It clicks: Everything you need to know about Apple’s Force Touch trackpad

What's all that fuss about the new Force Touch trackpad? Let us show you

There’s a lot to say about the new trackpad that’s on the latest generation of Apple MacBooks.

It’s a unique interface, specially designed from the ground up to change the way you work on a MacBook. It’s all an illusion, because there is no give in the trackpad. Without powering the MacBook on, the trackpad is all solid. You can poke at it all you want, but it won’t budge.

So what’s with the click feedback you feel when you turn the sleek machine on?

If the trackpad has no give, what’s that clicky feeling?

It’s all down to taptic feedback. Sound familiar? It’s the same thing that the Apple Watch is packing to give wearers the distinct feeling of being lightly tapped on the wrist, instead of vague buzzy vibration.

On the MacBooks, the feel of a click is not actually one, but the clever taptic engine moving laterally to make you feel that way.

Trackpad uses

Force Click

In a lot of ways, Force Click is taking over a lot of what right-clicking would do for you.

Right-clicking on something would bring up a list of options for you to choose your specific function from. But Force Click is a shortcut that would cut to the chase and perform what’s typically the most-used function. Force Click on a word in your web browser to instantly look up its meaning, or Force Click on a file on your desktop to take a sneak peek.


Instead of having to repeatedly click the fast forward button to speed up your video, all you have to do is press harder. From 2X to 60X faster, just add pressure to go faster or lift your finger off slighty to go slower.

Lift your finger off to play the video at its normal speed, instead of having to move your cursor back to the play button and missing the spot you want to get to in the video. 

Feel free to also use this feature to zoom in on locations in Apple Maps.

Pressure-sensitive drawing

The trackpad of old also allowed for handwriting. But the difference here is that it’s now pressure sensitive. Want thinner lines? Go easy on the pressure. Prefer thicker strokes? Press harder.

While you used to be able to write Chinese characters in the past, this change means you can even attempt Chinese calligraphy. Just imagine using your stylus or finger like you would a brush.


How do you know if you’re in the perfect position? When you adjust the columns in Finder, you get feedback when everything is aligned perfectly.

All you have to do is hover your cursor over the vertical column bar, click and hold to move it. Once it gets to the sweet spot where column contents are adequately displayed, you’ll feel that little secondary click of approval from the trackpad.