14 ways to use Force Click on your MacBook, MacBook Pro

When in doubt, push harder. At least, that's the approach Apple wants you to take with its new Force Touch trackpad.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
3 min read

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Now that we've shown you how to set up Apple's new Force Click feature on the new MacBook and updated MacBook Pro, what exactly can you do with the added functionality?

Luckily, Apple has posted a list of the various apps and services where a little extra pressure on the trackpad brings up information.

Here's the list, direct from Apple's support site:

Look up: Force click text in a webpage or Mail message and a popover appears showing you Look up results for that text. Information appears from sources like Dictionary, Wikipedia, and more.

Addresses: Force click an address to see a Maps preview of that location.

Events: Force click dates and events to add them to Calendar.

Link previews: Force click a link in Safari or Mail to see an inline preview of the webpage.

Tracking numbers: Force click a tracking number in Safari or Mail to see shipping details in a popover.

File icons: Force click a file icon to see a Quick Look preview of the file's content.

File names: Force click a file name in the Finder or on your desktop to let you edit the file name.

Dock: Force click an app icon in the Dock to access App Exposé. This shows you all of your open windows for that app.

Mail: When composing a message with an image or PDF attachment in it, Force click the attachment to activate Markup. This lets you annotate the attachment.

Messages: Force click a conversation in the sidebar to see details and attachments. Force click a buddy's token in the chat header to see their contact card in a popover.

Reminders: Force click a reminder to see more details.

Calendar: Force click an existing event to see more details. Force click a meeting attendee to see their contact card in a popover.

Map locations: Force click a location in a map to drop a pin there.

iMovie: When your iMovie project has an animated Map or Globe, you can Force click the map in the Timeline to access a Style menu. This lets you choose different styles.

An example of using Force Click on a link within a website. A preview window opens, displaying where the link will take you. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

This list is sure to grow as developers take the time to implement the feature into their apps, and as Apple figures out new areas to add more functionality. The only negative I can think of when it comes to Force Click is the lack of an easily identifiable way to know when you can use the feature.

I would have never thought to Force Click on a conversation in the Messages sidebar to view more information, alas its something Apple has decided to include and it actually makes sense after trying it.

Additionally, you can also expect to feel feedback through the trackpad's haptic engine in the following situations. Again, these are from Apple's own site.

QuickTime and iMovie: You can vary the pressure you use on fast-forward and rewind buttons. This will accelerate the speed at which you fast forward or rewind.

iMovie: When dragging a video clip to its maximum length, you'll get feedback letting you know you've hit the end of the clip. Add a title and you'll get feedback as the title snaps into position at the beginning or end of a clip. Subtle feedback is also provided with the alignment guides that appear in the Viewer when cropping clips.

Map zooming: Press harder on a zoom button to accelerate as you zoom in and out of a map.

Photo arrowing: When you arrow through Photos in an Album or a Moment, you can apply additional pressure to go faster.

Rotate photos: In Photos, when you choose Crop and then rotate a photo, and you'll feel a notch when the rotation of the photo is at zero degrees.

In other words, the trackpad will provide feedback (through what can only be described as a tap) when each one of these events occur.