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Quick Tip: The Five-Finger Pinch on Your Trackpad

Launchpad on an iMac

Today I have a quick tip for those of you who either use a MacBook or an Apple Magic Trackpad with a desktop machine.

I’m one of those people who is sadly pre-programmed to do things a certain way. In the case of my Mac apps, up until recently that meant that when I needed to launch an app that wasn’t already in my Dock, I’d go over to the Applications folder I had smartly placed on the right side of the Dock, click it, and then scroll the resulting window up and down until I found the app I was looking for. Little did I know that a simple gesture would make it much easier for me to find and launch apps.

The gesture in question is a five-finger pinch. In other words, you place all five fingers on your trackpad and move them towards each other in a pinching motion. Doing that displays Launchpad, a full-screen listing of all of your app icons above an out-of-focus image of  your desktop (see image at the top of this post). In the case of my iMac, I have five screens of apps available, but I can scroll through them with a two-finger swipe left or right. Once I’ve found the app I’m looking for, it’s launched with a click. Don’t want to launch any of the apps? Just do a five-finger reverse pinch and your Mac screen reappears.

Of course, if you don’t have a trackpad or are adverse to multi-finger gestures, you can always just launch Launchpad by clicking its icon (which looks strikingly similar to the Rocket Yard logo!) in the left side of the Dock.

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Contributing Author
Steve has been writing about Apple products since 1986, starting on a bulletin board system, creating the first of his many Apple-related websites in 1994, joining the staff of The Unofficial Apple Weblog in 2008, and founding Apple World Today in 2015. He’s semi-retired, loves to camp and take photos, and is an FAA-licensed drone pilot.
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1 Comment

  • Great Hint!
    Is there any way to get the apps to appear in alphabetical order, instead of an order based on I’m not sure just what?