Two Must Know Usability Tips for Mac Laptop Users
If there are only two general usability tips that every Mac laptop owner must know about, these very well could be it. First, how to simulate a right click with your trackpad, and second, scrolling through documents much like is done with a scrollwheel.
I have long assumed these were common knowledge, but I’ve heard enough complaints and wishes and had to demonstrate them to enough people to prove otherwise. So if you don’t know about these two trackpad features, then you do now, and once you start using them, it’s impossible to go without. These work on just about every semi-modern Mac laptop made, whether it’s a G4 PowerBook, an Core i7 MacBook Pro Retina, or a MacBook Air. As long as the Mac laptop has a trackpad, you’re good.
1: Right Click with a Mac Trackpad Using a Two Finger Click
Hold two fingers on the trackpad while you use the click button, this mimics the right-click function of a mouse, or the Control+Click option otherwise used on a Mac.
If you’d rather not use the two-finger click trick, you can also enable a literal right-click on the Mac trackpad with this guide.
2: Scroll Pages like a Scroll Wheel with Two Finger Trackpad Swipes
Place two fingers on the trackpad and move them up to scroll up, and down to scroll down. This works to scroll horizontally as well.
If these features aren’t working for you, they are probably disabled. Here is how to activate these options (assuming they are turned off), go to Apple menu -> System Preferences. Navigate to the ‘Keyboard & Mouse’ preference pane under Hardware. Click the Trackpad tab. Under Trackpad gestures, be sure that “Use two fingers to scroll” and ‘Place two fingers on trackpad and click button for secondary click’ are checked, as shown in the screenshot below. Enjoy!
Note: Several of our readers have pointed out that these tips are not compatible with some older PowerBook and iBook models. However, a program called iScroll2 enables the scrolling ability on these models. Get iScroll2 here. Thanks to all who pointed this out!