Markup toolbox, choose the signature icon, and select “Create New.” From here, you can sign using your trackpad, or sign a white piece of paper with a pen and then hold it up to your Mac’s camera. Both of these techniques work remarkably well, making it simple to get a virtual signature onto a digital document.
  4. Quickly Remove an Image Background – Preview is no match for software like photoshop, but there are some basic image editing tools included. If you want to remove the background from an image like a logo, there’s a quick way to do so, with the steps outlined in detail in the video above. This feature really works best on images with a lot of contrast, such as a colorful logo with a white background.
  5. Photo Editing – In the same Markup toolbox that’s been used for most of these tips, you’ll find some basic photo editing tools for adjusting color, exposure, and other simple parameters. To open up these image editing tools, click on the little icon that looks like a triangle. You’ll see options for exposure, contrast, saturation, temperature, tint, highlights, shadows, and sharpness, plus there’s a histogram for more advanced edits.
  6. Adding and Removing PDF pages – If you open up a PDF in Preview, you can remove unnecessary pages or add additional pages. Using the Edit options in the menu bar, select Insert –> Page from File to add a new document to an existing PDF. Deleting is as simple as selecting the thumbnail view, selecting a thumbnail, and selecting delete. You can also use the sidebar to rearrange pages with simple drag and drop gestures.

If you’ve never really delved into the Preview app beyond viewing an image or PDF, it’s well worth checking out some of the more advanced features. Have a favorite Preview feature we missed? Let us know in the comments.

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Adding pages to a PDF can actually be accomplished a bit more easily than the method described here. With the Thumbnails showing in the Sidebar, simply drag another PDF from the Finder to the desired location.

Preview also provides an easy path to creating a JPEG from any app. Select Print/PDF/Open in Preview. Then, in Preview, select File/Export. You can set the DPI and a compression slider to control file size. You will also have access to a number of other generic image formats, such as TIFF and PNG.

Select multiple JPEGs in the Finder and use CMD-O to open all of them in a single document, one image per page.

Preview also serves as a handy quick-viewer for a wide variety of file formats, including Word and PowerPoint. If you keep Preview in your Dock (which you should!), simply drag the files to the Preview icon.

Preview is a powerful and under-appreciated app!

An oldie-but-goodie is cropping all pages in a PDF document:

1. Open your PDF document in preview. Display both the pages and thumbnails in a thumbnail pane.
2. Select one page in your document to crop manually.
3. With the Tools->Rectangular Selection tool, select the crop region you want on one page. Remember: that crop region will be applied to all pages; and odd-even pages may have different borders.
4. Click on the thumbnail pane. Select ALL pages.
5. Crop the pages (Command-K).
6. If you messed up the crop, you can undo it (Command-Z), change the rectangular area, and crop it again.
7. Save the correctly-cropped document.

I wish that preview had a "crop to eliminate all blank borders" command to do this automatically, but it is very easy to do manually.

One other trick: when connecting a camera to your Mac through a USB cable, you can do an import of a handful of images straight into Preview. This is good if you want to quickly copy a few images up to a website. You can annotate or crop the image in Preview.

When you’re on the other side of 50, as I am, you become less concerned about how fast your Mac is, and more interested in how well you can see the text it displays. Whether your eyes are aging, your young eyes need glasses, or someone that you provide computer support for could use a boost in seeing the screen, no one should have to squint when surfing the Web, reading email, or writing documents. A few key techniques can increase the font size in applications where easy-to-see text makes the biggest difference.

Bigger fonts and word processing

Most applications that let you compose text also let you adjust the font size. If you’re using a word processor such as Apple’s Pages or Microsoft’s Word, or a text editor such as Apple’s built-in TextEdit, you have numerous font and size options. It’s a good idea to increase your font size by a few points if you use corrective lenses; even if the font looks all right, you might not realize that you’re squinting.

In Apple apps such as Pages and TextEdit, pressing Command-T brings up a Fonts panel. Word and other text-heavy programs have a dedicated Font or Format menu. (In Word, choose Format > Font.) There, you can choose the font and size that you find most comfortable to work with.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview paneThe Fonts panel, which many Apple applications use, lets you choose a suitable font and font size for your eyes.

More readable by default: If you’d rather not fiddle with font size over and over, change your defaults. For example, in Word, adjust your settings in the Font window and then click the Default button at the bottom. In TextEdit, choose TextEdit > Preferences and then tweak the Plain text font and Rich text font settings.

Bigger fonts and browsing the Web

Many apps use the Command-plus (+) shortcut to increase font size. For example, if you use Apple’s Safari or Mozilla’s Firefox as your browser, you can press that keyboard shortcut—or choose View > Zoom In—at any time. If the fonts are too big on certain pages, Command-minus (−) makes them one notch smaller. Many other apps that display text use the Command-plus shortcut as well, so try it if you ever need to make text bigger in a particular application.

Safari settings: As an alternative approach in Safari, go to Safari > Preferences and click the Advanced tab. Under ‘Accessibility’, select Never use font sizes smaller than and adjust the font size to a comfortable level.

Trackpad tips: In Safari, you can also zoom in to increase the size of the entire page. If you use a trackpad, you can pinch out to zoom in, and pinch in to zoom back out. This works in some other apps as well. (If it doesn’t work for you, check Zoom In or Out in the Scroll & Zoom section of System Preferences’ Trackpad pane.) You can also double-tap with two fingers to get a quick zoom in Safari; double-tapping again zooms out. (This setting is also in the Trackpad preference pane.)

Bigger fonts in the Finder

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview paneWith the View Options settings, you can get the perfect-size fonts in Finder windows.

To make it easier to see folder and file names in Finder windows, press Command-J, or choose View > Show View Options, when a Finder window is visible. Select Text Size, and you’ll get a popup menu that lets you choose a font size of from 10 points to 16 points. Click Use as Defaults to apply this new font size to all windows in the current view. You’ll have to make this change for each different Finder view you use (Icon, List, Column, and/or Cover Flow) that you want it to apply to. (See “Get the most out of Finder views” for tips.)

Easy-to-see sidebars

Sidebars are important because they give you a list of items that you may want to use often, such as folders in the Finder.

iTunes and iPhoto: In iTunes and iPhoto, go into the programs’ preferences to change sidebar text size. In iTunes’ General preferences, select Use large text for list views. And in iPhoto’s Appearance preferences, choose Source Text > Large. (The two iPhoto text options available are ‘Large’ and ‘Small’, though I’d call them ‘Medium’ and ‘Tiny’.)

The Finder: To change the size of items in the Finder’s sidebar, open System Preferences, and then click the General icon. In the ‘Sidebar icon size’ setting, you can choose ‘Small’, ‘Medium’, or ‘Large’. This setting affects not only the Finder’s icons, but also the size of the associated text. Curiously, though this setting changes the same items in the sidebar in Apple’s Mail, it doesn’t affect other Apple apps.

The three sizes available for Finder sidebar icons also affect the size of the associated fonts.

Bigger fonts in Mail and Messages

Other apps offer font and size settings too. Apple’s Mail has a slew of options in its Fonts & Colors preference pane (Mail > Preferences > Fonts & Colors). You can choose a different font and size for the message list, and for messages, as well as for any fixed-width text.

Apple’s Messages lets you change the font and size for incoming and outgoing messages independently. Go to Messages > Preferences, click Messages, and then click the Set Font button next to each of the two background color sections.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview paneChoose the font, font size, and background color for Messages.

Zoom everything

In System Preferences’ Accessibility pane, you can turn on zooming that affects your entire display. Click the Zoom icon in the sidebar of that preference pane, and check either or both Use keyboard shortcuts to zoom and Use scroll gesture with modifier keys to zoom. I often use the scrolling option—which, on a trackpad, is a two-finger drag—to get a closer look at things that I can’t zoom any other way, such as text in graphics on webpages.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview paneOS X’s Accessibility preferences pane offers options for zooming your whole screen.

Finally, if you have a Mac that permits you to change the display resolution, you might want to go that route. The Displays preference pane of System Preferences lets you scale your display. Try it and see if you can see enough on your screen after magnifying its scale. This alteration changes the number of pixels on the screen and, therefore, the size of text in the menubar, menu items, and so on.

Although font size settings are limited to certain apps, it’s good to know where you can make this change. Set up your most-used apps appropriately, and your eyes will thank you for making them work a bit less.

(The information below is based on OS X El Capitan. For additional updated information, go to Low Vision Accessibility Settings for MacBooks (February 2019).

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

There are many accessibility options built-in to Apple Computers. Many of these options can be selected by going to the Apple Menu (Apple symbol in the top left corner of the screen) > System Preferences > Accessibility then selecting the accessibility category: Display, Zoom, VoiceOver, Descriptions, Captions, Audio, Keyboard, Mouse and Trackpad, Switch Control and Dictation.

Dock Magnification

When Dock Magnification is on, the cursor moves over the dock symbols, the symbol with the focus becomes larger. You can also adjust the length and size of the dock by changing the Size slider. Apple Menu > System Preferences > Dock, then select Magnification and move slider to the desired level of magnification.

Desktop Transparency

Reducing the transparency changes the bright white transparent areas of the desktop and app windows to gray. Apple Menu > System Preferences > Accessibility > Display, then select Reduce Transparency.

Desktop Background Picture

Change the desktop background picture that is less busy or fewer colors. Apple Menu > System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Desktop, then browse through the picture folders and select the desired picture.

Increase Contrast

This will reduce the transparency and will also make borders darker and more visible. Apple Menu > System Preferences > Accessibility > Display, then select Increase Contrast.

Increase Cursor Size

This will maintain an increased cursor size. You can also temporarily increase the cursor by quickly moving your finger back and forth on the trackpad or rapidly move the mouse. The pointer will briefly enlarge. To maintain a larger cursor: Apple Menu > System Preferences > Accessibility > Display, then move Cursor Size slider.

Increase Text Size

  • To increase email text: While in the Mail app, Mail Preferences > Fonts & Colors, beside Message List Font, click on Select then choose from the drop down menu. Beside Message Font, click on Select then choose from the drop down menu.
  • To increase Messages text: While in Messages, Messages > Preferences > General then move the Text Size slider.
  • To increase app text (works in many apps): Press Command -+ (Command and plus simultaneously) or Command- – (Command and minus). Some apps have app settings that allow the text size to be selected.

Increase Icons and Other Items

  • To increase icons and icon text on the desktop: Control-click the desktop > Show View Options, then move the icon size slider.
  • To increase icons and icon text in Finder folder: Open Finder (tool bar at the bottom of the screen), View > Show View Options.

When in Icon View (top left option in the Finder window – four tiny squares symbol), move Icon Size slider. Click the Text Size pop-up menu and choose a text size by using the up/down arrows.
When in List View (second option at the top of the Finder window – horizontal lines symbol), select Text Size in the pop-up menu and choose a text size by using the up/down arrows.
When in the Column View (third option at the top of the Finder window – three columns symbol), select Text Size pop-up menu and choose a text size by using the up/down arrows.

To increase items in the Finder and Mail sidebars: Apple Menu > System Preferences > General > Sidebar Icon Size and choose Large.

Zoom Set Up

Apple Menu > System Preferences > Accessibility > Zoom.
Set your preferences (you can select both).

Use keyboard shortcuts to zoom.
Use scroll gesture with modifier keys to zoom.

Choose Zoom Style: Full Screen or Picture-in-Picture (zoom window which can be moved around the screen).

To set options for zoom or zoom window, select More Options. This pop-up window enables you to set the maximum and minimum zoom ranges and how the screen image moves.

To quickly set Zoom options, press Option-Command-F5.

Using Zoom

To Zoom In on the screen: Apple Menu > System Preferences > Accessibility > Zoom.

When “use keyboard shortcuts to zoom” is selected, you can zoom by pressing Option-Command-Equal Sign. (Press the three keys simultaneously.) To Zoom Out, press Option-Command-Minus Sign. (Press the three keys simultaneously.) To toggle Zoom, press Option-Command-8.
When “Use scroll gesture with modifier keys to zoom” is selected, you can zoom in by holding down the Control key (or other modifier key) and swiping up with two fingers on your trackpad.

For more Zoom options, go to Zoom Pane of Accessibility

To Zoom In on Safari Webpages: When in Safari > View > Zoom In (or press Command-Plus Sign. Repeat multiple times to continue zooming in.

To Zoom In on just the text and not the images, choose Zoom Text Only.
If you never want to see small text sizes in Safari Webpages: Safari > Preferences > Advanced, select “Never use font sizes small than” then select your font size.

By Charlie Sorrel • 1:00 pm, January 25, 2018

Most people are animals. They drop files onto their Mac desktops the way teenagers drop junk food and candy wrappers in the street, littering the place up until you can’t find anything. I’m not gong to try to cure you of that habit. That was your parents’ job, and they already failed. But I can show you a few quick ways to access your shameful desktop when you decide you can face it.

The Mac has several ways to show you the desktop. The most painful way is to close all your visible windows until the desktop is revealed. An equally bad way is to minimize all your open windows into the Dock. Both of those require disrupting your workspace, just to find a file. There are at least four better ways to do reveal the desktop, none of which requires messing with your current screen layout.

Pinch to show Desktop

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

Use Exposé to show the desktop with a gesture.
Photo: Cult of Mac

This one may already be enabled on your Mac. Try it now. Just place your thumb and fingers onto your trackpad, and spread them out. It’s as if you’re pushing away all those windows with your fingers, and that’s exactly what happens. The windows fly off to the sides of the screen, revealing your desktop. Now, you can search this virtual junk drawer to find what you’re after.

Bonus tip. If you click and drag a file in this view, you can get all the window back while still dragging the file. Grab the file by clicking and dragging with your thumb, then with your thumb still pressed down, swipe your fingers across the trackpad. The dismissed windows will shoot back, under the file, leaving you to drop it into the app or Finder window of your choice.

Configure this gesture in System Preferences>Trackpad>More Gestures.

Hot Corners

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

Hot Corners can be assigned to all kinds of functions.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Another very handy way to temporarily expose the desktop is Hot Corners. Hot Corners is found under the Desktop & Screen Saver>Screen Saver section of System Preferences. A Hot Corner is activated when you move the mouse pointer into a corner of the screen. It can trigger many functions: Start/disable screensaver, sleep display, show Dashboard, and more, as well as Show Desktop. The beauty of Hot corners is that you don’t have to be accurate. Just throw the mouse pointer to the corner, and the function is triggered. I have one set to show the desktop, and another to sleep the display.

Hide Others

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

Quickly hide other apps with a keyboard command or menu click.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Hit Command-Option-H to Hide Others. This works in almost any app, letting you quickly disappear all apps other than the frontmost one. It’s a nice way to tidy a cluttered workspace, and if you use it while the Finder is the active application, then you’ll see only the Desktop, and any open Finder windows (which can be closed, or Exposéed out of the way).

Finder Window

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

The Desktop is just a regular old folder.
Photo: Cult of Mac

One final way to access the Desktop is to open it in: a Finder window. The Desktop is just a folder, after all, and you can show it as such. This also gives you access to all the Finder’s neat sorting options and various views: list view, column view, and so on. If you have a big screen Mac, then this is a great way to keep the Desktop available at all times, without actually having to look at the Desktop.

One day, you may get around to cleaning up your embarrassing Desktop. I don’t really care. But until then, at least you can keep it hidden with an equally unruly mess of widows, and yet still have quick access to it when you need to dump yet more crap on there.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

Thanks. Now Mention your suggestions and helpful tips in the comment. Also Spread this guide to your social friends via the share on Facebook, Twitter.

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Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: [email protected] [OR] [email protected]

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since the 2nd beta of Mojave, my internal keyboard and trackpad is not detected. I’ve sent the problem to apple but no changes.

I have a Mac book pro 13inch from early of 2015

My 2013 MacBook pro retina also have the problem with trackpad too, it sluggish or not register tap to click at all. Mojave beta also. Solution: wait until official Mojave and not install beta version anymore. I have too many apps installed and reinstall os is a nightmare

I have a non Force Click trackpad and solution #2 worked for me

You may want to add another fix option to this article – open “accessiblity option” by holding down the CMD, OPTION, and F5 keys at the same time. Ensure that all boxes are unchecked under “Mouse and keyboard”. one of these boxes got checked on my Mac during a software update and mouse froze on screen and many keys on the keyboard were unresponsive. Apple tech had no solutions to the problem!

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

There’s certainly one thing that all Macbook owners love about their Mac – the trackpad. Even the people I met who regret switching from Windows to OSX are huge fans of the trackpad and all the gestures you can do with them. Lots of people, however, only know the basic things you can do with it like dragging around files with three fingers. There are quite some more gestures possible that make your Mac experience even more comfortable.

Below, I collected a couple non-obvious gestures you should really know. They can save you a lot of time if you start using them frequently.

Table of Contents

1. Three finger tap on a word

This feature is very handy whenever you come across an unknown word. A tap with three finger on the word brings up your dictionary and, if applicable, a Wikipedia entry. You can switch between the two choices on the bottom. Thanks to the Wikipedia integration, you can also use this gesture with names of companies, famous persons or locations and get important information without googling.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

2. Horizontal two finger swipe in browser window

This gesture substitutes the “back” and “forward” buttons in your browser. Swiping with two fingers to the right brings you back to the website you visited before in the active tab. Swiping to the left brings does the opposite and brings you back to the most recent website you visited. Of course, this only works if you actually visited more than one page in one browser tab.

Easy, right? You don’t have to move your curser up and click any buttons anymore to navigate through your browsing history.

3. Three finger and thumb spread

This three finger gesture might take you one or two tries at first but it’s easy to remember. Basically, it moves all open apps and windows out of your way so that can access your desktop as fast as possible. All you need to do is place your thumb and three other fingers on your trackpad and spread them out. To bring back your windows or apps to continue where you left off, you have to do the reverse – bring your thumb and fingers back together.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

This gesture is so great, because it allows you to quickly access your desktop and open a file, for example. As soon as your done, you can bring back all windows and continue where you left off.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

4. Double tap with two fingers

If you have a hard time reading text on a website or you want to focus on a specific part of the site, you can use your Macs Smart Zoom by double tapping an area with two fingers. It will zoom into the site perfectly so that you only see the area you selected. Repeating the double tap zooms you back out.

This is really helpful if the content on a site is too small to read comfortably. You can also zoom into a site by pinching out but it’s more work if you have to zoom in manually. Plus, a double tap is much easier done.

5. BetterTouchTool

This isn’t a gesture, but it’s a great tool that allows you to define custom gestures to trigger tons of different actions. It doesn’t just stop there. You can also configure gestures for your Magic Mouse, normal mouse and actions custom keyboard shortcuts. As an example, in the screenshot below you can see the gesture “TipTap Right” that triggers the Chrome shortcut that opens up a link in a new tab.

Next to offering custom gestures, BetterTouchTool also has some additional features like windows snapping.

The best thing: it’s free! You can download it on the BetterTouchTool website.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

What’s your favorite trackpad gesture? Do you have some must have BetterTouchTool setups? Let us know in the comments!

Tom Nelson is an engineer, programmer, network manager, and computer network and systems designer who has written for Other World Computing,and others. Tom is also president of Coyote Moon, Inc., a Macintosh and Windows consulting firm.

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The trackpad on a MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or the standalone Magic Trackpad, is certainly fun to play with in the store. An Apple salesperson shows you how to scroll, zoom, and right-click, but after you get your new Mac notebook or Magic Trackpad home, some things you remember doing in the store may not work the same way.

It's not you, and it's not the Apple salesperson's fault either. The difficulty lies in how a Mac is configured by default versus the way most people end up configuring the trackpad. You need to customize your trackpad so that it works the way you want.

Information in this article applies specifically to Macs running macOS Sierra (10.12) through macOS Mojave (10.14). Similar trackpad preferences exist in earlier versions of the operating system.

Configuring Your Mac's Trackpad

Launch System Preferences, either by clicking its Dock icon or by selecting System Preferences from the Apple menu.

Click the Trackpad icon to open the trackpad preference pane.

Each of the three tabs—Point & Click, Scroll & Zoom, and More Gestures—contain options for customizing your trackpad experience.

Point & Click Tab

Select the Point & Click tab in the Trackpad preferences screen

Adjusting Tracking Speed

The speed at which the cursor moves across your Mac's screen is a function of both how fast you move your finger on the trackpad and the tracking speed you select.

You set the tracking speed, from slow to fast, using a slider in the Point & Click tab. Setting tracking speed to the Slow end of the slider requires you to move your finger farther along the trackpad surface to move the cursor. Using a slow setting allows for precise cursor movements, but it causes maddeningly slow cursor response. It may even require multiple swipes of the finger across the trackpad to move the cursor completely across the screen.

Set the slider to the Fast end, and the smallest amount of finger movement sends your cursor whizzing across the screen. Most users prefer to set the slider so that a full swipe of the finger across the trackpad causes the cursor to move from the left side of the display to the right side.

Trackpad Single Click

By default, a trackpad is set for a single click to be accomplished by physically pressing down on the trackpad, an action Apple calls a force press. You can feel the trackpad give as it is depressed. If you prefer, you can choose a single tap rather than the force press by selecting Tap to Click.

Trackpad Secondary Click

The Secondary Click, also referred to as a right-click, is turned off by default. This is a holdover dating back to the original Mac, which had a single-button mouse, but that was so 1984. To move into modern times, you’ll want to enable the secondary-click functionality.

You have options for the secondary click. Check Secondary Click and then use the drop-down menu under it to select one of three options:

  • Click with two fingers: enables a two-finger tap on the trackpad as a secondary click.
  • Click in bottom right corner: enables a single click to the bottom right corner of the trackpad to serve as a right-click equivalent.
  • Click in bottom left corner: enables a single click to the bottom left corner of the trackpad to serve as a right-click

There are two basic categories of gestures. Universal gestures are gestures that all applications can use. Application-specific gestures are only recognized by some applications.

Scroll & Zoom Tab

Select the Scroll & Zoom tab in the Trackpad preference pane.

  • Scroll Direction: Scrolling is achieved by dragging two fingers across the trackpad. You can scroll up, down, and sideways. OS X and macOS support two different scroll directions referred to as natural or not. Natural refers to scrolling using the same method found in iOS devices. This may seem backward for Mac users, so you can change the preference by removing the check mark in the Scroll direction box.
  • Zoom in or out: The two-finger pinch lets you zoom in or out on an object on the screen. To zoom in, place two fingers slightly apart on the trackpad and then bring the fingers together (pinching). To zoom out, place two fingers together on the trackpad and then spread the fingers apart.
  • Smart Zoom: Double tapping with two fingers zooms in. Double tapping a second time zooms out.
  • Rotate: Rotate with two fingers.

More Gestures Tab

The More Gestures tab contains additional gestures.

  • Swipe Between Pages moves you back or forward in any application that makes use of back and forward commands, such as a web browser.
  • Swipe Between Full-Screen Apps activates a swiping motion on the trackpad to switch between any open full-screen apps you are using.
  • Notification Center defines a swipe motion to open and close the notification panel.
  • Mission Control defines a swipe gesture to open Mission Control.
  • App Expose is used to define a swipe gesture to enter Expose.
  • LaunchPad defines a gesture to open the Launchpad app.
  • Show Desktop makes use of a spreading thumb and three fingers to hide open windows and display the underlying desktop.

You don't have to—and probably shouldn't—enable every gesture type available.

Equating Clicks and Taps

When you see instructions for using your Mac, they usually reference mouse clicks. Here is the translation for a trackpad.

Google Play Store not always a safe place to download Applications, and new research from Dr. Web proves it. The antivirus company has discovered a series of applications that appear to be clearly functional but they harbor Trojans and various methods by which they also manage to obtain personal data from users and their money.

Although many apps are removed from the Google Play Store for violating the platform rules, some apps persist for months and even rack up a huge number of downloads. As reported by Dr. Web, a series of malicious applications are dedicated to managing cryptocurrencies.

How these malicious apps work on an Android device

The apps in question want users to believe that they can use it to make money quickly and without investment experience with a “trading algorithm or personal manager” that performs all the procedures so that the user does not have to do anything.

To do this, the application requires that the user registers on a website and recharges balance to start working. However, the money in the account was transferred to the account of the cyber criminal.

Other related apps, some of which are even hidden as social assistance platforms, request only banking information and personal data to then steal money from the victims. Some of the applications that contain this virus and can be downloaded from Google Play:

-Investment Gaz Income.

Popular Google Play Store Apps Containing Malware

On the other hand, there are several image editing or customization applications also available on Google Play, which used a type of Trojan called ‘Android.Subscription’. In particular, this can create a paid subscription (usually monthly) with only the user’s phone number.

As a result, the apps tricked victims into asking for a phone number to use features or confirm their identity, and then used it to activate subscriptions and earn money fraudulently. Here are some platforms that contain this type of malware:

– Powerbeats Photo Studio.

-Launcher iOS 15.

– Adorn Photo Pro (includes a Trojan capable of stealing the necessary data to access users’ Facebook accounts).

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

Malicious apps on Android. (photo: laSexta)

There are these mods for WhatsApp that should also be removed as soon as possible

The report published by Dr Web also warns against spreading WhatsApp mods on Google Play. These applications are used to add additional features to the messaging platform, but they hide Trojans in different ways.

For example, one of them can access the notifications of other applications and steal your information. The application called ‘Android.HiddenAds’, It automatically downloads additional apps without user’s permission and then displays ads that redirect to malicious websites.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

OBWhatsApp. (photo: Google Play Store)

Some applications that work as WhatsApp mods and contain these Trojans are: GBWhatsApp, OBWhatsApp and WhatsApp Plus.

If the user has one of the applications, it is best to uninstall it as soon as possible. Instead, You need to change your account password and check with your carrier to see if your phone has an active subscription.

To avoid future threats, it is advisable to try to do not download applications with many negative ratings on Google Play, as well as always verify the permissions requested by the platform while it is running on your mobile device.


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Want to zoom in real close to something on your Mac? Or maybe you’re looking to pull back for a wider view? Either way, we’ve got your back.

If you want to be able to zoom in and out on your Mac — be it your entire screen or just in a specific window — you have a few different options to choose from.

1. Zooming in on a single window using keyboard shortcuts

If you’re looking to zoom in or out solely in a specific window, webpage, or app, one of the most popular ways to do so is by using the helpful keyboard shortcuts below.

Zoom out: Command + –

Zoom in: Command + +

You can keep pushing the – or + keys while holding down the Command key until you’ve zoomed to your heart’s content. Go ahead, give it a try.

2. Zooming in on a single window using trackpad gestures

If you’re using a laptop with a trackpad, you have another great single window zooming option right at your fingertips. Simply place two fingers on your trackpad and pinch them together to zoom out or move them apart to zoom in. Isn’t that cool?

Zooming in on your entire screen

Sometimes you’re looking to zoom in or out on your entire Mac screen, and that’s also doable.

To access whole screen zooming options, first you have to click on the Apple icon in the upper lefthand corner of your screen. In the drop-down menu, select “System Preferences,” then “Accessibility,” which is marked by a blue circle icon with a stick figure inside.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

Click “Accessibility” and then click “Zoom” on the left side of the window that opens up.

3. Using keyboard shortcuts to zoom in and out

The first whole screen zoom option, which you’ll see at the top of your recently opened window, lets you use keyboard shortcuts to toggle zoom, zoom in, and zoom out. Once you check the box next to “Use keyboard shortcuts to zoom” you’ll be able to utilize these shortcuts:

Toggle zoom: Option + Command + 8

Zoom in: Option + Command + =

Zoom out: Option + Command + –

You can also toggle smooth images by using Command + Command + \, which lets you adjust the smoothness of the image on your screen after zooming.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

4. Using scroll gesture with modifier keys to zoom in and out

The second whole screen zoom option is to use scroll gesture with modifier keys. Selecting this option will allow you to hold down the key of your choice — either Control, Option, or Command — while scrolling with your cursor to zoom. You can select your preferred key in the dropdown menu, as shown below.

How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

The “Zoom style” dropdown menu underneath that allows you to alter the way the screen zooms. You can choose between full screen, split screen, or picture-in-picture zoom.

You can also click the “Choose Display” and “Advanced. ” boxes to further personalize your zoom appearance and controls.

5. Enabling hover text to zoom

If you have a Mac that isn’t over 10 years old (like mine), you have a couple other zoom options to work with as well.

One of those options is enabling hover text to zoom. Selecting this option will show you a bigger, higher-res image of the text that your cursor hovers over, as long as you’re simultaneously holding down the “Command” key. You can click on “Options” to adjust how the text will appear.

6. Enabling Touch Bar zoom

A final option is only for Macs with Touch Bars. You can select “Enable Touch Bar zoom” which will make the Touch Bar larger and easier to see on the bottom of your screen. All you have to do is to test it out is touch and hold the Touch Bar.

Many Mac users reported touchpad scroll not working problem. Some are unable to scroll up and down anytime, and in any app, using the built-in 2-finger scrolling gesture. For others, the scrolling feature works fine after booting up, but it stops a couple of minutes later.

The problem occurs on various OS X and MacOS versions (reported on OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2, OS X Mavericks, OS X Yosemite, OS X El Capitan, macOS Sierra).

The Cause of the Problem

In most cases, when users are experiencing this problem, the other (3-finger and 4-finger) gestures work just fine. Only the two-finger scrolling does not work properly. That indicates that there is not a hardware issue with your touchpad. (Make sure if others gestures works on your touchpad.)

This problem seems to happen after an OS update. In that case, more than likely this is caused by the global preferences which hold touchpad information. What happens is the computer keeps the old settings, while the updated OS requires new ones. This software misunderstanding leads to a non-working touchpad. Here is how can you fix that.

Fix #1: Use Terminal to Enable 2-Finger Scrolling

By default, global preference settings are hidden in OS X and macOS. However, you can use Terminal to enable them and fix the two-finger scrolling gesture.

  1. LaunchTerminal (Go > Applications > Utilities > Terminal).
  2. Now, typethefollowingcommand in it.

defaults write -g 2

  1. PressEnter, closetheterminal and restartyourMac.
    How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

Now, try the 2-finger scrolling gesture. If your touchpad is not working, continue with the next fix.

Fix #2: Adjust System Preferences

  1. GotoMouse & Trackpadsettings (Click on Apple logo on the menu bar > System Preferences > Accessibility > Mouse & Trackpad).
  2. Make sure the Scrollingboxischecked.
  3. Now, choosewith inertia” in the drop-down next to it.
  4. ClickOK.
    How to use trackpad gestures in finder’s preview pane

Fix #3: Disable 2-Finger Swipe Between Pages

This method helps if your 2-finger scrolling feature doesn’t work in web browsers (Chrome and Firefox).

  1. Quitanybrowser.
  2. ClickonApplelogo on the menu bar and choose System Preferences.
  3. ChooseView > Trackpad from the System Preferences menu (or double-click the Trackpad icon in the System Preferences window).
  4. Click the MoreGesturestab.
  5. Now, disableSwipebetweenpages.
  6. LaunchChrome or Firefox and test if it works.

I hope we helped you to fix your touchpad scrolling feature. Now, let us know what did work for you, in the comment section below.