MultiClutch: Trackpad Gestures for “Other” Applications

One of the main features that Apple has advertised with their new Macbook Air and Macbook Pro notebooks is the increased capabilities of the trackpad included with the machines.

With the new trackpad applications like iPhoto and Safari received additional navigation capabilities based on gestures conducted on the trackpad.

Safari includes trackpad capabilities that allowed you to touch three fingers to your trackpad and swipe them to the left or right and the browser will move forward or back a page based on your gesture.

Additionally gestures provided ways to zoom in on the screen, rotate pictures or scroll around the page view. Unfortunately, these new gestures do not include commands for all applications. You couldn’t use the same trackpad features to navigate in Firefox that you used in Safari.

That is until Will Henderson released his beta software that he has titled “MultiClutch“.


MultiClutch is a small program that installs a system preference window that allows you to tie keyboard shortcut commands to your trackpad gestures.

Connecting the gestures to commands within an application is quick and simple:

  1. After you’ve downloaded and installed MultiClutch, navigate to the System Preferences on your Mac and click MultiClutch in the “Other” section.
  2. Click the ‘+’ to add an application, select the application you’d like to add a gesture command to
  3. Select the application in the MultiClutch menu and then click the ‘+’ below the Gesture/Key Command section
  4. Select the gesture command you’d like to use and then click the keyboard shortcut and press the keys you’d like to be tied to the trackpad gesture. (To view the keyboard shortcuts for an application, open the app and select the menu items to see what keyboard shortcuts are tied to the various menu commands
  5. Close the system preferences, open the application and test the new gesture.

Now with MultiClutch and the new Firefox 3 beta 5 I can add the trackpad gestures I use in Safari to move forward and backwards with the websites I’m viewing.

Note: Currently only applications built with Cocoa are supported. If the gestures are not working there is a high likelihood the application was built in Carbon. Firefox Users should note that the MultiClutch gestures were tested in Firefox 3 beta 5 and worked correctly. They did not work in Firefox 2.