11 Force Touch commands for Mac users

May the Force (Click) be with you

With the exception of MacBook Air, Apple laptops now ship with a Force Touch trackpad – this technology is expected to migrate to a future iPhone, so finding out what you can already do with it should be of interest.

Force Touch lets you Force Click an item. You do this by tapping the item and then leaving your finger in place and applying more pressure. This lets you access contextual controls – in a very general sense you could say this replicates use of right-click.

Also read: Apple’s Force Touch trackpad: what you need to know

Launch & Zoom

You can take a look at all the open windows belonging to an app by Force Clicking its icon in the Dock. You can also zoom into Maps using Force Click.


Force Click an item name in Finder to quickly rename the item, or rename a Finder label using Force Click.


In QuickLook, Calendar and other applications you can preview a file (or date or other detail) by Force Clicking the item.

Look up

Force Click text on a Web page or inside a Mail message and you’ll be provided with a popover in which a dictionary definition or information from Wikipedia appears. (On services that support it, Force Clicking a tracking number in Safari or Mail lets you take a look at the shipping details).


Force Click a link in order to preview the Web page in Safari. Or Force Click an address to see a Maps preview of that location.


You can use your Force Touch trackpad to draw (like an art tablet) when using an app that supports this feature. At present you’ll find it in Preview but this will extend in OS X El Capitan. When you are composing an email message containing a PDF or image attachment, Force Click the attachment to activate Markup in order to annotate that item.


Force Click can also be used to create other things – so in calendar you can create a new event simply by clicking a date. Or drop a pin in Maps using Force Click on a location.


As of June 30, Apple has baked numerous Force Click tools inside Garageband. Now you can Force Click an empty Audio Track area to add an audio file, or an empty Piano Roll to create a New Note. There are many ways to use the feature in the app – experiment – it seems likely we will see most Apple applications invigorated with additional Force Click support in future.


The latter claim is evidenced by the inclusion of tools Web developers can use to build custom Force Touch experiences in OS X El Capitan. These developer toos will enable them to build interactive Website tools for Mac users, such as triggering video or to field site functions that may otherwise be lost from view.


Force Touch provides you with the ability to speed up forward and rewind speeds in QuickTime and iMovie; to speed up the process of zooming through Maps or “arrowing” through images and will provide certain kinds of haptic feedback when working in iMovie.


To disable Force Click launch System Preferences, choose Trackpad and look inside the Point & Click pane. At the bottom of this uncheck the Force Click and haptic feedback toggle. You can also set speed and click responsiveness in this window.

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