Curious to learn how Mac users integrate the TrackPad into their workflows

macOS & Mac Apps

I would like to think of myself as being an experienced Mac user. However, in the 7 years that I have been using a Mac, I have never found use of the TrackPad coming easily or naturally. So much so, that as I sit typing this on my MacBook, I am struggling to recall the last time that I used its TrackPad. It quite literally has to be months.

This truly puzzles me.

I frequently remind myself of what the TrackPad and TrackPad Commander can do. I always come away thinking that there is lots there that I should take advantage of; lots that would enhance my user experience and workflow. However, days, weeks and months then pass; during which muscle memory and habit continue to find my fingers reaching for keys rather than the Trackpad.

Part of the problem here is that because I don't routinely and regularly use the TrackPad, I simply forget what the various gestures and actions are, meaning that keyboard shortcuts continue to come more easily and naturally.

I suspect that another significant factor at play here, is the 30 years spent primarily using desktop computers. In relative terms, that makes a TrackPad new to me and leaves a lot of muscle memory and habit to get in the way.

So, to get me out of this state and to turn the TrackPad into something more than a frustration when an accidental bump with my palm causes it to do something unwanted, I would love to hear of the ways in which people use the TrackPad in interesting and productive ways.

For instance, does use of the TrackPad come natural to you; have you found ways in which it can add to or enhance the capabilities of the keyboard, how do you integrate it into your workflow as a VoiceOver user?



Submitted by Tyler on Thursday, June 15, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

I hardly ever use the trackpad, as I've not found anything I can do with it that I can't do with the keyboard. I find the keyboard easier to use as I learned the various keyboard shortcuts before Macs had multitouch trackpads. I think it is true what you said, it really boils down to what you're used to.

To avoid accidentally bumping the trackpad, I turn off trackpad commander by pressing the VO keys while rotating two fingers counterclockwise.