Mac Trackpad Settings for BetterTouchTool Users
Throughout my entire life, I have only used Windows PCs and laptops, but recently I purchased a MacBook and have been using it. I heard that the trackpad on Mac is more useful than the touchpad on Windows, so I decided to give it a try. The default trackpad settings on Mac were not significantly different from those on Windows.
So, I searched and found a utility called BetterTouchTool. It showed me a whole new world. I wanted to install this tool on my Windows laptop because I liked it so much, but I couldn’t find it. Anyway, now I use BetterTouchTool to perform many shortcuts with the trackpad. On this page, I will share the optimal Mac trackpad settings for BetterTouchTool users.
What is BetterTouchTool?
BetterTouchTool is a powerful utility software designed to optimize and personalize the trackpad settings on Mac devices. With its extensive features and customizable options, it allows users to enhance their productivity and streamline their workflow. Whether you’re a casual user or a professional, BetterTouchTool offers a range of functionalities that can greatly improve your Mac trackpad experience.
BetterTouchTool provides an array of advanced features that enable users to tailor their trackpad settings according to their specific needs. Some of the notable features include:
- Gesture Customization: BetterTouchTool allows users to create custom gestures, such as swipes, taps, and pinches, to perform various actions on their Mac. Whether it’s launching applications, switching between spaces, or controlling media playback, you have the flexibility to define your own gestures.
- Window Management: Managing multiple windows can be a cumbersome task, but BetterTouchTool simplifies this process. You can assign gestures to resize, move, and snap windows, making it easier to organize your workspace and boost productivity.
- Keyboard Shortcuts: In addition to trackpad gestures, BetterTouchTool lets you assign keyboard shortcuts to specific actions. This feature provides an alternative way to control your Mac and can be particularly useful for individuals who prefer keyboard navigation.
- Integration with Third-Party Apps: BetterTouchTool seamlessly integrates with numerous third-party applications, allowing you to extend its functionality even further. From controlling music playback in Spotify to navigating tabs in web browsers, the possibilities are extensive.
g up the Mac trackpad for BTT (BetterTouchTool)
To customize the touchpad on your Mac, the key point is to disable most of the default trackpad features that are commonly used. Some settings have minimal impact on compatibility with BetterTouchTool, so you can set them according to your preference for a more comfortable experience.
Point & Click
①. Tracking Speed & Click = Maximum
If you want to use your Mac’s trackpad like a mouse, you can maximize the Tracking Speed and minimize the Click Strength. Even with these settings, the pointer speed may not be as fast as you expect. The next section of this post will cover how to unlock the maximum trackpad speed.
②. Force Click and haptic feedback = User Autonomy Settings
Force Click is a pressure-sensitive gesture performed on the trackpad by applying a slightly deeper press than a regular click. It enables users to access contextual menus, preview content, and perform various actions with a single gesture. The level of force applied determines the action triggered. Force Click is a pressure-sensitive gesture performed on the trackpad by applying a slightly deeper press than a regular click. It enables users to access contextual menus, preview content, and perform various actions with a single gesture. The level of force applied determines the action triggered.
③. Look up & data detectors = OFF
Automatic recognition of specific types of information and performing actions directly from that information. The ‘Tap with three fingers’ trigger typically functions as the middle mouse button click feature in Windows. If you are familiar with using a mouse, you can turn this feature off and customize it separately in BTT.
④. Secondary click = Click or Tab with Two Fingers
It is similar to the right-click functionality of a mouse. The reason for setting it up this way is to have the same settings as the touchpad in Windows, allowing you to use the function for this trigger in the general settings without the need for separate customization in BTT.
⑤. Tap to click = ON
Apply the effect of clicking the touchpad as a Tab. This is a very convenient feature, so you should have this option turned on.
Scroll & Zoom
①. Natural scrolling = ON
If you are familiar with using a smartphone, keep this setting turned on. When scrolling, swiping up from the bottom will scroll the page downwards. However, some people prefer the opposite direction.
②. Zoom in or out = ON
You can pinch or spread two fingers on the trackpad to zoom in and out on images or web pages. Although this can be customized in BetterTouchTool, it is commonly used, so I will use the default setting.
③. Smart Zoom = OFF
To use Smart Zoom, the trigger you can apply is ‘Double-tap with two fingers.’ It is recommended to turn this trigger off since you can apply various settings in BTT.
④. Rotate = OFF
The trigger for trackpad rotation is ‘Rotate with two fingers.’ This trigger can also be customized in BetterTouchTool for functions like going back, going forward, refreshing the page, and more. Due to its versatility, please turn off this setting as well.
①. Swipe between pages = Scroll Left or Right with Two Fingers
You can use a two-finger swipe to navigate web pages. Set this option as “Scroll Left or Right with Two Fingers.” However, note that this setting does not apply to Finder or App Store, so additional configuration is required in BTT.
②. The remaining options
With BetterTouchTool, you can customize using better triggers. Options like Mission Control, App Expose, Launchpad, Show Desktop, etc., should all be set to OFF.
The reason for changing the default trackpad settings on Mac like this is primarily for compatibility. For example, the trackpad triggers provided by Mac may work in Safari but not in Finder. Additionally, the trigger options are not as flexible. For instance, Mac’s default settings restrict Mission Control to triggers like “Swipe Up with Three Fingers” or “Swipe Up with Four Fingers,” but with BetterTouchTool, you can use a wider range of triggers for Mission Control.
Unlock Tracking Maximum Speed
Some users may feel that the Tracking Speed provided by Mac is slow, even when it is set to the maximum value. You can change the maximum speed of the trackpad by entering a command in the terminal.
①. First, search for “Terminal” in Launchpad and open the Terminal app.
②. In the terminal window, enter the following command and press Enter to execute.
defaults read .GlobalPreferences com.apple.trackpad.scaling
This command allows you to check the current specified trackpad acceleration.
defaults write .GlobalPreferences com.apple.trackpad.scaling [number value]
This command sets the acceleration of the trackpad. The default value is 3, and you can increase it up to 14. Enter -1 to disable trackpad acceleration.
③. After entering the command, restart your Mac or log out and log back in for the changes to take effect.
By using terminal commands like this, you can change the maximum speed of the trackpad on your Mac. Adjust the speed value to create a trackpad usage experience that suits you.