Making my Mac a little more Ipad like?

I find myself repeatedly trying to three-finger swipe between apps on my Macbook using the trackpad … just like I do on the ipad.

But the mac doesn’t work that way …

Any hints how I might be able to do that?

(I have bettertouch tool, and I think I want to map the three-finger swipe to alt-tab)

You could use your apps in full screen mode by clicking on the green button, then you can three finger swipe between the Screens.

A similarly nice method is to three finger swipe up to get Mission Control. I have chosen the option to group app windows together, reducing clutter in this mode.
A three finger swipe down can show Exposé, which lets you go between windows of the current app.


Thanks Graeme.

I guess I shoulda said that I have tried, several times over the years, and I really despise full screen mode :frowning:

I like my windows maximised but I dislike them full-size and find full sized windows hard to use.

I don’t know why …

You can maximize each app in its own Space (not using full screen mode), and still swipe between the spaces.

1 Like

So, you want many windows visible on one screen, not full screen, and the ability to swipe between them?

Yes, so swiping is like cmd-tabbing.

Better Touch Tool would probably be able to mimic iPad swipe gestures, have you tried that?

I think a combination of spaces and BTT would do the trick

or just simply like this:

Another vote for three finger swipe up and three finger swipe left/right, both of which I use all the time. I also dislike the true ‘full screen’ but all it takes is to hold down the Option key when clicking the green button and you get a full sized but not full screen window. Add Spaces as required so you can three finger swipe between them, but you can also make them all full sized on the same Space and three finger swipe up to pick one which I personally find superior. I tend to keep separate Spaces for separate working modes.

This can also be done by BTT, just switch the green button from full screen to mazimized

(from MPU episode 2 weeks ago)

I have right click green button set to fullscreen, and left click to maximize.

1 Like

I pretty much use all apps in full screen, sometimes split screen, so I don’t have to dive under windows to find one. I’m curious why people don’t like the full screen app layout? Is it because the menu bar is hidden?

That was the main reason for me.

There’s no an option in settings to show the menu bar, which makes it easier to work in full screen.

Initially it was a real pain dealing with full screen windows (creating split screen pairs primarily), but personally I think that has largely been solved and I use it from time to time.

I think some people would have been put off and never returned.

I use it a lot as well and actually like it. But mainly when using the built-in screen on my laptop.

However, I can see some nuisances that may echo some of the critics and sometimes make the non-fullscreen desktop the way to go:

  1. When using it with some large monitors, some windows will have lots of white space, and any non-wrapping text will become a pain to read;
  2. Switching windows on a fullscreen pair is a PITA and can’t be done through the keyboards;
  3. Some apps will not allow for its use on fullscreen, so they are not easily glanceable whiteout disturbing your flow completely;
  4. macOS fullscreen window arrangement will allow only for pairs, but not for more complex arrangements. Sometimes, one needs to have 3 or more windows readily glanceable (e.g. say you’re presenting a keynote remotely, it would be nice to have a window for a look at all your attendees, another one for the chat, one for the keynote presentation, other for the presenter view and depending on how “professional” is your setup maybe another one for monitoring your audio and video feeds);
  5. On that note, even an iPad would allow for a writing app, a reference app and a quickly glanceable (via Slide Over second reference app, allowing for quick 3 app workflow (useful for writing while taking a look at your reference PDF and a dictionary for quick consulting);
  6. Some apps are aggressive in not allowing pairs or retaining a minimum width on fullscreen bigger than their windowed versions ask for (e.g. Word will allow a window to pair another if and only if there are no sidebars open, such as the summary or find and replace, however, should the side pane be open after its already in split mode, it will work regardless).
1 Like

I don’t know what it is. But if I want to see fullscreen apps, I use my iPad.
My mac is for lots and lots of terminal and bbedit windows :joy:

I can see how full screen (even split screen) doesn’t work for big monitors. I have a lowly 13” and aging eyes.

1 Like