Just some BetterTouchTool notes

I stumbled upon a BetterTouchTool setting that filled me with glee today. It probably should have been obvious to me earlier, but I hadn’t tried right clicking a gesture in the table view. When you do, you get this menu:

There have been numerous gestures that I’ve loved on my Magic Trackpad, but were inconvenient (frequently triggered accidentally) when using my MacBook Air’s built-in trackpad. I’d ditch those gestures and stick with the lowest common denominator. With this setting, I can keep the cool ones on my Magic Trackpad, and disable them on the built-in. Awesome.

Now, since I know a bunch of people will ask again, here are a few of my BetterTouchTool gestures1. There’s a method to my madness, and I try to keep the list trim and the gestures consistent between apps. These are the ones that have stuck; I’ve deleted ones I’m still toying with so as not to cause anyone undue pain.


Gesture Action Note
Custom Tap Sequence Q 2,1,4,3
Three Finger Swipe Up Enter fullscreen (if supported)  
Four Finger Click Minimize Window Below Cursor  
Three Finger Click CMD - Click  
Three Finger Clickswipe Right Hide All Windows  
Two Finger TipTap Left [ Tab switching
Two Finger TipTap Right ] Tab switching
Corner Click Bottom Right W Close a window with the side of my palm
Two Finger TipTap Middle Mute  
Three Finger Clickswipe Up Show Dashboard  
Single Finger Tap Top Middle R Set to require a double-tap
Three Finger Clickswipe Down T Opens my Terminal Visor
Custom Tap Sequence Show menubar in context menu 4,1,2,3
Rotate Left   Rewinds song (Simplify)
Rotate Right   Skips song (Simplify)
Two Finger Swipe From Left Edge   Play/Pause (Simplify)
Custom Tap Sequence Maximize Window Right 1,2,3,4
Custom Tap Sequence Maximize Window Left 4,3,2,1

Chrome & Finder

Gesture Action Note
Three Finger Swipe Left ]  
Three Finger Swipe Right [  


Gesture Action Note
Three Finger Swipe Left U  
Two Finger Swipe Left    
Three Finger Click Middleclick  
Three Finger Swipe Right Y  


Gesture Action Note
Three Finger Swipe Left N Fetch new mail
Three Finger Swipe Down , Next message (two-part action, works even when message list isn’t focused)
Three Finger Swipe Up , Previous message

My keyboard actions are mostly for launching apps via my Hyper key. I do like this one: “Hyper-z” is assigned to refresh/update actions in certain apps. For example, in Mail it sends “N”, in Chrome and Safari it hits “R”, in Reeder it hits “R”. Why? Because I have most of my app launching keys (as well as Mission Control navigation) assigned to the left half of my keyboard. With Hyper-z, I can quickly jump to an app with just my left hand, refresh it and then decide if I need my other hand on the keyboard. Handy when you’re half on the keyboard, half on the trackpad, eating a sandwich, drinking coffee… c’mon, you must take your hand off the keyboard for something.

I love BetterTouchTool. You should try it.

  1. Yes, I did manage to script a Markdown table from the PDF of your gestures that BetterTouchTool exports when you hit “Print your gestures.” It was an ugly battle.

Brett Terpstra

Brett is a writer and developer living in Minnesota, USA. You can follow him as ttscoff on Twitter, GitHub, and Mastodon. Keep up with this blog by subscribing in your favorite news reader.

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