If you don’t like remembering or using keyboard shortcuts, the finger gesture application, BetterTouchTool (Free!) is the best solution for putting literally hundreds of Mac related tasks at your finger tips.

Back in 2011 I created a demo video about using BetterTouchTool, and though there have been numerous updates to the application since, the basic features are still the same.

BetterTouchTool allows users to assign one of dozens of finger gestures to a particular Mac action. For example, if you want to play or pause iTunes, it can be done with a finger gesture from within any application.

What BTT Can Do

The screenshot below shows over a dozen BetterTouchTool global gestures I frequently use. Check out the Notes section to see some of actions that I have assigned.



Finger gesture actions can also be assigned to work only in specified applications. So for example, I have actions for copying the URL of the frontmost window, another gesture for closing the current Safari tab, and one for sending an article to the Safari Reading List.


Whatever tasks I perform a regular basis in Safari and other applications can usually be mapped to a menu bar shortcut, a Keyboard Maestro macro, or an AppleScript script.

BetterTouchTool also has dozens of built-in actions for moving windows, activating a menu shortcut, launching an assigned application, and lots more.


Now, to be honest, many of my Mac related tasks are performed using voice commands, but there often times when my hand is already on the trackpad, and I can simply swipe, tap, pinch, or click to get something done.

I think BetterTouchTool works better with a trackpad, but it also works with Apple’s Magic Mouse. In addition, there’s a BetterTouchTool iOS Remote app, in which you can assign tasks and activate via a shared Wi-Fi connection from across the room or while lying in bed.

BetterTouchTool_ Apple remote

Creating Actions

To create a BTT action, do the following:

1. Click on the Add New Gesture button.

2. Select a gesture you want to use for that action.

3. Assign an action ( e.g., a keyboard shortcut or one of the default actions) to the gesture.


BetterTouchTool is available with for a free trial download, and the developer offers a wide range of affordable price points for a license.

BTT How-to Course

BetterTouchTool is fairly easy to learn, but I have created an entire course that teaches you how to get up and going with BTT, and how to use all its main features.

  • 13 video tutorials with step by step instructions for using all the main features in BTT with a trackpad.
  • 11 PDF guides with screenshots and step-by-step instructions.
  • A PDF guide of all the BTT actions I currently use.
  • Best practices for using BTT .
  • Setting up and using iOS BTT Remote
  • Free lifetime updates to all the course content.
Is this article helpful?