Better Touch Tool Puts You In Control Of Gestures On Your Mac [50 Mac Essentials #48]



Once you’ve downloaded Better Touch Tool and started to explore what it has to offer, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

It’s an app that lives up to its name. It greatly enhances your experience of using a Mac by letting you add your own custom gestures. But despite the name, it works beyond your Mac’s trackpad or Magic Mouse. You can use it for keyboard shortcuts too, or with a standard USB mouse. Even an Apple Remote.

Most of the time, there’s not much to see except a Menu Bar icon. Better Touch Tool (let’s call it BTT from now on) works behind the scenes, monitoring which application you’re using and what your fingers are doing on the trackpad.

You can easily setup gestures and assign them to shortcuts. You want the Application Switcher to appear when you do a three-finger swipe downwards? Sure. You want to open a particular folder, file or URL when you do a single tap in the bottom-right corner? No problem.

And there are so many gestures to choose from, way more than the basic ones Apple offers in System Preferences. Ever heard of a “Two Finger TipTap Left”? Or tried a four-finger click? You can do those.

What’s so impressive about BTT – aside from the price – is that it lets the wonderful touch surfaces on our computers work to their full potential. You have a Trackpad; with BTT you can really make it work for you.

It’s possible to set up dozens, even hundreds of actions and gestures, but I suspect most people will only need a handful. Just little tasks they do frequently, which would be so much better and easier if activated by a gesture.

I suffer from wrist strain through using the Command+Tab Application Switcher so much, so I’ve set up a BTT gesture to get to it another way (four finger click, since you ask).

Amazingly, BTT is free. Donations are accepted, mind you, so don’t be shy. It is, without a doubt, an essential extra for your Mac. Go get it now.

(You’re reading the 48th post in our series, 50 Mac Essentials: a list of the great Mac apps the team at Cult of Mac value most. Read more, or grab the RSS feed.)


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