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Secret Force Click shortcuts: Thirteen Taptic tricks for your new Trackpad!

Force Touch trackpads come on the 12-inch MacBook, 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro, and the Magic Trackpad 2. And with Force Touch comes Force Click, a convenient way to invoke secondary actions with what is, in essence, a secondary, "deeper" press into the trackpad. Apple currently ties Force Click into the Quick Look, Look Up, data detector, and detail view functions, as well as a few extras. That means you can generally go deeper just by — wait for it — going deeper. Here are all the basics!

See all app windows

Force Click on an icon in the Dock and you'll get an Exposé preview of that app's open windows.

Preview a file

Force Click on a document and you'll get a Quick Look of the file's contents.

Rename a file

Force Click on a file name and you'll be able to rename it.

Look up a word

Force Click on a word or common grouping of words and a you'll get the Look Up popover with results from Dictionary or Wikipedia.

Preview a website

Force Click on a link and you'll get a popover showing you the contents of a link's webpage.

See Message details

Force Click on a thread in Messages and you'll call up the details view with location, attachments, and Do Not Disturb.

See Reminders details

Force Click on a reminder to see location, time, and other details about it.

See event details

Force Click on a Calendar event to see location, time, and other details. Force Click on an attendee to see contact details.

Add an event

Force Click on a date and you'll get a popover offering to add them to your calendar.

Preview an address

Force Click on an a address and you'll get a popover showing you a map of the location.

Drop a location pin

Force Click on a place in Maps to drop a pin on it.

Track a package

Force Click on a tracking number and you'll get a popup showing you all the shipping and delivery details, including progress and current status.

Annotate an image or PDF

Force Click on an image or or PDF in Mail and you'll open it in the Markup extension, ready for annotation.

More shortcuts

Apple is also using the pressure sensitive aspects of Force Click to let you accelerate fast forward and rewind in QuickTime and iMovie, and zoom in maps. The company is using the Taptic engine to hint when you're getting to the end of a clip in iMovie and to rotating back to zero degrees in Photos. It's safe to say we're at the very beginning of Force Click, and that there's a lot more to come!

Originally published October 2015. Updated November 2016.

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

8 Comments
  • Rene, have you had any instances were the new Click shortcuts messed with you? You know, 'cause you already did a certain action with another motion/shortcut.
  • It took me a little while to get used to it, but it seems consistent now. What are you seeing?
  • Sometimes when i force click(the second click) on a link to see a preview of that link sometimes it just pops up a a mili-second and then disappears. Anyone seen this issue? Also what is the proper term for FIRST CLICK? Second click is "force click" but whtas the first called?
  • Yeah, I've had that. It took me a while to get used to the right amount of pressure and duration. I call it "click" and "force click".
  • The trackpad has force touch (one level of press) and not 3D touch like iphone 6s with peek and pop levels of touch. Is that correct?
  • Kind of surprised the magic mouse 2 doesn't have force click, would have been cool for those who use it. Personally I love the trackpads, rocking the retina Macbook now <3, I just wish there was a little more you can do with force touch. The trackpad senses a range of pressure, adding something like peek and pop is just missing on the software side. BetterTouchTool (BTT) is great for extending functionality, but I always run into bugs with it. BTT does have a live preview which shows just how sensitive the pressure sensing is.
  • Loved this Sent from the iMore App
  • Is is me or does Apple give us a technology (Force Touch, 3D Touch) as a reason to just add more shortcuts to the mix ? Convenient as is