12 Keyboard and Multitouch Gesture Tricks on Mac to Improve Your Productivity

12 Keyboard and Multitouch Gestures Tricks on Mac

You may have accidentally discovered a keyboard shortcut or multitouch gesture that made everything faster and easier in your Mac computer. Would you like to know others? We are unveiling a handful of keyboard shortcuts and secret multitouch gestures for Mac users to tinker with while working towards seamless switching and navigation. Whether you just switched to OS X, are a newbie or a veteran user, as always the goal is to make your tech life easier.

Note: in this tutorial the computer runs OS X Yosemite 10.10.3.

1. Force Quit

Shorcut key: option + command + esc


Are you experiencing slow performance? Try the keyboard combos above, and the Force Quit window will pop out.

2. Show Spotlight Search

Shortcut key: command + space bar


Instead of searching through the Finder, you can simply type the name of the app for quick access. Here’s another secret: once the Spotlight Search bar appears, you can use it as a calculator, too! Type the numbers, and you get the answer in a jiffy.

3. Insert Apple icon

Shortcut key: option + shift + K


Do you want to spice up your texts? Insert the famous Apple logo using the trick above.

4. Zoom in and out in the web browser

Shortcut key: ­­
command + [+] key: Zoom in
command + [-] key: Zoom out


If you want to change the resolution of the web browser, the two keys will do the trick. Keep in mind that this only works for browsers. And if you want to reset the settings, press “command + 0.”

5. Print screenshot

Shortcut key: command + shift + 3


Try the key combo above to capture the whole screen.

6. Trimmed screenshot

Shortcut key: command + shift + 4


You can trim a screenshot or grab a specific window using this trick. When you hold these keys simultaneously, the mouse pointer will turn into a crosshair showing the number of pixels.

7. Show Exposé

Multi-touch gesture: Four-finger swipe up and down


On the multi-touch trackpad, the four-finger swipe up and down shows Exposé – all the running applications, the dashboard, and open desktops on top. Drag the mouse pointer to the upper-right corner to launch another desktop. You may also drag and drop the applications from one desktop to another.

8. Switch from one desktop to another

Multi-touch gesture: Four-finger swipe left and right


You may run applications in a separate desktop, and then swipe from left to right to work seamlessly from one window to another.

9. Show the dictionary

Multi-touch gesture: Three-finger tap on a word


When browsing the pages, this trick allows you to see the meaning of the word – the Lookup Word is activated.

10. Preview a file

Multi-touch gesture: Three-finger tap on a file


Go to the Finder and do this trick. Tap the file and a preview window shows what’s in it. If it’s a Word doc file or a PDF – without launching the app, you can have a peek at what’s in it.

11. Zoom in and out

Multi-touch gesture: Two-finger pinch


While the keyboard combo of zoom in and out provides a specific resolution to the browser, this two-finger pinch activates the zoom in and out on PDFs, images, Pages and more.

12. Zoom in

Multi-touch gesture: Two-finger double tap


This Smart Zoom gesture is applicable when you’re browsing the website. Aside from the keyboard combos and two-finger pinch gesture, you can try this trick, but it will only zoom in once. Repeat it and it will reset to the original resolution.

What did we miss? Why not share your list of keyboard shortcuts and multi-touch gestures?

Maria Krisette Capati
Maria Krisette Capati

Krisette is a technology writer who loves to cover disruptive technologies, trends, and a myriad of rumors and news updates. To satiate the inconsolable longing to feed her gadget addiction, she simply writes and tinker her gadgets for reviews. You may follow her blurbs, too! @krisettecapati

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