Show us your BetterTouchTool Tricks

Gang,

We’re finally making good on a long threat to do a show on BetterTouchTool. Do you have a fun/nerdy/interesting use for it? If so, share it here and we may just include it in the show.

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This is good to hear - will try to dig out some of my weird uses over the weekend!

Snapping areas! I use a 34" ultrawide monitor and rarely do I want an app to cover the whole screen (exception is video/audio editing where having that much space is awesome). I often split my screen in half - that’s accomplished by dragging an app to either side. But by adding snapping areas I can split my screen into vertical 3rds. Or 2/3 and 1/3. I also have a custom “middle of my screen, about half the width” resizer which is awesome.

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Aren’t those Keyboard Maestro macros? Does BetterTouchTool (the thread topic) execute KM macros?

oops, read it wrong. removed.

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For BTT I mostly use GoldenChaos. I used to use it more to build custom Touch Bar links, not so much anymore.

80% of BTT on my Trackpad is

  • 4-finger left/right swiping to switch spaces
  • Corner Force-Click bottom left/right to slam windows to far left/right of screen

I occasionally use the (pre-installed?) 5-finger swipe-down to bring up the mini active-window-switcher

I’m looking forward to this. Now that I’m working from home I can use my iMac most of the time instead of my Windows machine at work (don’t tell!).

I keep meaning to explore BTT more, but haven’t had a chance. I have two drawing gestures:

M - opens my mail in Safari.
B - opens Baseball-Reference.com (and there goes 1/2 hour or so. Did you know Terry Forster had a lifetime .397 batting average?)

Not sure if the ‘B’ is a productivity tip or an anti-productivity tip.

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I use BTT pretty much exclusively for customizing my Touch Bar. @michaelpporter mentioned Golden Chaos which is brilliant. I can’t remember where but I grabbed a BTT preset for showing current song playing w/ album artwork

I’ve also got a button which just activates the 1Password mini-window
The left most button is one I made which toggles Picture-in-Picture in the current safari window.
When I’m in Finder, I have a button which shows the current directory name and it’s branch name if it’s tracked by git. When it’s clicked, it copies the current directory absolute path to the clipboard.

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mine is clipboard (shows 10 at a time) and now playing for the Touch Bar.

I have BTT doing a few different things …
(EDIT: I also have BTT doing all 7 window snapping it is able to do)

  • reprogram window buttons

    • left click green window button maximizes the window (not full screen)
    • double click main menubar maximizes the window
    • double click window menubar minimizes that window
    • left click Music.app orange button enters mini player mode
  • 3-finger swipes to adjust windows

    • 3 finger swipe left … make window left half of current monitor
    • 3 finger swipe right … make window right half of current monitor
    • 3 finger swipe up … maximize window on current monitor
    • 3 finger swipe down … minimize window on current monitor
  • 4 finger swipes to move windows

    • 4 finger swipe left/right … move window to “the other” monitor
    • 4 finger swipe down … hide all windows
    • 4 finger pinch … center window on current monitor
    • 4 finger spread … center and resize window to ~ 80% of current monitor (calls a KBM action via keybinding)
  • In DEVONthink

    • 3 finger click triggers my Keyboard Maestro pallet for DT (triggers KBM keyboard shortcut)
    • 4 finger click triggers the highlight menu item (as I’m reading I can select text and highlight it quickly)
    • 4 finger spread … go to annotation inspector (so I can write a short note)
  • In Safari (all of these trigger Safari keyboard shortcuts)

    • 3 fingers down, tap left or right finger … go to previous/next tab
    • 4 fingers down, tap left or right finger … go back/forward in tab history
  • In Skype

    • 4 finger pinch mutes my microphone (mimics the “zip it” hand gesture) … triggers the Skype keyboard shortcut shift-cmd-M
    • 4 finger spread unmutes my microphone (yes, its the same keyboard shortcut, but its fun to do both)
  • In OmniFocus, Outlook, Excel, and Safari … 3 finger click activates app-specific Keyboard Maestro pallets (tigger KBM keyboard shortcuts)

  • Globally, 3 fingers down and swipe the left one down … sleep computer

  • via BTT keyboard shortcuts (shift-opt-cmd + …)

    • J/K … maximize window left/right half current monitor
    • H/L … maximize window left/right third of current monitor
    • U/I … move window left/right quarter top of current monitor
    • N/M … move window left/right quarter bottom of current monitor
    • G … maximize window right 2/3 of current monitor
    • left/right arrow key … move window to left or right monitor
    • more-or-less mapped around J/K on the keyboard
  • In Skype meetings, I’ll often pin the Skype window to the left 2/3 of my main monitor and my notes to the right 1/3. That way I stay facing forward during the meeting.

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BTT is the app that makes the Touch Bar shine – it is essential to using the Touch Bar to it’s full capability.

The other aspect of BTT that is better than other apps (including Keyboard Maestro, as far as I can determine) is the ability to active commands inside application contextual menus – especially command that do not have shortcuts.

Put the Touch Bar and contextual menu support together into a BTT action – very good automation.

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I’ve been a long time user of both BetterTouchTool and BetterSnapTool. Since 99% of my computer use these days is on my iMac with a basic Logitech mouse, I’m using just BetterSnapTool there. I’ve got BetterTouchTool on my MBP, but no gestures configured anymore. For either these days its the snapping areas I make use of all the time.

I’ve got an external 27" monitor set up in portrait orientation. I’ve set up custom snap areas for the upper half and the lower half. When I log in, Calendar opens automatically and snaps to the upper half of the display and Omnifocus opens automatically and snaps to the lower half of the display. If I want the external monitor for something else, it just Control → to go to a clean space.

I would be very interested in your config as one to build from

I currently use BTT for all my “text expander” snippets. I also use Golden Chaos for my MBP touchbar. I have mapped my mouse buttons for forward and back in safari and mission control.

For me it has replaced multiple other utilities.

Thanks for doing a show on this.

95% of my usage is with the TouchBar - see I 😍 the TouchBar

Oh so many great things.

Tip tap gestures are the best.
Tip tap left single finger = copy
Tip tap right single finger = paste
Tip tap left two fingers = close tab or archive (per app)
Tip tap right two fingers = new tab or reply all (per app)
Tip tap three fingers = move one space left
Tip tap four fingers = move one space right

Four finger swipe left and right = maximise window left or right
Four fingers swipe up = maximise full screen
Four finger swipe down = minimise window

Don’t forget click & force touch in corners, Great for opening specific apps (top left = mail/outlook, top right = safari).

Touch Bar mods, great.

Text snippets that are linked to keyboard shortcuts and or trackpad gestures.

Third party mouse stuff is excellent.

BTT is the first app I install on any new Mac, love that it is now in SetApp.

Hope this works! Here’s a link to my setup https://www.icloud.com/iclouddrive/0YBJXewhpW3tCtG_zi_PEJsdA#touchbar

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Nothing too remarkable on mine but very useful… optimized for work functions. See screenshot. – jay

  • Show Desktop
  • Screencapture (with settings to both save and copy to clipboard)
  • Go to Webex Teams UNREAD messages
  • Go to Outlook TODAY inbox smart folder
  • Next meeting on schedule
  • Mute mic for webex
  • Volume controls
  • Date Time (when touched opens Outlook calendar to today)

Inspired by ErgoDox clever Space-cadet Shift,
I use BTT Key Sequence to make [meta_key] tap to insert most used characters:

  • fn: * (yes it even works with the function key!)
  • ctrl : (
  • option : [
  • cmd : {

To insert parenthesis, for instance, instead of hitting shift+9, I tap ctrl. So in essence, my keyboard now has four more keys.

I don’t use the shift key because it conflicts with HyperKey triggering CAPS-LOCK when used alone.

Most of the apps I write in already do auto-pairing, so I mapped only left keys to left characters.

I took me a little while to get used to it, but now, a Mac without it feels broken to me (the price we pay for customization, I guess).

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