Gestures & Multitouch

Gestures and multitouch for touchscreens and touchpads.


  • Convenient methods to access parts of the system shell for touchpad and touchscreen users
  • General design patterns for multitouch, mostly within applications


Some gestures will need to be configurable, while others might have to remain stable. As such, gestures and multitouch will need to be represented in Settings (some aspects of this are already provided by the Mouse & Touchpad panel).

Tentative Design

This is work in progress.

Multitouch Gestures

Touchpad Specifics



Multitouch Equivalent


Two finger drag

Single finger drag

System Gestures




Switch to next workspace

3 finger drag left

4 finger drag down

Switch to previous workspace

3 finger drag right

4 finger drag up


  • With a MacBook Pro (Broadcom bcm5974 multi-touch trackpad) a two-finger tap is equivalent to a right mouse button press and a three-finger tap is equivalent to a middle mouse button press. Up to four-finger gestures are supported in Mac OS X.

  • Older touchscreens only have access to 2 touchpoints (the minimum to call it multi-touch really), newer Windows 8 certified devices would have support for a least 10 touch points. (-- BastienNocera 2013-04-23 10:48:01)

See Also

Design/OS/Gestures (last edited 2022-04-28 17:55:16 by deflol)