BetterTouchTool, An Ideal Companion for Trackpads
If you often work with a trackpad, the one from the laptop or the Magic Trackpad, there is an application called BetterTouchTool, which can dramatically improve your style of working. I am sure many of you have already heard about it. Now let’s talk more about this software.
The latest laptops launched by Apple have advanced trackpads allowing execution of orders through “multitouch” gestures performed by two or more fingers (the source of inspiration is, of course, iOS). So is Magic Trackpad, which works with any Mac. But the number of multitouch actions recognized by the system driver (System Preferences → Trackpad) is very small, and they cannot be modified (with very few exceptions).
BetterTouchTool plays as an alternative driver that provides virtually unlimited opportunities to create new shares based on the multitouch gestures. It is a program created by Andreas Hegenberg and I would say that he deserves all the money but cannot because it’s free! With BetterTouchTool we can assign a multitouch action performed on the trackpad, a shortcut of some program or a predefined action. For example using BetterTouchTool we can now navigate through open tabs in Safari, holding down the Ctrl key and using the swipe gesture with three-finger. I find it a bit more comfortable than the Ctrl-Tab shortcut.
Moreover, we can define global gestures that do not depend on the particular application. In this case a trackpad can act as a mouse with more buttons. How many buttons? Well I counted 55 different multitouch gestures recognized by BetterTouchTool (including one with 11 fingers!) Applicable on eight areas of the trackpad. If we combine the four control keys (Fn, Ctrl, Alt, Cmd), we can find enormous number of uses.
And if you had the impression that BetterTouchTool only works with a trackpad, the good news is that you can use it together with the Magic Mouse and any keyboard or mouse. Of course, the functions available vary from case to case. And another thing: BetterTouchTool Window offers a similar feature called “Aero Snap” in Windows 7. It should be noted that the transition from a normal mouse to one with multitouch functions is not natural but during two days the user can quickly adapt.
It should be noted that BetterTouchTool has a bunch of settings for the trackpad and mouse. In the figure below you can see a few.
If you need more than just a scroll, left click and right click then this application is definitely what you want. BetterTouchTool offers the possibility to have more gestures and clicks with two, three and even four fingers, within all over the trackpad or the Magic Mouse.