Navigating in Yosemite - MacBook in easy steps: Covers OS X Yosemite (10.10) (2015) 

MacBook in easy steps: Covers OS X Yosemite (10.10) (2015)

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Navigating in Yosemite

OS X Yosemite uses multi-touch gestures for navigating your apps and documents. This chapter looks at how to use these to get around your MacBook.

Navigating with MacBooks

Pointing and Clicking

No More Scroll Bars

Scrolling and Zooming

Mission Control

Multi-Touch Preferences

Navigating with MacBooks

One of the most revolutionary features of OS X is the way in which you can navigate around your applications, web pages and documents. This involves a much greater reliance on swiping on a trackpad or adapted mouse; techniques that have been imported from the iPhone and the iPad. These are known as multi-touch gestures and work most effectively with the trackpad on MacBooks. Other devices can also be used to perform multi-touch gestures:

A Magic Trackpad. This is an external trackpad that works wirelessly via Bluetooth, but there should not really be any need for one with a MacBook.

A Magic Mouse. This is an external mouse that works wirelessly via Bluetooth.

These devices, and the trackpad, work using a swiping technique with fingers moving over their surface. This should be done with a light touch; it is a gentle swipe, rather than any pressure being applied to the device.

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The new MacBook and MacBook Pro Retina display 13-inch both have Force Touch technology on the trackpad. This still allows for the usual range of multi-touch gestures but can also be used for other functions, depending on the amount of pressure that is applied to the trackpad. Settings for this can be applied in the Trackpad section within System Preferences.

The trackpads and Magic Mouse do not have any buttons in the same way as traditional devices. Instead, specific areas are clickable so that you can still perform left-and right-click operations:

imageClick on the bottom left corner for traditional left-click operations

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imageCtrl+click on the bottom right corner for traditional right-click operations

Pointing and Clicking

A trackpad or Magic Mouse can be used to perform a variety of pointing and clicking tasks.

imageTap with one finger in the middle of the trackpad or Magic Mouse to perform a single click operation, e.g. to click on a button or click on an open window

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imageTap with two fingers in the middle of the trackpad or Magic Mouse to access any contextual menus associated with an item (this is the equivalent of the traditional right-click with a mouse)

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imageHighlight a word or phrase and double-tap with three fingers to see look-up information for the selected item. This is frequently a dictionary definition but it can also be a Wikipedia entry

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imageMove over an item and drag with three fingers to move the item around the screen

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If you have too many functions set using the same number of fingers, some of them many not work. See here for details about setting preferences for multi-touch gestures.

No More Scroll Bars

Another innovation in OS X is the removal of scroll bars that are constantly visible on a web page or document. Instead, there are scroll bars that only appear when you are moving around a page or document. When you stop, the scroll bars melt away. Scrolling is done by multi-touch gestures on a trackpad or Magic Mouse and these gestures are looked at on the following pages. To perform scrolling with OS X Yosemite:

imageScroll around a web page or document using the two finger multi-touch technique (see here). As you move up or down a page the scroll bar appears

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imageWhen you stop scrolling the bar disappears, to allow optimum viewing area for your web page or document

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Web pages and document windows can also be navigated around by dragging on the scroll bars using a mouse or a trackpad.

Scrolling and Zooming

One of the common operations on a computer is scrolling on a page, whether it is a web page or a document. Traditionally this has been done with a mouse and a cursor. However, using a trackpad or Magic Mouse you can now do all of your scrolling with your fingers. There are a number of options for doing this:

Scrolling up and down

To move up and down web pages or documents, use two fingers on the trackpad and swipe up or down. The page moves in the opposite direction to the one in which you are swiping, i.e. if you swipe up, the page moves down and vice versa:

imageOpen a web page

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imagePosition two fingers in the middle of the trackpad

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Don’t worry if you cannot immediately get the hang of multi-touch gestures. It takes a bit of practice to get the correct touch and pressure on the trackpad or Magic Mouse.

imageSwipe them up to move down the page

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imageSwipe them down to move up a page

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When scrolling up and down pages, the gesture moves the page the opposite way, i.e. swipe down to move up the page and vice versa.

Zooming in and out

To zoom in or out on web pages or documents:

imageTo zoom in, position your thumb and forefinger in the middle of the trackpad

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imageSpread them outwards to zoom in on a web page or document

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Pages can also be zoomed in on by double-clicking with two fingers.

imageTo zoom out, position your thumb and forefinger at opposite corners of the trackpad

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imageSwipe them into the center of the trackpad to zoom out

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There is a limit on how far you can zoom in or out on a web page or document, to ensure that it does not distort the content too much.

Moving between pages

With multi-touch gestures it is possible to swipe between pages within a document. To do this:

imagePosition two fingers to the left or right of the trackpad

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imageSwipe to the opposite side of the trackpad to move through the document

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See Chapter Seven for details about using full-screen apps.

Moving between full-screen apps

In addition to moving between pages by swiping, it is also possible to move between different apps, when they are in full-screen mode. To do this:

imagePosition three fingers to the left or right of the trackpad

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imageSwipe to the opposite side of the trackpad to move through the available full-screen apps

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Showing the Desktop

To show the whole Desktop, regardless of how many files or apps are open:

imagePosition your thumb and three fingers in the middle of the trackpad

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imageSwipe to the opposite corners of the trackpad to display the Desktop

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imageThe Desktop is displayed, with all items minimized around the side of the screen

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Mission Control

Mission Control is a function in OS X Yosemite that helps you organize all of your open apps, full-screen apps and documents. It also enables you to quickly view the Dashboard and Desktop. Within Mission Control there are also Spaces, where you can group together similar types of documents. To use Mission Control:

imageClick on this button on the Dock, or

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imageSwipe upwards with three fingers on the trackpad or Magic Mouse (or press Fn+F9 on the keyboard)

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imageAll open files and apps are visible via Mission Control

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Click on a window in Mission Control to access it and exit the Mission Control window.

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The top row of Mission Control contains the Dashboard, the Desktop and any full-screen apps.

imageIf there is more than one window open for an app they will be grouped together by Mission Control

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imageIf an app is made full-screen it automatically appears along the top row

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imageDesktop items are grouped together on the top row within Mission Control within an area called a Space

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Any apps or files that have been minimized or closed do not appear within the main Mission Control window. Instead they are located to the right of the dividing line on the Dock.

Multi-Touch Preferences

Some multi-touch gestures only have a single action, which cannot be changed. However, others have options for changing the action for a specific gesture. This is done within the Trackpad preferences, where a full list of multi-touch gestures is shown:

Point & Click Preferences

imageAccess the System Preferences and click on the Trackpad button

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imageClick on the Point & Click tab

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imageThe actions are described on the left, with a graphic explanation on the right

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imageIf there is a down arrow next to an option, click on it to change the way an action is activated

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When setting multi-touch preferences try to avoid having too many gestures using the same number of fingers, in case some of them over-ride the others.

Scroll & Zoom Preferences

imageClick on the Scroll & Zoom tab

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imageThe actions are described on the left, with a graphic explanation on the right

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More Gestures Preferences

imageClick on the More Gestures tab

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imageThe actions are described on the left, with a graphic explanation on the right

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Multi-Touch Gestures

The full list of multi-touch gestures, with their default actions are:

Point & Click

•Tap to click – tap with one finger

•Secondary click – click or tap with two fingers

•Look up – double-tap with three fingers

•Three finger drag – move with three fingers

Scroll & Zoom

•Scroll direction: natural – content tracks finger movement

•Zoom in or out – spread or pinch with two fingers

•Smart zoom – double-tap with two fingers

•Rotate – rotate with two fingers

More Gestures

•Swipe between pages – scroll left or right with two fingers

•Swipe between full-screen apps – swipe left or right with three fingers

•Access Mission Control – swipe up with three fingers

•Access the Notification Center – swipe left from the right-hand edge of the trackpad or Magic Trackpad

•App Exposé – swipe down with three fingers. This displays the open windows for a specific app

•Access Launchpad – pinch with thumb and three fingers

•Show Desktop – spread with thumb and three fingers