NOTE: Which of the following gestures are available to you depends on the type of notebook Mac you have and which version of Mac OS X you have.
To set Trackpad Gestures, open System Preferences from the Dock or from the Apple menu. Go to the Keyboard & Mouse preference pane (Leopard) or Trackpad preference pane (Snow Leopard). Then choose the Trackpad tab. What you see will look similar to the image at the right.
You will have some or all of the Trackpad Gestures options:
- Use two fingers to scroll. With two-finger scrolling, you place two fingers next to each other on the trackpad. Move them up and down and the page will scroll up and down just as if you were using the vertical scroll bar. You can also move your fingers side to side and the page will scroll left and right just as if you were using the horizontal scroll bar. The last trick you can do with two-finger scrolling is hold down the control key when you do it to zoom the screen in and out. (See this tip for more info about zooming the screen.)
- Clicking. With clicking turned on you can simply tap the trackpad to click the mouse button. I have found that this is a love/hate feature. Personally, the clicking gesture drives me nuts. I am always tapping the trackpad inadvertently and thereby clicking things I don't want clicked. On the other hand, the clicking gesture is a common feature on PC notebooks and I've seen some Switchers get very frustrated because it doesn't seem to work on a Mac. All you need to do is turn it on here. As far as I know, the clicking gesture is available to every notebook Mac.
- Place two finders on trackpad and click button for secondary click. The Mac trackpad only has one button (another source of frustration for Switchers) Normally to get a "right click" (what Apple calls the "secondary click") you hold down the control key and then click. But if you turn on this gesture, you can put two fingers on the trackpad and then click the trackpad button to get a right click. Sneaky, eh?
- The MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and the newest MacBooks have borrowed some trackpad gestures from the iPhone and the iPod touch: Swipe, Pinch and Expand, and Rotate. You can see them demoed inside the Trackpad preference pane on these Macs or you can go here to see them demoed on Apple's MacBook page.