It’s really great to get this question from one of my Twitter followers, because I’m interested in what other Mac users prefer: triggering menu items using  keyboard shortcuts or using multitouch finger gestures?

For me, maybe because I still have to look down at my keyboard to type most shortcut combinations, I find that pressing keyboard shortcuts slows me down. Plus, when my hand is already on my trackpad, I don’t want to move it back to the keyboard to press a shortcut.

Be honest, do you need to look down at your keyboard to press certain keys?

Closing Safari tabs is great example of what I mean. Most of the time my hand is on my trackpad when I’m browsing Safari pages. And far too often, my browser gets cluttered with open tabs. So for me, I can either close those tabs with a TipTap Left (2 Fingers Fix) to close an open tab, or a 2 Finger Swipe Right to show all tabs, and then selectively click the tabs I want to close. (See the above video. Apologize for the poor resolution quality.)

Martin replied with a good point. It’s indeed possible to use both hands for typing keyboard shortcuts. But I’m not capable of doing that. My brain simply doesn’t work that way, but I definitely admire those who have that sort of ambidexter ability.

I also have a numbers keyboard on the left side of my main keyboard, and sometimes I use it activate mapped Keyboard Maestro macros, but even that is not easy as I would like. Too often I have to look down at the numbers keyboard to make sure I’m hitting the right key.

This is the reason I write so much about using BetterTouchTool and Keyboard Maestro string triggers. The former allows for trigging actions while your hand is on the keyboard, and the latter allows for triggering actions why your fingers are on the main keyboard keys.

Here are a few more articles in which I address this subject in more detail:

How to Trigger Keyboard Shortcuts While Typing
How to Easily Navigate Safari with BetterTouchTool Finger Gestures
Speed Up Your Mac Workflow with BetterTouchTool

Your Thoughts

I appreciate Martin raising the question. And I’m still interested in what others think on this topic. Do you prefer keyboard shortcuts,multitouch  trackpad or mouse navigation, or string triggers?

Do you have an Ask Mac Automator question? Post and send the question here, and if it’s useful for other readers, I will post it in this column.


Is this article helpful?