Stupid Simple Mac Tip #91 – Finger Clickin’ Good

Stupid Simple Mac Tip #91 – Finger Clickin’ Good

By Tom Lambotte | August 17, 2021

Many Mac users view their trackpad merely as a mouse substitute on the go. They point, click, and sometimes scroll…but those simple actions barely scratch the surface of what the trackpad can do. Literally!

I’m sure you know the one-finger click and that a two-finger tap is a right-click. Scrolling up-and-down is intuitive, and the pinch-zoom comes straight from your phone…but Apple engineers have put a slew of other functions at your fingertips using myriad Multi-Touch options.

With 15 distinct Multi-Touch motions, mastering them all might be more challenging than sign language; let’s just stick to a “handful” that I find particularly finger clickin’ good. 🐔😉

Crack your knuckles, wiggle your digits, and prepare for some prestidigitation (that’s a fancy word for magic – I had to look it up, too).

Smart Zoom

Double-tapping the pad with two fingers lets you zoom in on an object (image, webpage, PDF) without enlarging the whole screen.


Beyond zooming in or out, you can rotate images on your screen by pivoting two fingers around each other.

Page Swiping

Swiping left or right with two fingers lets you turn pages of a document or – even better — advance or go back web pages in your browser.

Three-Finger Drag

By placing the cursor over an object and pressuring the pad with three fingers, you’ll automatically grab the item and drag it – just click to drop where you want.


The three-finger tap is a handy research tool that’s like having Siri in the palm of your hand. Use this tap on a link for a web page preview, on a word to look it up, or on a file to view it in Quick-Look.

Show Desktop

When you need to cut through screen clutter (or hide your work from passersby), spread your thumb and three fingers in a reverse claw pinch (a chef’s kiss!) to part all open windows like the Red Sea and get straight to your desktop.

Mission Control

Swiping up with four fingers opens Mission Control, the easiest way to see everything that’s open and switch back-and-forth between apps.

If these motions require more dexterity than you can muster or make your carpal tunnels sing, most can be customized using 🍎 > System Preferences > Trackpad.

Suddenly you’re a wizard wowing friends with sleight of hand and getting more production with less effort on your Mac. It’s practically like practicing thaumaturgy (that’s an even fancier word for magic…I gotta put away this thesaurus).

  • August 17, 2021

About the Author

Tom Lambotte is a legal technology expert, author and the CEO of GlobalMac IT. He helps Mac-using lawyers with super simple technology, security and efficiency strategies that work. He’s on a mission to help attorneys using Apple computers reduce their security risk and get more out of their technology. Get his free 33 Stupid Simple Mac Tips and score some quick wins to boost your productivity.