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Mac 101: Multi-touch Tips


With the introduction of the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros last month, Apple included several ingenious features for the multitouch trackpad. In this Mac 101, I'm going to walk you through a couple of extra-finger tricks.

Using Two Fingers
  • Scroll -- If you're in a long document, or webpage, you can easily scroll through it by moving two fingers, side-by-side, up and down the trackpad. This feature works in almost any application.
  • Rotate -- If you're in Preview.app or iPhoto, you can easily rotate a photo by rotating two fingers (like twisting off a bottle cap). This will work in only a few Apple applications, and may work with some third-party apps.
  • Pinch Open and Close -- In Preview.app or iPhoto, you can zoom in on a photo by "pinching" the trackpad using two fingers. This is similar to the way you would zoom a photo on the iPhone.
Using Four Fingers
  • You can launch Exposé by swiping four fingers downward on the trackpad. This will allow you to view all open windows as tiles on your screen. This is the equivalent to using fn + F9.
  • You can view your desktop by swiping four fingers upward on the trackpad. This will allow you to see everything on your desktop, without the clutter of open windows. This is the equivalent to using fn + F11.
Other Application Uses
  • While reading your email in Mail.app, try swiping three fingers up or down on the trackpad. This will allow you to move to the next / last email without clicking or using the arrow keys.
  • While in browsing the web in Safari.app, try the two-finger "pinch" to zoom in on text. You can also use three fingers to swipe back and forth through the recent browsing history.
  • If you want more cool multi-touch trackpad features, check the "Trackpad" section of System Preferences.
Want more tips and tricks like this? Visit TUAW's Mac 101 section.

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Mac 101

With the introduction of the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros last month, Apple included several ingenious features for the multitouch...