There’s something inelegant about physically pushing down on a trackpad until it “clicks” instead of just lightly touching it as with an iOS device but that seems to be the default setting. I always change this so that I can just lightly tap the trackpad. This seems to be faster, less work, and quieter. To enable this you just need to go to the trackpad setting.1

If the past, I think this was all I needed to do, but since moving to a new MacAir running Lion, although the tap to click works, you can’t double tap and drag to highlight. Instead you still need to double clunk (what I’ll call actually physically pressing the trackpad down from now on) and then drag to highlight.

  • Tap = lightly touch without physically moving the touched object

  • Clunk = heavy press that physically moves the touched object

I finally figured out how to fix this in settings. You have to go to a completely different menu to turn this on.2 This kind of weird layout is something I’ve run across with Apple before but seems totally opposite of their normally well designed UI. I’m sure there’s a good reason for it and I’m just missing it, such as this is an advanced feature they want to hide from regular users?

I know that these changes in input function are small things, but they do increase my productivity as well as my enjoying of my work.

  1. Press command-spacebar, type trackpad, hit enter, choose Point and Click and hit the checkbox next to Tap to Click. 

  2. Press command-spacebar, type universal access, hit enter, choose Mouse & Trackpad, choose Trackpad options, check the bar next to dragging.