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Learn Lion Week – Tweak your trackpad’s settings

In the fifth part of our Learn Lion Week series, we'll learn how to change the settings in System Preferences to master multi-touch gestures on your trackpad.

OSX Tutorial - Trackpad Settings - 10-minute beginner's guide
OSX Tutorial - Trackpad Settings - Main
If multi-touch gestures are the cornerstone of the OS X Lion experience, then the trackpad can certainly be seen as the bricks and mortar that holds it all together.
Without the built-in multi-touch trackpad on the MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, or the amazing wireless Magic Trackpad, Lion and its myriad of new features wouldn’t run half as smoothly. The trackpad settings pane in System Preferences helps to make that experience even better by allowing you to decide which gestures perform what action, as well as playing you a handy video of exactly how to perform them. It means you can make the trackpad work exactly how you want it to and tailor it to your needs. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to get the best out of this little-known feature in order to make the most of your Lion experience. It’s an easy process that will soon have you finding your way around your Mac with smooth moves that suit you.

OSX Tutorial - Trackpad Settings - Step-By-Step

OSX Tutorial - Trackpad Settings - Step 1

Step 1: System Preferences
Click on the Apple logo in the menubar, then click on System Preferences. System Preferences contains all the settings for your Mac, apps and OS X Lion.

OSX Tutorial - Trackpad Settings - Step 2

Step 2: Find the icon
Click on the Trackpad icon in System Preferences – this is known as a preferences pane. When you install apps, they’ll create preference panes here.

OSX Tutorial - Trackpad Settings - Step 3

Step 3: Check Them
Trackpad settings are displayed as checkboxes; check or uncheck them to activate or deactivate features. A video description is included to help you.

OSX Tutorial - Trackpad Settings - Step 4

Step 4: Change the gesture
Under some settings you can change the gesture that controls them. Click on the drop-down menu and choose the gesture that best suits you.

OSX Tutorial - Trackpad Settings - Step 5

Step 5: Hover and preview
OS X Lion displays a short video animation to help you understand how to perform different gestures. Simply hover over the gesture’s name to preview.

OSX Tutorial - Trackpad Settings - Step 6

Step 6: Different directions
Uncheck ‘Scroll direction: natural’ to revert two- finger scrolling to pre-Lion behaviour. In Lion, content follows your finger movement.

OSX Tutorial - Trackpad Settings - Step 7

Step 7: More Gestures
Under the More Gestures tab you’ll find some of the more complex gestures. Make use of the videos to master these new features.

OSX Tutorial - Trackpad Settings - Step 8

Step 8: Tracking Speed
Drag the Tracking Speed slider to adjust sensitivity to your finger movement. The faster on the slider, the more responsive the trackpad will be to movement.

OSX Tutorial - Trackpad Settings - Step 9

Step 9: Magic Trackpads
If you own a Magic Trackpad, you may need to set it up by clicking ‘Set Up Bluetooth Trackpad’ in the bottom corner of the Trackpad settings window.

Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotations.

OSX Tutorial - Trackpad Settings - Annotated

This tutorial is the fifth in our Learn Lion Week series, for more articles just like this visit the Learn Lion Week tag. At the end of the week, we’ll be giving away a prize to one lucky person who gets in touch with a question or problem related to OS X Lion. To get involved, simply tweet your question, plus the hashtag #LearnLionWeek, to @iCreateMagazine or post on our Facebook wall.

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