Getting used to using the trackpad--any ideas?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by roisin and mac, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. roisin and mac macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2008
    'kay everyone, I hope this is the right place to post. I was thinking maybe the Industry and computing section was better but then went for here, if it's wrong, feel free to move it :)

    Right, so I've been using a mouse to do my computing forever--that means, ever since I got my first computer 10 years ago. I've had a laptop for about half that long (first an Acer I got in '03, then my pweshous Macbook I got this Christmas). I've always used both of these with a mouse, especially because the Acer's trackpad was kinda small and cramped, and by the time I got the Macbook I was real reliant on a mouse.

    But now, seeing how lovely and compact and all-in-one my wittle 'puter is, with hours and hours of battery life and all the things like a camera and decent speakers included (okay, I'll lay off the baby talk), it kinda galls me that the only thing keeping me from the cool situation of taking just the laptop along to the next room or the library to work is my own neanderthalian inability to use the trackpad. So I've decided to wean myself off of it, at least for the commonest tasks, like emails, browsing, and writing text, and basic housekeeping in Finder. So I hid the mouse and got down to business.

    I've been at it for about two full days, and thought I'd be noticing some definite improvement by now (based on previous experience of learning fine motor skills like that), but I don't seem to progress at the pace I'd thought I would be. So I wanna know if you lot have any tips on how to best get used to it. For instance, I realise now that I've been mostly trying to avoid using the trackpad as much as possible, and skiving using some shortcuts that I already now. Would it be better to do it all with the trackpad to get used to it, or is that the way everyone works with a trackpad? then, are you still noticeably slower using your t/p as compared to using a basic mouse? any and all ideas and /or personal stories and mishaps welcome!!

    rois :apple:
  2. kaiwai macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2007
    It takes a while to get used to it. I remember when I first started using laptops I couldn't stand them, but gradually over a couple of years I have not gotten the hang of typing on the keyboards as well as using the trackerpad. Pratice makes perfect.

    Now, I can use it without too many problems - and even using my thumb when typing if I need to do something quickly :p
  3. chscag macrumors 68030


    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I hate trackpads and never use them unless through some unfortunate incident (like my forgetting to carry the mouse along) I have to use it.

    If you don't like the trackpad, use a mouse. There are lots of rodents designed specifically for notebook computers which are small and easy to pack for the road. And in case you're wondering, just about any two or three button mouse with a scroll wheel that is USB will work.

  4. roisin and mac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2008
    Two years huh? *gak* Well, at least if you did get there eventually, I s'pose that gives me some hope. I'll stick with it! Until 2007 or so, I used to use a separate keyboard for most of my writing too, but then I started to use the built-in k/b and now am fine using either, so I guess there's still hope for the trackpad!

    *snort* that made me larff :D

    But yeah, I know about notebook mice, there are some really nice ones out there. I have the wireless MM myself, and I find it a perfect mouse for my needs since it is very compact (no dangling cables or special dongles to take care of, compact shape), but still big enough and well-shaped enough to work as my everyday mouse.

    But I really like the idea that, if I get used to the t/p, I'd be able to fully charge my MB, and take it along without anything other than my normal handbag to work for a few hours--it's like carrying a biggish textbook, it's so neat :) I can't explain it really, but I guess that to me, a laptop that has all the most often used hardware right there is kind of a novel concept for me, in terms of portability. Even with the mouse, I've taken this little guy out and about more times in the 6 months I've had him than I took out the previous laptop in over four years of owning it :)
  5. Scott66 macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2008
    The macbooks have one of the best trackpads and it is doable.

    Make sure you got into the preferences and turn on the two finger scroll to replace the wheel on the mouse. This enables you to scroll updown and leftright just by having two fingertips on the track pad. Also with two fingers on the trackpad and clicking gets you the right click.
  6. mac4drew macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2003
    I used to hate trackpads, and I still prefer a mouse. It took me a couple years to get to the point where I was good enough with the trackpad so that my laziness prevented me from getting my mouse from the other room.

    I suggest you play some Flash games to improve your trackpad abilities. You'll be horrible at first compared to your mouse abilities, but I'm sure it will help.

    There's also something of a personal sweet spot for tracking speed. I have mine one notch below the fastest setting but it's probably different for you. As you catch on, it might help to tune your tracking speed every few days.
  7. Deschain macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008
    I'd suggest making sure you turn on 2 finger scrolling (or is this always on?), tap to click (tap the trackpad = clicking) and 2 finger tap for right click (if you right click a lot).

    I think those things (not having to use the button that often) make the track pad much easier to use.

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