HOW TO: Master All Of OS X Lion's Confusing New Gestures

lion gesture desktopThis lion is confused by double-paw swiping gestures.

Photo: via b.jelonek on Flickr

Mac OS X Lion’s array of new gestures can get a little confusing, so we’re here to walk you through how to use each one.There are gestures for clearing your desktop, checking out your apps, and much more.

With our guide, you can be a three-finger-swiping pro in no time.

The most important gesture of all is scrolling

To scroll on a web page, document, etc, put two fingers on your trackpad (or mouse scroll wheel) and drag them up or down.

Think of scrolling as pulling and pushing--move your fingers up to push away (upwards) the content you're seeing, and move your fingers down to pull the bottom part of the page towards you.

Lion's new natural scrolling takes a while to get used to, but we've almost completely adjusted to it.

Mission control is a focal point of OS X Lion

In Lion, accessing Mission Control is easy: put four fingers on the trackpad, and move them away from you in an upward motion.

Mission Control lets you see all of your open windows and work spaces.

Use this gesture to see all the apps you've installed

Lion puts a big emphasis on apps, just like iOS does. Use this gesture to open your app Launchpad.

To see all the apps you have installed, put your finger tips (and your thumb) on the trackpad, and perform a 'pinching inward' motion with all of your fingers.

To swipe away all your windows, use this gesture

If you're overwhelmed and just want to see your pretty desktop, you'll need this gesture.

It's the opposite of the Launchpad gesture, which means you'll put all your fingertips on the trackpad (including thumb) and do an outward pinch motion.

In other words, put your fingertips on the trackpad and spread them apart. You'll see everything whisk away and your desktop underneath.

To see all the windows open in a current app, do this gesture

If you like to have several documents open in Word at the same time, this gesture is for you.

Put four fingers on the trackpad and drag down to see all open windows within the currently active app.

Here's how you swipe between Spaces

In Lion, you can easily move horizontally between different Spaces you've created for different tasks, assignments, etc.

Once you have a few Spaces open (achieved by entering Mission Control and dragging a window to the top right corner to create a new space), put three fingers on the trackpad and move them left or right.

You'll move seamlessly between spaces.

Get a word definition with this gesture

In certain apps that come with Lion (and more third party apps soon to come), you can double tap (not double click) the trackpad with three fingers to pull up a Dictionary definition and Wikipedia entry for a word.

On an iPhone, you can double tap a column to make the column fit your screen.

In Safari for Lion, you can do the same thing. Double tap (not double click) the trackpad with two fingers to smart zoom into a column on a web page.

This also works in other Apple apps like Pages, and more third party apps to come.

Now that you've learned some of Lion's new gestures...

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