Custom gestures for the touchpad with BetterTouchTool

The MacBook is the coolest touchpad, out of the box the system understands a variety of convenient multitouch gestures, but we decided to go ahead and to greatly expand the set of standard commands using the application BetterTouchTool.

BetterTouchTool allows you to bind actions to any gesture that it recognizes the touchpad of the MacBook. The app has a simple and intuitive interface through which you can start configuring immediately after installation of the utility. BetterTouchTool have a fairly extensive set of tools that in addition to the touchpad, keyboard, Magic Mouse, a remote control, from Apple TV, and also has support for setting Touchbar MacBook Pro. The utility paid for it developers ask for 6 dollars and a half, but it is worth noting the presence of a 45-day trial period. Agree, a month and a half will be enough to assess the merits of the application.

Add gestures

You first need to download and install BetterTouchTool from the official website of the developer. During the first launch, the app will ask permission to manage the system — you need to agree, otherwise the application will not be able to work.

Each custom gesture consists of two parts: trigger (the gesture) and the action. Consider setting new gestures for example swipe four fingers down the touchpad — the “4 Finger Swipe Down”.

Open the app BetterTouchTool and go to “Trackpads”.

Click add new gesture “Add New Gesture”.

Click select gesture — “Please Select a Gesture”.

In the example, I decided to stay on the choice of swipe four fingers down the touchpad — the “4 Finger Swipe Down”.

In the “Custom Keybord Shortcut” you can add a combination of keys for quick access using the keyboard, but we’ll leave this feature for your experiments.

Choose the action for the gesture in the “Predefined Action”.

I decided to adhere to this gesture screenshot of the window, select “Screenshots”.

In order for the selected gesture run the tool “screenshot of a window” you need to select “Capture Screenshot (Configurable)”.

In the opened window put a tick on the checkbox “Start interaction in window selection mode”. In this window you can configure the path to save screenshots to set the names for the default file and select the format, in my case it is PNG.

To save the settings, action, click “Save”, your new gesture is ready to go!

Clifton Nichols

Clifton Nichols

Hi! I’m Clifton and I am a full-stack engineer with a passion for building performant and scalable applications that are beautiful and easy to use.

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