An Explanation Of Apple Mac Hardware Usage

Magic Trackpad - Bluetooth

If you need to replace your existing, dead/dying, mouse device but this time around need something that doesn't make that annoying Click Click sound I can highly recommend the Magic Trackpad bluetooth (wireless) mouse device, which is the same trackpad as you get on a Macbook Pro Laptop computer but bigger. Although it comes with two standard AA Batteries, that tend to last two months or so depending on how often you use the trackpad (and forget to switch it off!), you can use rechargeable AA Batteries with it. The trackpad does need getting use to, but once mastered you will find the gestures are features you won't want to live without in the future.

Fig 1.0  The Magic Trackpad is ideal for those who want to get rid of that annoying mouse Click Click sound!

Begin by opening the System Preferences window (control panel) and then click on the TRACKPAD Preferences icon (Fig 1.1) to open the Trackpad window (Fig 1.2).

Fig 1.1  Click on the TRACKPAD Preferences icon to continue

Fig 1.2  Click on the SET UP BLUETOOTH TRACKPAD button to continue

At this point it doesn't really matter if your magic trackpad is switched on or not, but saying this make sure its switched off just to avoid initial conflict problems (i.e. with it switched off now it's not beaming a wireless signal and therefore you know any devices that get listed in a minute will not belong to your magic trackpad and therefore will be instantly recognisable when it does get switched on).

With the TRACKPAD window open (Fig 1.2 above) the next step is to click on the SET UP BLUETOOTH TRACKPAD button (Fig 1.2 above). When you have done this the TRACKPAD Preferences "bluetooth device detection" feature will begin searching for bluetooth trackpad devices (Fig 1.3 below), including your magic trackpad; if it's switched on of course. So if you haven't switched it on yet, do so now.

If this is your first magic trackpad you might not know exactly how to switch it on and off properly. You might think you press the button on its right-hand-side down for a few seconds before seeing its green light come on, when in reality you only need to press and let go of that button within one second for the magic trackpad to come on and beam a wireless (bluetooth) signal. When you need to switch the magic trackpad off simply press that button down and keep it pressed (held) down as you then count to three whereby you should then see the magic trackpad's green light go out.

Fig 1.3  The TRACKPAD Preferences is now searching for your bluetooth trackpad device (magic trackpad)

Do not be surprised if the TRACKPAD Preferences "bluetooth device detection" feature does not automatically or instantly find your magic trackpad. It can take a few seconds or more to find a new device. And even when it is found it will not be called John Cairns's Trackpad for example because it normally finds a new magic trackpad by its mac address (i.e. unique serial number) before renaming it to the computer's user (login) name (i.e. John Cairns). So be patient! When your magic trackpad is found click on the CONTINUE button.

Fig 1.4  John Cairns's magic trackpad has been found (detected) - Click on the CONTINUE button

At this point, when your magic trackpad has been found, don't touch any keyboard keys or mouse keys - Just let TRACKPAD Preferences connect to your bluetooth (wireless) magic trackpad and set up default settings. When your magic trackpad is ready for use (connected to your computer/MacOS via a bluetooth connection) click on the DONE button to continue (Fig 1.6 below). You will know when a successful connection has been made because a little trackpad symbol will appear, briefly, on the desktop screen (Fig 1.7).

Fig 1.5  Don't touch any keys! Let TRACKPAD Preferences set up your bluetooth (wireless) magic trackpad.

Fig 1.6  Click on the DONE button to continue

Fig 1.7  Your magic trackpad is now connect to your computer/os x via bluetooth

Once your magic trackpad has been found and connected it will only be set up with default (standard) settings, which are okay for many people but I highly recommend you switch on (tick) ALL trackpad preferences and change a couple to get the most out of your magic trackpad.


Starting with the POINT & CLICK Tab (window pane) - Make sure all the settings (preferences) are ticked. Furthermore, decide how you want the second click (right click) to behave. If you want to physically click (pressed down) on the bottom corner of the magic trackpad in order to perform a right-click you need to click on the SECOND CLICK drop-down menu (below) and select the option called CLICK IN BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER.

Personally I like the option CLICK OR TAP WITH TWO FINGERS because 1) it gets rid of any physical Click sound when right-clicking and 2) it means I can tap, with two fingers, anywhere on the touchpad surface to bring up a context (options) menu for example. I'm not limited to the right corner. It the same when you use TAP WITH ONE FINGER for the left click (TAP TO CLICK) option - Because you would be tapping, as opposed to clicking, you eliminate the Click sound and are not limited to clicking in the bottom-left corner of the trackpad.

To see what a certain trackpad preference (trackpad gesture / trackpad feature / mouse option) does simply hover over its preference (setting/option) and the built-in video will show you how to use it (above).

Fig 2.0  Hover over a preference to view its built-in video that will show you how to use that gesture/feature

On the SCROLL & ZOOM Tab (below) you should, ideally, have all the preferences (settings/options) ticked. Again, to see a demonstration of each preference simply hover the mouse pointer over that preference to view its built-in video.

Fig 2.1  Tick all the preferences on the SCROLL & ZOOM Tab to enjoy the scroll gestures (features)

The MORE GESTURES Tab (below) has preferences (settings / trackpad gestures) on it that are more to do with MacOS and the displaying/launching of the LaunchPad, Expose and Desktop screens/applications; so they aren't really as useful or as important as the other preferences. Nevertheless, I recommend switching them all on (ticking them all) just in case you do decide to use their gestures.

Fig 2.2  The MORE GESTURES prefs enable quick display/hiding of LaunchPad, Expose and Desktop screens/apps

As well as changing trackpad preferences the Trackpad window also tells you how much battery life is remaining for the trackpad. In this case 41%. As said at the beginning of this section; The battery life will depend on how often you remember to switch off the trackpad. It will not use that much if the computer is off and the trackpad is on, but even if it uses a little that little soon mounts up.


If for some reason you need to completely remove your trackpad from the system, so MacOS no longer recognises it as a valid, connected, device you can either use System Preferences (SYSTEM PREFERENCES >> TRACKPAD >> SET UP BLUETOOTH TRACKPAD) as shown above or use the trackpad/bluetooth menu (from the desktop Menu bar) as shown here to completely remove/disable the trackpad.

Fig 3.0  The BLUETOOTH Menu Bar menu is the third one from the left

Begin by clicking on the BLUETOOTH Menu Bar menu (third menu from the left in this case) to display its menu-items, and more importantly the trackpad specific sub-menu (John Cairns's Trackpad in this case). Hovering over that sub-menu will then display the battery life as a sub-menu menu-item and also a sub-menu menu-item for the trackpad preferences (Open Trackpad Preferences). Click on that OPEN TRACKPAD PREFERENCES sub-menu menu-item to continue.

Fig 3.1  Click on the OPEN TRACKPAD PREFERENCES sub-menu menu-item to continue

After clicking on the OPEN TRACKPAD PREFERENCES sub-menu menu-item you will be taken to the Trackpad window, as shown in Fig 1.2 above and Fig 3.2 below, whereby you then need to click on the SET UP BLUETOOTH TRACKPAD button (just as you did in Fig 1.2 above) in order continue.

Fig 3.2  Click on the SET UP BLUETOOTH TRACKPAD button to continue

This time around because you are removing a trackpad, as opposed to setting one up for the first time, you now need to click on (or hover over) your specific/listed trackpad in order to then click on its X (remove) button. Doing so will then bring up a message requester (Fig 3.4) asking you if you really want to remove the trackpad. Simply click on its REMOVE button to continue.

Fig 3.3  Click on your listed trackpad and then click on the X button to continue

Fig 3.4  Click on the REMOVE button to continue

When your trackpad device has been removed you then click on the DONE button of the remaining message requester. If you want to reconnect the trackpad, for whatever reason(s), you could click on the PAIR button instead. However, if this is the case you are better off starting from scratch (treating the trackpad as a new device) by following the instructions at the very beginning of this section.

Fig 3.5  Click on the DONE button to complete the removal process

If you only want to switch off (disconnect) your trackpad you can either use the DISCONNECT sub-menu menu-item from the bluetooth menu bar (as shown in Fig 3.1 above) or press and hold in for three seconds the physical button on the right-side of the trackpad until you see its green light go off.