Trackpad Preferences on Your MacBook - dummies

By Mark L. Chambers

The Trackpad preferences pane of the Hardware section of the System Preferences window allows the elite MacBook crowd to customize their pointing contraption. Note that the settings you see here depend on the specific type of trackpad you’re using, so don’t worry if your TrackPad preferences pane looks different.

Each pane allows you to turn a gesture on or off with the corresponding check box, so you can disable those gestures you don’t use to prevent spurious actions.


Due to differences in the actual trackpad hardware, older MacBook models that are upgraded to Lion may not support the Multi-Touch gestures available on newer models.

It pays to watch the neat animated preview pane, since it ably demonstrates both the gesture for the selected setting and the resulting action performed by your MacBook.

On the Point & Click pane, you can configure a single tap on the trackpad as a click. Click the down arrow next to the Secondary Click item to configure the two-finger secondary click action. Your MacBook can recognize two separate three-finger gestures as well — Look Up and Drag. At the bottom of the pane, the Tracking Speed slider allows you to fine-tune the movement speed of your cursor.

On the Scroll & Zoom pane, you can set your MacBook’s trackpad for scrolling, zooming and rotating using two fingers.

On the More Gestures pane, you’ll find the settings for swiping (both between pages using two fingers and between entire applications in full-screen mode using three fingers), activating Mission Control, Spaces, and Launchpad, and displaying the desktop.