7 Gesture Tips For Your Chromebook Trackpad
When we discuss gestures, we frequently concentrate on those that take place on screens, whether we’re discussing Android gestures and all the possibilities therein or thinking about the comparable set of on-screen gestures that Chromebooks have had for a while.
However, there is a different class of time-saving swipers that are hiding in your best Google-powered gadgets. Once you remember to start using them, these ChromeOS-specific swipes will have you navigating your favorite Chromebook like a pro in no time.
Here are seven trackpad gestures for Chromebooks that will greatly increase your productivity.
Also keep in mind that some of these shortcuts, specifically those that are web-related and involve browser-level operations unrelated to ChromeOS, will also function in the Chrome browser on other operating systems.
Let’s dive right in!
Gesture No. 1: The sideways scroll
You’re probably aware that you can scroll up and down by simultaneously placing two fingers on your Chromebook trackpad — right next to each other — but I frequently forget that the same basic gesture also works for moving around horizontally.
Therefore, the next time you need to scroll left or right on a particularly wide surface in ChromeOS, put two fingers on the trackpad at once — either side by side or one on top of the other. Both methods are effective. It’s up to you to decide!
The only thing left to do is swipe your fingers sideways and witness as your screen imitates your motion.
Gesture No. 2: The back zap
Keep your double digits down for a moment and, while viewing any web page, swipe all the way to the left on your trackpad. You can go back one step in your browsing history by pressing Alt and the left arrow key on your keyboard, provided you were previously on another website in the same tab.
Additionally, if you’ve already gone backward in your web history timeline, moving two fingers to the right on the trackpad of your Chromebook will advance you to the subsequent page.
Gesture No. 3: The tab switch trick
Anytime you have multiple tabs open in a single Chrome window on your Chromebook, you can switch to the next or previous tab in the list by making a sideways swipe with three fingers on your trackpad (depending on whether you swipe right or left, of course).
Never before has switching between tabs been so satisfying.
Gesture No. 4: The Overview instant view
One of ChromeOS’s underrated features is the Overview screen, which is the screen that displays all of your open tabs and apps.
It allows you to manage multiple ChromeOS Virtual Desks (more on those in a moment) and quickly switch into a split-screen setup by dragging any open apps or processes to either side of the screen. It also makes it simple for you to see everything that is open at any given time.
The trackpad on your Chromebook provides a super-efficient way to slide straight into that Overview area with the flick of a finger, or, more specifically, three.
You can access the ChromeOS Overview interface at any time by using three fingers to swipe upward on the trackpad of your Chromebook. When you’re finished, use the same three fingers to swipe downward to exit the interface.
You’ll never forget it because it’s one of the most helpful ChromeOS shortcuts.
Gesture No. 5: Your quick tab closer
Another three-fingered beauty to store in your active memory space is this one: Simply point your mouse at the tab’s title area at the top of the screen and click or tap your trackpad with three fingers joined to close it.
Gesture No. 6: Instant new tab delivery
On the other hand, when you want to open a link on a page you’re currently viewing in a new tab, place your cursor over the link and then tap or click once more with three fingers on the shiny old trackpad.
The result is the same as if you had held down the Ctrl key while clicking: the associated page will be displayed in its own separate tab within the same browser window.
Gesture No. 7: The Virtual Desk fast-flip
When you have multiple desktops open on your Chromebook, you can switch from one Virtual Desk to another with just one incredibly helpful Chromebook trackpad command (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, go read this).
Simply touch four fingers together and swipe left or right on your trackpad. Once you get used to the slightly awkward motion, you won’t want to use the cumbersome manual alternative ever again.
The last gesture is a big thumbs up for all the wonderful seconds you are about to start saving.