Ask DN: Any trackpad power-users here?

almost 7 years ago from , Designer @ Big Human

Do any of you designers work primarily with the MacBook Pro's trackpad?

Ever since I turned on "tap to click" and "three-finger drag", I stopped using my mouse. I use Sketch, Illustrator, and Photoshop for design work (making shapes, moving them around, pulling around vector points, etc.) For more complex stuff, like the occasional photo manipulation, I have my Wacom tablet.

There's about a half-second difference between clicking and dragging with the trackpad versus a mouse but that hasn't bothered me in the least.


  • Account deleted almost 7 years ago

    If you love the trackpad, you should check out Jitouch.

    It doesn't do that much for me from a Sketch/Photoshop/Illustrator perspective (still prefer a mouse), but it totally revolutionised tab-browsing for me. The character recognition feature is a nice touch too.

    4 points
  • Aaron CalzadoAaron Calzado, almost 7 years ago

    I use a stock Magic Trackpad on my MacBook Pro and an external one at work. Ever since I got a MacBook Pro, I haven't regularly use a mouse since.

    2 points
    • Mitch De CastroMitch De Castro, almost 7 years ago

      Nice. Yeah, I was thinking about just getting the Magic Trackpad + wireless keyboard when I get an external monitor for a home office setup.

      1 point
  • Corin EdwardsCorin Edwards, almost 7 years ago (edited almost 7 years ago )

    Gotta set spread with thumb & three fingers as the gesture for show desktop. Feels like parting the Red Sea...

    1 point
  • David PerelDavid Perel, almost 7 years ago

    Although I prefer a mouse I have been using my trackpad exclusively recently for everything from Fireworks to Sketch to browsing. It's a bit of nightmare doing vectors with a trackpad (just because it's slower) but other than that I've gotten used to it.

    That being said when I'm in the right location my first choice is a mouse for design work.

    1 point
    • Mitch De Castro, almost 7 years ago

      Yeah, the slower interactions with vectors bothered me at first but I learned its okay to be kind of rough with dragging things around and then just tweaking the positioning with the arrow keys since my hands are so close to the keyboard anyway.

      0 points
  • Shrihari SankaranShrihari Sankaran, almost 7 years ago

    Ever since I got a Macbook Air 4 years back, I've not used a mouse. I've done some moderately complex illustration and lots of UI design. When someone asks me "Should I buy I Mac?", the trackpad is the only thing I rave about! It's so awesome, and I don't even use any special trackpad software yet. Excited to try out some of the software mentioned here :)

    1 point
  • Lete PaceyLete Pacey, almost 7 years ago

    I haven't used a mouse in 3 years. In fact, we're having a LAN party at the office next week so I dug up and tested my old mouse the other day – it felt so bizarre to hold something and push it around. I've literally been in a finger driven world for so long.

    I remember trying a few programs for shortcuts and gestures and whatever many years ago – but in the end I just come back to the vanilla trackpad setup.

    I'm not sure I could ever go back.

    1 point
    • Mitch De Castro, almost 7 years ago

      Ugh, I know how you feel.

      You know what the funny thing is? I brought my mouse with me for the first time in months. Ended up misplacing it and losing it!

      Now, I can't find it anywhere. I'm pretty sure that's a sign...lol

      1 point
  • Avinash ParidaAvinash Parida, almost 7 years ago (edited almost 7 years ago )

    I believe I am a power user of trackpad and dont use a mouse anymore. I used to own a Razer Deathadder which has high precision tracking for my gaming and design needs, but gave it up a couple of years back.

    I have since then optimized my workflow as much as possible using only trackpad for all my design/browsing work. I use Jitouch heavily and would consider myself as a pro user. I tried various other trackpad gesture solutions but only Jitouch made sense to be because of their Character Gesture support (Its awesome and I hate to remember 3-finger or 4-finger stuff). I have set it up smartly for key-combos for both sketch(http://cl.ly/Xcjz) and Photoshop (http://cl.ly/Xcar).

    It works great for small stuff eg. G for Groups, C for copy layer style , L for Paste Layer style, E for Web export, Swipe on a layer to Quick Rename etc. I also use these on other apps including Finder, Emails or Browser (B-bookmark, D- Download, I- Web Inspector etc).

    1 point
  • Daniel GoldenDaniel Golden, almost 7 years ago

    Bro,Better touch tool can make you a trackpad maestro by bending your Mac to your will at the swipe if your finger.

    I think you'll like it.

    1 point
    • AJ MAJ M, almost 7 years ago (edited almost 7 years ago )

      I'm a huge fan of BTT. Here are my settings: Global: Four finger swipe up : HOME Four finger swipe down : COMMAND+W (closes any window under the cursor. LOVE this)

      Chrome & Safari:

      Four finger swipe left: PREVIOUS TAB Four finger swipe right: NEXT TAB Three finger swipe left: GO BACK Three finger swipe right: GO FORWARD Three finger swipe up: REFRESH

      Edit: Apparently I do not know how to insert line breaks into DN comments.

      2 points
    • Mitch De Castro, almost 7 years ago

      I'll check that one out as well!

      0 points
  • Anatasof WiraprajaAnatasof Wirapraja, almost 7 years ago

    magic trackpad provide me speed than magic mouse. besides, magic mouse doesn't feel right in my hand.

    0 points