Enable Force Touch Actions On Non-Supported Mac Models

Uzair Ghani
Posted Feb 24, 2016
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Here’s how you can enable Force Touch actions on non-supported Mac models in a few easy steps.

Mac

It’s a clear sign at this point that Force Touch is the way to go in Apple’s playbook with all recent devices (desktop and mobile both) implementing the feature one way or the other. But today, we’ll keep our focus on Mac models that don’t have Force Touch out of the box, and enabling the feature on them is quite easy, and it does not involve tinkering around with hardware either as everything happens on the software side of things, or more specifically, the latest version of OS X El Capitan.

Before we begin, it should be made clear at this point that this is just a half-baked experience to get key Force Touch actions onto your Mac, such as previewing links, getting meanings for words, previewing calendar entries etc. It will not work in places such as QuickTime where you can deep press on the trackpad to speed up video or slow it back down. Keep on reading and you’ll know what we’re talking about.

Force Touch Actions On Older Macs That Don’t Have Force Touch? Wish Granted.

Make sure you have the latest version of OS X El Capitan installed onto your Mac. Launch the Mac App Store, click on the ‘Updates’ tab and install any OS X related updates that might be waiting for approval.

1. Launch System Preferences and then select ‘Trackpad.’

2. Enable the first option under the ‘Point & Click’ tab labelled ‘Look up & data detectors.’

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3. Launch Safari, Messages or any app at all where there’s a Web link or any link in general. Simply tap on that link with three fingers on the trackpad and you’ll see a preview pop right up. But that’s not all, it works for calendar entries, and even words if you want to find their meaning without much effort.

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You have to admit that this is a very awesome addition in OS X El Capitan that happened to slip under the radar for a lot of people. If you knew this existed, then double thumbs up for you, but if you didn’t, and don’t happen to have a Force Touch ready Mac with you, then this is the tip that will help you go a long way.

If you want the real deal Force Touch capabilities on your Mac, then you should either invest in the new Magic Trackpad 2 or get yourself one of the new MacBook Pro models or 12-inch Retina MacBook.

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