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How to control your Mac with hand gestures

How to set up ControlAir and control a Mac using hand gestures

ControlAir enables you to control iTunes (and

ControlAir enables you to control iTunes (and other music apps) by pointing and clicking with a vertical finger. ControlAir a free app, so you can try it out for fun. Here’s how:

  1. Click the link above (or open App Store and search for ControlAir).
  2. Click Get > Install App. Enter your Apple ID and Password if required.
  3. Open Applications > Control Air.
  4. You now walk through the setup process. Start by clicking Next.
  5. Tilt the camera (or screen) so your face is in the red circle. Click Next.
  6. Choose whether you are willing to share gesture-related infomration. Deselect the check-box if you’d rather not. Click Next.
  7. Click Start Tutorial.
  8. This now walks you through a tutorial for how to control music in iTunes. Here is how you use ControlAir.
  9. Raise your hand upwards with the index finger pointing upright (and the rest of your hand closed in a fist).

A set of ControlAir controls now appears on the screen. Follow the onscreen instructions to become familiar with using ControlAir for Mac.

Read: How to right-click on a Mac

See also: How to control your Mac with mid-air hand gestures

And Best Mac mouse

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How to open Mission Control

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple

The longer you use a Mac over the course of a day, the more apps and windows you’re likely to be using. Managing them can be a hassle, especially when you need to find one particular window among the many you have open.

However, a quick four-finger swipe up solves this problem. This invokes Mission Control, which gives you a bird’s eye view of all your open windows. You can then click the one you need and it’ll open up. And if you use multiple desktops, Mission Control can also be used to manage them.

How to three-finger drag

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple

Sometimes dragging and dropping files can be a little tricky when you’re just using a trackpad, especially if you have to drag a file a long distance. Fortunately, Apple lets you use a three-finger drag instead, which you may find more comfortable.

To enable it, open System Preferences and click Accessibility, then click Pointer Control in the left-hand column. Click Trackpad Options, then tick the box next to Enable dragging and select three finger drag from the drop-down menu.

10 Ways To Navigate Without a Mouse

Here are a few simple ways to navigate your Mac without a mouse. There are literally dozens of possibilities, so it’s worth experimenting to learn all the various shortcuts and gestures.

1. Switch to Another Application

The easiest way to switch to another open application is to hold down Command + Tab and continually press Tab to cycle through the active applications. The Shift key can be used to cycle through in the opposite direction.

Alternatively swipe left or right on the trackpad with three fingers (or four depending on how you’ve configured in the trackpad settings) to switch to other applications when in full screen mode, or Control + the left/right keys.

Mission control (swipe up with three fingers or Control + Up or even just the exposé/F3 key on the keyboard) can be used to display and choose from your open applications, windows and spaces.

2. Access Spotlight

Spotlight is one of the most useful tools on the Mac to locate files, applications, emails and pretty much anything else on your computer. It’s essential to know how to access Spotlight with a shortcut because it’s such a handy feature that can help to find any item.

Hit Command + Spacebar to open Spotlight and start typing for what you’re looking for. To preview any item it finds press Spacebar or the Enter key to open it.

3. Move Backwards and Forwards in Finder

To navigate backwards and forwards in Finder, use Command + [  to go back and Command + ] to go forwards. This also works in Safari to move between your page history.

4. Open Folders or Go Up a Level in Finder

Many tasks you do each day probably involve Finder, so it’s immensely useful to be able to open folders or go back up a level using only the keyboard:

  • Command + up takes you up a level in the folder structure
  • Command + down opens the current folder in the same window
Another useful shortcut is Command + ` (next to the left Shift key) to swap between an application’s open windows. This is handy if you have multiple Finder windows open. Alternatively, use the swipe up/down gesture to use Exposé/Mission Control to switch between the desired Finder window.

5. Safari Bookmark Shortcuts

To quickly choose from your existing Safari bookmarks in the Bookmarks Bar, use Command + the number of the bookmark. For example, if you’ve added Apple as the first item and Facebook as the second, Command + 1 takes you directly to Apple and Command + 2 to Facebook. Alternatively, technique number 8 can be used to open the main Safari menu and navigate using the arrow/cursor keys from there.

6. Swap Between Open Tabs in Safari

In Safari it’s often necessary to swap between open tabs quickly. If you do a lot of typing, your hands will always be close to the keys and so moving them frequently to the mouse and back be a tiresome manoeuvre. A far simpler shortcut is Command + Shift + [ for the previous tab and Command + Shift + ] to select the next tab. Command + T opens a new tab in Safari.

7. Select Files in Finder The Easy Way

To select a file in the current Finder folder, begin typing the name of the file and the active item will update to match what you’ve just typed. Alternatively, the arrow keys can be used to move the selection; press the Spacebar to preview a selected item, Command + Down to open an item, or Command + I to get more information.

When you’ve selected any file you can copy it with Command + C and paste it into another folder with Command + V.

8. Select An Application’s Menu Bar

In any application it’s often necessary to access the full range of commands and features from its menus. Thankfully, every application permits an easy way to select its menus, after which use the arrow keys to navigate and Enter or Space to select the item.

Hold down Fn + Control + F2 in any application to highlight its menu.

9. Open The Dock Easily

To open the Dock from anywhere, hit Control + F3 (or Fn + Control + F3 on newer machines) and use the left/right arrows to navigate and Enter/Spacebar to launch an item.

10. Navigate Text Fields and Documents

Learning a few text entry shortcuts can save you a substantial amount of time in Pages documents, emails, and any application that involves entering text. Here are some of the most common text entry keyboard shortcuts.

Cursor Placement Shortcuts

  • Command + right goes to the end of a line of text
  • Command + left goes to the start of a line of text
  • Command + up goes to the top of a document
  • Command + down goes to the bottom of a document
  • Option + left goes to the start of the current word
  • Option + right goes to the end of the current word
  • Option + up goes to the start of the paragraph
  • Option + down goes to the end of the paragraph
  • Hold down shift and move the arrow keys to select any text
Text Style Shortcuts
  • Command + B makes the currently selected text bold
  • Command + I makes the currently selected text italic
  • Command + U makes the currently selected text underlined

Cut, Copy and Paste Shortcuts

  • Command + A selects all text
  • Command + C copies the highlighted text
  • Command + X cuts the highlighted text
  • Command + V pastes the highlighted text
  • Shift + Alt + Command + V pastes the highlighted text and matches the destination style

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