OS X: 5 Force Touch Extras

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If you’ve got one of the relatively new Apple laptops that support Force Touch (or if you’re using a Magic Trackpad 2), you may be aware of the more basic stuff you can do with the feature—how you can, for example, get the definition of a word or preview a file. In today’s article, though, I’m going to list a few helpful ways to use Force Touch that are a bit more hidden. I’m finding it much more useful than I thought I would, just so you know. That’s what I get for ever doubting Apple!


1. Jump into Editing Contacts

Within any card in your Contacts program, Force-clicking on a field you want to change will put you right into editing mode and select that field for easy-peasy correcting.

This works with pretty much any item you want to correct, but you should know that if you’re wanting to add notes to your contacts, you don’t have to go into edit mode at all—you’ll simply click in that field and start typing, as I’ve mentioned before. Just trying to save you time here, people.


2. Drop a Pin in Maps (and Zoom Faster!)

Force-clicking on a point within the Maps program will drop a pin, so if you need to get directions to an exact location, it’s easy to do.

And if you’re zooming in and out on the map using the plus and minus buttons I’ve indicated above, you can also press harder to zoom faster. It’s kinda fun!


3. Use Dock Icons

My tip earlier this week was all about using the Dock, and here is one more nifty thing you can do. If you Force-click on the Dock icon for any running application, you’ll see all of its open windows.

From that view, you can easily swap between documents, for example. I like this a lot, but I’m so in the habit of using Command-Tilde to switch windows that I’m not sure I’ll be able to retrain myself. Muscle memory, and all that.


4. Get Previews in Mail

Whenever you see something in Mail that is clickable (like a link or a tracking number) or is recognized as info that can be added to Contacts or Calendars (such as a phone number, a date, or an address), Force-clicking that item will interact with it.

Well, I guess that’s no surprise.

So Force-clicking a link will pop up a preview of the page; doing that with potential contact data will give you choices for adding it to your cards; and Force-clicking a date will let you create a calendar event. Neat!


5. See Reminders Info

This one is pretty simple: Force-click on a reminder to get details on it, including any location info you’ve added.

This, like most of the other Force Touch functionality, doesn’t necessarily do anything new—it replaces having to click the tiny little “i” next to the reminder—but it’s a faster way to get where you’re going.

So what about you guys? Do you find yourselves using Force Touch on your Macs? If so, what do you use it for?

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Thanks for these tips.  I got the TrackPad 2 a few days ago and I’m starting to get used to both “using” as well as “not using” force touch.  You do have to retrain yourself to think in Force Touch mode.  The TrackPad 2 is somewhat sensitive - but I am using Force Touch more each day.

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