There is no doubt that using keyboard shortcuts can increase the speed of what you do on your Mac, but there’s a faster way to trigger shortcuts without using the keyboard.

In this article I highlight 26 useful Mac shortcuts using the finger gesture application, BetterTouchTool (BTT) and another application called PopClip. With BTT, you can trigger shortcuts, menu items, and hundreds of other Mac actions. With PopClip, you can trigger dozens of different actions when you select text in any any application.

BTT is great for when your hand is already on the trackpad or mouse, or when your hand need to be on your trackpad or mouse to perform perform a particular task.

Download BetterTouchTool

You can download a trial copy (Affiliate Link) of BetterTouchTool for free, and the lifetime license for BetterTouchTool is only $25.50. That’s a very modest price for extremely powerful application. As I point out in this comparison article, BTT provides a hundred times more finger gestures than Apple’s default offering. Plus, BTT is the only application that allows you to build a library of finger gesture actions to trigger nearly everything you do on your Mac.

Note: some of the shortcuts I highlight below are essential to all Mac users, while others are my personal preferences. The point of this list to provide you ideas about you can can create similar BetterTouchTool actions for your particular needs.

BetterTouchTool interface and Finder actions.
My Finder actions in BetterTouchTool


1. ⌘Delete

I use 3 Finger Click in the Finder to delete files in the Finder, because usually when my hand needs to be on the trackpad when I’m deleting files on the desktop or in a folder.

2. ⌘N (New Finder Window)

To open a Finder window, I use a Four Finger Tap gesture, instead of pressing shortcut keys or clicking the menu bar shortcut.

3. ⌘⇧N (New Folder in Finder)

There’s easily an accessible button in the Finder Toolbar to create a New Folder, but I use a 2 Finger Click to create a new folder because it’s a little faster.

4. ⌘⇧D (Open Desktop folder)

The Download folder is my set preference for a New Finder Window, but I if I want to quickly switch to the Desktop folder, I use a 3 Finger Clickswipe Left.

5. ⌘O (Open File in Finder)

Yes, opening a File can be done with a keyboard shortcut or by double-clicking on the file, but try using a 3 Finger Swipe Down gesture to see how much faster it opens the a selected file.

6. ⌘F (Search in Finder)

Typically when I’m searching in the Finder, I have to type my query, unless I’m using Dragon Dictate (yes, I’m still using it though it’s no longer updated), but if my hand is already on my trackpad, I do a quick 2 Finger Force Click to quickly select the Search box in the Finder.

Safari Shortcuts

7. ⌘[ (Back in Safari)

I use 3 Finger Click in Safari when I need to navigate back to the previous page in Safari.

8. ⌘] (Forward in Safari)

I use 3 Finger Double Tab in Safari to navigate forward to the previous page.

9. ⌃⇧⇤ (Show previous tab in Safari)

I use 3 Finger Clickswipe Left to navigate to the previous tab. Notice that the left swipe the left direction of the clickswipe fits the left arrow direction.

10. ⌃⇧⇥ (Show next tab)

I use 3 Finger Clickswipe Right to navigate to next tab on the right. The right swipe direction mirrors the right arrow key.

11. ⌘W (Close tab in Safari)

I use a TipTap Left (2 Fingers Fix) finger gesture to close individual Safari tabs. This finger gesture is much easier than clicking the little x button or using the keyboard shortcut.

12. ⌘⇧D (Add to Reading List)

I use 3 Finger Swipe Left in Safari to quickly add a webpage to the Reading List.

13. ⌘R (Refresh page)

I use a Pinch With Thumb and 2 Fingers to refresh a Safari page.

14. ⌘⇧A (AutoFill Form in Safari)

I use 3 Finger Force Click in Safari to auto fill a form menu item.

15. ⌘L (Select URL in Safari window)

When I need to quickly select and copy the URL for the current Safari page, I use a 3 Finger Force Click. The BTT setup for the gesture also copies the URL to the system clipboard.

16. ⌘⇧\ (Show all tabs)

I use 4 Finger FORCE Click to show all tabs in the current Safari window. This quick finger gesture enables me to quickly see and remove tabs.

Mail Shortcuts

17. ⌘D (Delete select email in Spark)

I use 3 Finger Click to delete selected emails in Spark, my favorite email client. Note, similar finger gestures can be used in Apple Mail or other mail applications.

18. ⌘R (Reply to email in Spark)

When I need to reply to an email in Spark, and my hand is already on my trackpad, so I use a 3 Finger Clickswipe Left to trigger the keyboard shortcut.

Universal Shortcuts

19. ⌘C and ⌘V (Copy/Paste selected text)

Most of the time when I need to copy selected text, I don’t have to punch the assigned keyboard shortcut. An application called PopClip automatically pops up when I select text and gives me the option to select the Copy action. When I need to paste that text somewhere, PopClip will use pop up so I select the Paste action. PopClip can also trigger shorts like ⌘B and ⌘A.

The application, PopClip provides dozens of actions you can trigger when text is selected.
Use PopClip to automatically copy and paste text.

20. ⌘Tab (Application switcher)

Instead of using Apple’s default App Switcher, I use a 2 Finger Double Tab to trigger BetterTouchTool’s predefined App Switcher action, which in turn trigger’s the App Switcher in Keyboard Maestro (KM). The KM switcher provides several options not found in the Apple switcher, and you don’t have to keep the Command+Tab key pressed down in order to keep the KM App Switcher open.

App Switcher

21. ⌘⇧4 (Trigger screenshot)

Actually I use 3 Finger Swipe Up from within any application to trigger a screenshot. But actually I use Screenfloat for most of my screenshots. And I use a BetterTouchTool edge trigger the regular Mac screenshot shortcut.

22. ⌘H (Hide an application)

I use a 5 Finger Tap to quickly hide an application when my hand is already on the trackpad. Note: SuperTab can automatically hide or quit application when they have been in the background for a specified period of time.

23. ⌘Z (Undo)

Honestly, I created this BTT action for the Undo command while writing this article. It’s another BTT action that I can perform while my hand is already on the computer. I assigned a universal Four Finger Swipe Left gesture to trigger the shortcut.

24. ⌘Q (Quit an application)

I use 5 Finger Click to quickly quit an application. I only use this gesture when my hand is already on my trackpad, otherwise I use the keyboard shortcut.

Other Shortcuts

25. ⌘⇧A (Toggle mic in Zoom)

In Zoom, I use a 3 Finger click to mute and unmute the audio.

26. ⌘\ (Insert 1Password login info)

Though Apple’s Keychain application works fairly well, I still use 1Password to manage and log into many of my accounts. When I’m in Safari, I can trigger the 1Password shortcut and it will insert the login information if doesn’t appear on its own.

Your Turn

I hope you found this list useful. If you use BetterTouchTool, please share some of your useful BetterTouchTool actions.

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