Learning the Power of BetterTouchTool Finger Gestures
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Learning the Power of BetterTouchTool Finger Gestures

Trigger hundreds of Mac actions instead of using keyboard shortcuts.
4.8 (5 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
30 students enrolled
Created by Bakari Chavanu
Last updated 8/2016
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Current price: $10 Original price: $25 Discount: 60% off
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 10 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Learn about all the most useful features in BetterTouchTool and how to use them in your daily Mac workflow.
  • Learn how to select multitouch finger gestures for triggering over a hundred different Mac actions.
  • Learn about and how to use the advanced features of BetterTouchTool.
View Curriculum
  • You will need to install BetterTouchTool, which is available for trial download.
  • You will need to be using an Apple Trackpad or Magic Mouse. Note: the course forces on using the Force Touch trackpad, but the lessons can be applied to the Magic Mouse as well.

BetterTouchTool provides similar features as the built-in finger gesture features found in Mac OS X. But BetterTouchTool includes over a hundred different finger gestures that can trigger both built-in BTT Mac  actions and your own custom Mac actions, such as triggering keyboard shortcuts, menu items, and system actions. 

BetterTouchTool is not a difficult application to learn, but it has lots of features to discover and use. This course will save you weeks and months of time in learning all the features that BetterTouchTool has to offer. 

My course features 13 video tutorials and 11 PDF guides, which include dozens of screenshots of BTT's most important features. 

BetterTouchTool is available for a free trial download, and the full license is a modest $6.95 or more, depending on what you want to pay. You will find that BetterTouchTool is worth every penny. 

This course will guide you through setting up your first custom gestures. Each lesson builds off the last one, but you can also jump around based on what your particular needs and experience are with the program. 

As you use BetterTouchTool, you'll realize how much you can get done when your hand is already on your trackpad or Magic Mouse. (Note, though BTT works with the Magic Mouse, this course focuses on using BTT with Apple's trackpad. The trackpad, be it the desktop or laptop version, provides much more finger gesture options and actions. However, what you learn in the course can easily be applied if you're using a Magic Mouse.)

As you work through the lessons, feel free to ask me questions. 

BTT will definitely help you reduce the need for keyboard shortcuts and cursor movements, and it will help you be more productive. 

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is meant for new and intermediate users of BetterTouchTool, which requires no coding.
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Curriculum For This Course
13 Lectures
Getting Started with BetterTouchTool
3 Lectures 21:48

Welcome to my BetterTouchTool Finger Gesture Course. This video provides an overview of the course and an introduction to sample BTT actions and gestures.

Preview 07:21

This video and PDF introduces you to BetterTouchTool's user interface. 

The user interface includes sections for creating actions and assigning finger gestures for use with a trackpad, a Magic Mouse, the BTT Remote app, Keyboard shortcuts, Drawings, Normal Mice, Siri Remote, Apple Remote, Leap, and other devices.

Note: This course focuses on using BTT with the latest Apple Trackpad. However, material covered can be applied to other devices including the Magic Mouse and Siri Remote.

BTT includes several advanced preferences settings, but in general you shouldn't need to make changes to those settings unless you have a very specific reason to do so.

The BetterTouchTool User Interface

In this video, I show you how to create your first BTT actions and gestures. It can be done in less than a few minutes. 

Once you get started with a few actions, I show you how to create several more actions for your particular needs. The best actions to start with are ones that trigger keyboard shortcuts and menu items.

Attached to this lecture is a PDF listing some of best practices and tips for using BTT. Come back to this guide as you learn more about using BTT.

Create Two Actions and Gestures (video)
Predefined and Application Specific Actions
3 Lectures 18:48

This lesson provides an overview of BTT's predefined actions, most of which mirror the routine tasks you perform on your Mac. 

The predefined actions include actions for controlling applications and windows, triggering System actions, such as Sleep, Lock Screen, and emptying the trash, taking screenshots, trigging Mission Control and Notifications, pasting snippets of text, downloading webpages, and much more. 

The attached PDF guide consists of a screenshot of all the predefined actions that you can peruse at your leisure. The guide makes it easier to see all that's available for you to choose from. 

Introduction to Predefined Actions

Up to this point, we've focused on BTT global actions. In this video I will show you how to set up application-specific actions and gestures. So for example you may have a 3 Finger Click global action for triggering screenshots, but you might also choose to assign a 3 Finger Click gesture for deleting emails in Mail. Application-specific actions and gestures override global actions. 

Application-specific actions are particularly useful for triggering menu items in applications, which saves you the time and trouble of moving your mouse to the menu bar to trigger menu items, or having to press keyboard shortcuts.

Application Specific Actions and Gestures

This video demonstrates some useful ways to apply actions and gestures for the Safari web browser, especially because when we're browsing Safari, we typically do so with our hand on the trackpad or mouse. Thus, BTT makes it easy to trigger Safari related menu items, including closing tabs, jumping between tabs, switching to Favorites and adding new tabs.

The attached PDF provides some ideas for using BTT with Safari. Similar actions and finger gestures can be applied to any web browser. 

Preview 04:06
Advanced BTT Features
3 Lectures 16:59

Up to this point, the tutorials have focused on BTT single action finger gestures. Now we turn to multi-action actions that might be based on two or more additional keyboard shortcuts and/or predefined actions. 

Multiple actions are just as easy to add in BTT, but you may need to add a Delay Next Action action to give BTT a second or less to trigger the previously assigned action.

Multi-Action Gestures and Actions

In this video, I show you how to set up BTT's Contextual Menu feature, which means when you assign the same gesture to two or more actions, those actions will appear in a contextual menu, similar to Mac OS X's contextual menu. 

BTT's Contextual Menu

In this lesson I familiarize you with advanced optional gestures settings in BTT. These settings are useful for when you want to use the same gestures for different actions, or when you when you want to trigger actions when your trackpad or mouse cursor is the menu bar or Dock.  

Advanced Optional Gestures
Other BTT Features
4 Lectures 24:45

BTT's Keyboard Shortcuts and Key Sequences features provide yet another method of trigging Mac  actions. You can assign keyboard shortcuts to BTT actions. Your assigned shortcuts can be mapped to other applications like Keyboard Maestro. The Key Sequence features allows you to trigger actions by typing a combinations of keystrokes. As of this writing, the Key Sequence action is its beta development in BTT, but it's a feature that you will want to explore. 

Creating Key Sequences Actions

Typically when you want to take a screenshot, you need to press a keyboard shortcut (e.g., Command+Shift+4), but with BTT you can simply use an assigned finger gesture, especially since your hand is already on your trackpad or mouse. In this lesson you will learn how BTT's screenshot features are more advanced than the built-in application Apple offers. 

BTT Screen Capture Feature

In this video you will learn about BTT's drawing feature to trigger actions. The feature is not as solid as it needs to be, but it provides a interesting way to create custom finger gestures for triggering actions. 

BTT Drawing Action Features

This video shows what BTT can do for manipulating windows using assigned finger gestures. Some of the features in BTT are similar to BetterSnapTool (an application built by developer of BTT), which provides better features for controlling windows. 

Window Actions
About the Instructor
Bakari Chavanu
4.8 Average rating
5 Reviews
30 Students
1 Course
Blogger and Professional Writer

Bakari Chavanu is a long time user of Apple computers and software. He is a professional writer and staff writer for MakeUseOf, a leading how-to technology website. He has written numerous articles on Mac automation, including a Mac Automation guide for to how use Apple's Automator and the smart technology features in Mac OS X. The content covered in this course is used everyday by Bakari in his own workflow as a writer. He is currently writing a book how to use the leading Mac automation program, Keyboard Maestro.