I need to do self deep tissue massage on my back each night. I roll around on the floor on top of a tennis ball for a half hour. During this time I watch stuff on my MacBook Pro, which is running El Capitan. I control it with my Magic Trackpad.

I'm sufficiently far away that reading Finder items is a little difficult, so I'd love to be able to zoom the screen with the trackpad. But the Trackpad System Preference is useless for this; it seems it only works with e.g. iPhotos. Accessibility System Preference insists that a key be held down while doing the zoom gesture in order to zoom the screen, so it's useless too.

So, does anyone know of an application or extension for El Capitan which will do whole-screen zooms from JUST a trackpad gesture? Googling turns up nothing useful :(


I use BetterTouchTool (BTT) for customizing a trackpad (or I did before my trackpad fell apart has yet to be replaced). I know that BTT can do what you are asking. Since it can also be used to customize most other input devices (keyboard, mouse, remote, etc.) and not just a trackpad I still make use of it without a trackpad and with or without I consider it one of my essential pieces of software. I've moved most of the my shortcuts to BTT so that all my alterations are in one place.

BTT allows you to set up most any gesture you'd like, not just the standard Apple gestures. The downside is that the documentation is somewhat sparse and it can help to have a certain amount of technical experience to figure out how to set up certain functions but your desired need shouldn't be too difficult to configure.

I believe that you can download a trial version before deciding to pay for the app and the license cost is very reasonable and done as a "pay what you can" sale (with a low minimum cost). (BTW, I'm only a user of BTT and am not connected with it's development or sales.)

BetterTouchTool is available from BetterTouchTool.com which actually redirects to the developer's site: https://www.boastr.net/

  • Thanks @Zhora, I've downloaded it but can't figure out how to set it up. I have defined a global trackpad gesture, Pinch In (and another one Pinch Out), with predefined action Smart Zoom, I've turned on "zoom in or out" and "smart zoom" in Sys Prefs / Trackpad. But pinching out and in does nothing. There is no documentation on Trackpad on their website. Do you have any ideas? – skiaddict1 Jul 13 '17 at 6:25
  • The 2010 documentation says that “Apple pinch/zoom gestures has to be enabled in order to use” the BTT swipe gesture. If I have trouble with a particular BTT action (gesture, shortcut, etc.) I try to set define another BTT action (often a keyboard shortcut) to do what I want to see if that works. If it does, try changing the action to what is wanted. It can take seesawing back and forth between changing the BTT actions and/or desired functions to find figure out what’s wrong. – Zhora Jul 14 '17 at 9:45
  • BTT documentation can be a bit hard to find and tends to be scattered around. I found the 2010 documentation (most of which is still quite relevant) at: 2010 BTT Documentation . BTT is a one person operation and it functions quite well but documentation often loses out to development & bug correction. You can tell, though, that BTT is a labor of love and much effort is being devoted to it. The developer's care for his users is also apparent. – Zhora Jul 14 '17 at 9:46
  • One last note: I'll often pick a trackpad action that isn't a standard Apple gesture to avoid conflicts as sometimes the Apple trackpad gesture has to be enabled and sometimes has to NOT be enabled. Two good gestures I use are 4-finger-tap and any of the various tip-tap functions. And if full screen zoom isn't working you might try Maximize Window or an existing Apple keyboard shortcut. – Zhora Jul 14 '17 at 9:51
  • I see you want to use accessibility zoom. Can't help you with continuous zoom but setting up an incremental zoom triggered by a keyboard shortcut and then setting up a BTT trackpad action that would trigger the shortcut might work. Ex: set "Use keyboard shortcuts to zoom, Zoom In:" to "Cmd-Opt-=" and set the BTT action for 4-finger-tap gesture to send "Cmd-Opt-=" (BTT Custom Keyboard Shortcut). Then each tap of 4 fingers will zoom in a little. Similar settings for Zoom Out with a different gesture. (Adjusting Accessibility Zoom, Min & Max values may be necessary to make it do what you want.) – Zhora Jul 14 '17 at 11:26

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