Magic Mouse / Trackpad support


Try to
1 orbit using middle click (via Magic pref)
2 select/deselect a layer in the layer palette
3 orbit again using magic pref middle click: it won’t work anymore


heh… you’re just saying that because you can’t set it up to work with two fingers.

it should be two fingers for orbiting then two-finger pinch for zooming… a third finger just messes things up (or- i don’t understand the preference for using a third??)


not sure what that accusatory lameness is about.
i said it because i did it.

i prefer to use 3 fingers. and i don’t like pinch zooming on a mouse. any time (but especially when middle scroll works great).


well, it won’t work for one click. and then it will work as before.


[quote=“vidicious, post:23, topic:3829, full:true”]
not sure what that accusatory lameness is about.[/quote]

because you keep saying this thing works and it doesn’t… have you read the thread?

maybe you’re getting some sort of capability out of magicprefs that you like but as far as a solution for the wishes in the thread-- it is not.

talking about a trackpad…

on my desktop, i use a logitech mouse and it works fine with sketchup- no desires to have that changed.


i’ve read the thread.
i’ve provided a link to a tool that is useful for some of what the thread discusses.
i’m not trying to solve life. i’m contributing a tool that someone can take or leave. for themself.

you said that i didn’t do something i literally just did. that’s not useful in any conversation.

and, i’m sure you see that “magic mouse” are the first two words of the thread title.

to those wondering:
magicprefs is worth a try. you may or may not find it useful. YRMV.


didn’t realize I should only be reading the first two words of a thread title. my bad.

and hey @vidicious
i get it that you think i’m attacking you or being a jerk or whatever but from my side, there’s more to it than that.

this is sketchup’s ‘official’ feature request forum and a trimble developer is directly engaged in the thread.

and my point is more to them instead of you that magicprefs (nor better touch tool nor any of the 3rd party utilities that i’ve tried over the years ) is not capable of offering a proper solution to the problem of navigating a sketchup model with apple’s hardware.

and also, a little more history since you’ve just joined yesterday and have only posted in this one thread-- this forum is the 5th(?) incarnation of an official or semi-official sketchup forum… i can’t link to the old topics as they’ve disappeared but i’ve been asking for apple trackpad support in sketchup since my 2003 powerbook… the support hasn’t come in 10 years time and maybe it’s just a bit frustrating for someone to come along and say ‘hey, here’s one word and it’s the solution!’ when really, it’s not the solution… i’ve tried 3rd party offering (probably more than you) over and over with each new release and none have worked well yet…
meanwhile, there are other 3D modeling applications which do provide support for apple magic devices so people that have tried these other apps know it’s possible to do in sketchup… and that’s what the feature request is asking for – for to obtain support for apple trackpads and mice.

i understand that you’re saying ‘hey, here’s something that i like to use and maybe you’ll like it too’ and that’s cool… but at the same time, please don’t get offended when someone else says 'no, i don’t like using that… for one- it simply won’t do what i need it to" or " it’s buggy when i try to use it as suggested"

if you insist that your suggested solution is the one then i’m all ears… download the rhino beta (it’s free to use for now) which has trackpad support/customization , familiarize yourself with navigating a model using the trackpad, then come back and show how you’ve set up magicprefs in order to make sketchup act the same way… i’d be way willing to use a 3rd party solution… if it actually works right… and working right doesn’t include “yeah, same thing as using two finger orbiting except you need to use four fingers while holding shift/cmmd” …that type of solution is already available in sketchup itself so no need to use an outside utility just to get a different though equally convoluted setup.


Agreed, this issue is very frustrating. For me, MagicPrefs is not an acceptable solution either, we need native support for Apple’s trackpad. Like the original poster (any many others) said, Rhino figured this out and it works great. I suggest trying Rhino and experiencing how fluid and intuitive navigation is for an example of how CAD can work with the Trackpad.


Have you checked out this Help Article about best practices when using a mouse in SketchUp?


Alex, what we’re talking about is Magic Mouse and Trackpad lacking feature in Sketchup :smile:
I knew these (now aged and not so practical) keyboard shortcuts, but it’s really time to update Sketchup inputs methods.
I mean, Magic Mouse is around since 2009…


Just wondering if there have been any developments on this. Any support via add-ons or planned future upgrades? I hate bringing out my old windows mouse with buttons all over just to use SketchUp efficiently.


Well i sort of got magicprefs to work with the 2 button press. In the left bottom corner of the mouse preview. You see a red square with dots, this is the touch area. If you make this part a small square lower than your regular resting position it sort of works.

Other wise the ctrl +cmd+hold move is a good one


I’m losing hopes on this…


Hey Jeff,

I’m looking at this thread from Nov 2014 about using SU with a Mac trackpad and I have some questions that you might be able to help with.

Do you know specifically what JClark means by the three finger drag option in trackpad preferences? My Mac does not appear to have that setting, from what I’ve been able to find.

Apparently the guy with that suggestion hasn’t been on the forum since he made that comment. So I’m asking you because you just might have tried it at the time.

Any ideas?



Hi @August,

I think you’re not seeing this setting because you’re not using the same OS X version as JClark was, back when that comment was made.

Searching for screen captures of trackpad settings for the OS X Mavericks version, I find:

and, this didn’t even make it’s way into Yosemite. so it appears to be an unsupported option at this point in time, at least from what I can tell.


Apple assigned three-finger swipes to several functions and moved the settings checkboxes to the “More Gestures” pane of the trackpad settings:


Right, I looked at this… But it’s not so clear as to which one has taken over the roll of the so called ‘Three finger drag’. . . none of them suggest by description the task of ‘move with three fingers’.

So I wasn’t sure if it’s still around.

There’s much to like about the trackpad gestures, and Rhino’s implementation of them is very nice—the best I’ve seen so far. But at some point congestion starts to build into in the real word usefulness of these gestures. And I’d venture to say that point happens fairly close to when ‘three’ fingers start being introduced.

Maybe if Apple were to start tracking and predicting temperament, and various levels of frustration. they could implement a ‘dope slap’ gesture… Just a little whack to the side of the screen and wham-o your parts suddenly start to magically fit together.

Of course now they have the pressure sensitive stuff… which doesn’t seem to be very widely adopted. But to this point I do have to say… The Haptic trackpad is very easy on the wrists. I have put in long hours of drawing sessions and I don’t have any of the pains I used to get when using the previous generation trackpad which was harder to click on. So they scored a big win here, at least in terms of ergonomics and better, even safer usability.

Anyhow, I’ve upgraded away from Mavericks, and never did use this particular setting even when I was on it. so I don’t know what the true migration of it has been. If it’s still around I’d like to know about it, so I can try it out if only for the experimentation of it all.

I certainly wasn’t under the impression that they’ve been dropping out gestures from their growing assortment of them.


This is exactly what I want. The Apple apps that do this (eg. Maps) illustrate how useful a multi-touch trackpad can be for 3D apps.

Agreed that Holding three keys to Pan or Orbit (They call it Finger Gymnastics for a reason) isn’t really trackpad “support”, it’s trackpad made “usable”. (If it were One key that might be acceptable.)
My company works entirely off of laptops, and the finger gymnastics to use Sketchup on a laptop’s trackpad seem rather arcane.

The multi-touch gestures appear to have nice OS APIs:

So if you accept these gestures, you automatically now support all Laptop trackpads, Magic Trackpads, and probably even the Magic Mouse’s gestures.

#39 (free open-source 3D modeling) has decent trackpad support:
two fingers for Orbit
Shift+two-fingers for Pan
Pinch for Zoom


Does Sketchup 2017 offer any additional trackpad support?