Deep Dive: Mouses, Trackpads and Keyboards

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If you are looking to further familiarize yourself with the various gestures and shortcuts available through your mouse, trackpad and keyboard, this section will detail all of the various options you have as a mac user.


Below are several additional gestures that you can use with the Apple magic mouse.

  • Smart Zoom: Smart Zoom allows you to quickly and easily zoom into a page or document while automatically cropping the image itself so that the quality of the subsequent portion remains the same, and fills the screen appropriately. This feature is usable in Preview and Safari. To use this feature, first locate your cursor over the section of the page that you would like to zoom in on, and then, with one finger, tap twice in quick succession in the center of your mouse, and to zoom out simply double-click with one finger once more.
  • Mission Control: To quickly access mission control, which allows you to access all open windows and desktops at one time, simply double tap with two fingers at the top of your mouse.
  • Navigate between open applications: When trying to quickly move from one full screen application to another, you can scroll horizontally across the top of your mouse with two fingers. This feature works in both directions, and will access the application directly to the left or right of your current screen.
  • Navigate between pages: if you are swiping between web pages or document pages, simply swipe from left to right — or right or left — across the top of you mouse with one finger.


Below are several additional gestures that you can use with your trackpad

  • Smart Zoom: to zoom into a specific section of the page, navigate the mouse icon to the portion of the page you would like to zoom into and double-tap the trackpad with two fingers. You can then zoom out by double clicking again.
  • Standard zoom: to zoom in, place two fingers on the trackpad as if you were pinching someone, and slowly pull your fingers apart while dragging them along the trackpad without clicking. To zoom out, reverse this motion, dragging your fingers back together.
  • Rotate: to rotate an image or pdf, place one finger on the trackpad without clicking, and circle another finger around it in the direction that you would like to rotate the image, allowing your first finger to follow in the same circular direction.
  • Navigate between pages: to move from one page to a previous one, drag two fingers from right to left across the trackpad. To undo this action, or move from one page to the next page, drag two fingers from left to right across the trackpad.
  • Notification Center: if you would like to access the notification center, simply scroll from right to left with three fingers. To hide the notification center simply reverse this motion.
  • Item select and drag: there is a feature available with trackpads known as the “Three Finger Drag” that allows you to easily select, drag, and drop items across your screen. In order to do so, simply select the item you would like to move and drag three fingers across the trackpad in whatever direction you would like to move the item — to release the item simply tap the trackpad. This feature is not automatically enabled on trackpads, so if you are interested in using it, you will need to activate it through Accessibility Preferences.
  • Item Look Up: if there is a word on any Safari webpage that you would like to research the definition of, you can utilize the  look up feature. To do so, simply move your mouse over the word in question and tap with three fingers. You can also use this click to interact with phone numbers, dates and addresses.
  • Desktop: to quickly access or view your desktop, you will want to perform a similar motion to the zoom in feature, except you will slowly unpinch your hand using three fingers and your thumb rather than one finger. To navigate back to your original page, reverse the motion.
  • Launchpad: if you would like to access your launchpad, perform the reverse motion of the desktop reveal. That is, slowly bring your three fingers and thumb together in a pinching gesture. To return to your original page, reverse this potion and pull your fingers and thumb apart. 
  • Mission Control: To access mission control, scroll upwards with three fingers.
  • Open Applications:  to reveal all applications that are currently open or in use, scroll down with three fingers.
  • Navigate between open applications: to move from one full screen application to another, drag four fingers horizontally across the trackpad; this feature works in either direction.


Below are additional shortcuts available to mac users on their keyboards:

Frequently Used Shortcuts:

  • Removes the selected text and copies it: Command and X
  • Selects all available items in the current window: Command and A
  • Find previously found item: Command and G
    • To find an item found once removed from this occurrence: shift and Command and G
  • Hide the windows of current application: Command and H
    • Hide all other open applications except the current one: Option and Command and H
  • Minimize current open window of application in use: Command and M
    • Minimize all windows of currently open application: Option and Command and M
  • Open selected file: Command and O
  • Open a new tab: Command and T
  • Close current tab: Command and W
  • Force Quit: Option and Command and Esc
  • Spotlight Search: Command and spacebar
  • Access character viewer: Control and command and spacebar
  • Toggle between open applications: Command and tab
  • Screenshot or screen record entire display: Shift and command and 5
    • Customizable screen shot: Shift and Command and 4
  • Create a new folder: Shift and command and N
  • Access preferences for current application: Command and comma

Editing and Writing Shortcuts:

  • Italicize: Command and I
  • Bold: Command and B
  • Underline: Command and U
  • Save As: Shift and Command and S
  • Reveal definition of selected word: Control and Command and D
  • Increase font size of selected text: Shift and Command and Plus
    • Decrease font size of selected text: Shift and Command and Minus
  • Access Search bar: Option and Command and F
  • Insert web link: Command and K
  • Access fonts: Command and T
  • Spell and Grammar Check: Command and Semicolon
  • Align selected text to the left: Command and Left Curly Bracket
    • Align selected text to the right: Common and Right Curly Bracket
    • Center selected text: Command and Vertical Line
  • Move cursor to the beginning of current paragraph: Control and A
    • Move cursor to the end of current paragraph: Control and E
  • Move one letter forward: Control and F
    • Move one letter backward: Control and B
  • Move up one line: Control and P
    • Move down one line: Control and N
  • Insert new line: Control and O
  • Increase font size of selected text: Shift and Command and Plus
    • Decrease font size of selected text: Shift and Command and Minus

Finder Shortcuts

  • Duplicate: Command and D
  • Eject: Command and E
  • Search Finder: Command and F
  • Access file information for selected item: Command and I
  • Access desktop folder: Shift and Command and D
  • Access recently edited items: Shift and Command and F
  • Access iCloud Drive: Shift and Command and I
  • Access Downloads folder: Option and Command and L
  • Access Documents folder: Option and Command and O
  • Access Utilities folder: Shift and Command and U
  • Create a new folder: Shift and Command and N
    • Create a new smart folder: Option and Command and N
  • Reveal or hide the dock: Option and Command and D
  • New Finder window: Command and N
  • Preview selected items: Command and Y
  • Display files as icons: Command and 1
    • Display files as lists: Command and 2
    • Display files as columns: Command and 3
    • Display files as gallery: Command and 4
  • Access previous folder: Command and Left Bracket
    • Access next folder: Command and Right Bracket
  • Open selected item: Command and Down Arrow
  • Delete selected item: Command and Delete
  • Empty Trash (permanently delete recently deleted items): Shift and Command and Delete