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.