Gesture definitions

A default set of gestures and the associated actions to be performed is defined at the highest application level against the 'All Applications' application entry.

Selecting the All Applications entry in the Applications List will display the default set of gestures. They can be changed if required but represent the most likely used set of gestures and related actions so change with caution.

The applications and groups defined below the All Applications entry will, by default, inherit the default set of gestures but they can be removed or changed as required for the selected application or group.

If an application does not want to inherit the default set of gestures they can be disabled in the gesture global dialog.

Any inherited gestures will be listed to view only (if listing option is enabled) .

Gestures and actions that have been added or updated for the specific application or group are listed at the top of the gesture list:

In the above example you can see the gestures inherited from 'All applications' and the changes that have been made to accommodate the different control needed by the Notification Center.

Updating Gestures

An application or application group is created in cases whereby the default 'All Applications' gesture set does not offer the functionality required by the application or application group.

Selecting an entry in the Application List will list the gesture set as shown in the 'Notification' example above.

For a newly created application in the Application list it will initially list the inherited gesture set unless set to not inherit global settings in the gesture control bar, settings option:

The gesture control bar is used to configure the gesture set as required:

Control  Description
   Add a gesture definition specific to this application or group.
   Remove a gesture definition specific to this application or group.
Select next  Jumps to the gesture definition that matches the next gesture performed on the touch screen as described here.
Filter gestures   Used to filter the gesture list. e.g.'One' in this field will list all one finger gestures.
   Application related settings.
Application related settings

The settings are specific to the selected application in the application list:

Inherits global settings

Indicates if an application inherits the default set of gestures and actions. Enabled by default.

Allow switching between gestures with the same number of fingers

This allows switching between different gestures that involve the same number of fingers without lifting off.

For example, with this setting enabled, you can switch between the two finger drag, rotate, swipe, and pinch / expand gestures without having to remove your fingers from the touch device after each gesture.

This is enabled in Maps as this application supports this feature. It could be useful in other apps but is disabled by default.

Gesture definition

A new application or group is created to defined a gesture set specific to the application or group.

To define an application/group specific gesture you need to select the gestures that need to be redefined.

This can be selected in a number of ways:

  • Locate and double click the gesture in the inherited list (if it exists) using the slider bar or via the 'select next performed gesture'
  • Use the Add gesture option
Add Gesture option

This option will list all possible gestures that can be defined

The 'All Touches' option is used to indicate that all touches are posted on the TUIO protocol for this application, implying that the application is a TUIO Client and supports the TUIO interface.

The individual supported gestures are as follows

One Two  Three, Four, Five

Any amended / added gestures are now listed to allow the gesture Action to be defined as required:

Gesture settings
Individual gesture setting
Some gestures will have associated settings defined behind a gear icon in the upper right corner of the gesture.

Selecting the gear icon will reveal the gesture settings dialog, as in this example for the One Finger Press gesture:

Here are examples of some of the gesture settings:

Settings  Description 

Indicates the press duration for the click to occur.
The time period can be visual annotated by drawing a circle. The click occurs when the circle is complete.

  Indicates the distance the stylus must move before the drag is invoked.
Gesture actions

An action is associated with a gesture so that when it is performed the action will be triggered.

Use the Action dropdown to select the desired action:

Note: The list will will differ depending on the gesture in use, e.g. it makes no sense to offer a multi-touch action such as Rotate, zoom etc on a single finger gesture.

Many of the actions shown above are self-explanatory and come with tool tips, others need further clarification...

Action Clarification
Send Command to UI element "Send command" triggers an action in the UI element directly underneath of the gesture without involving the mouse or keyboard.
The commands are:
Press: causes the element to be pressed as though it was clicked with the mouse
Show menu: shows the element's context menu (if it has one) as though it was right-clicked
Raise: causes a window to become frontmost
Pick:  selects a menu item
Confirm: simulates pressing the return key
Cancel: simulates pressing a cancel button
Increment: increments the value of the UI element
Decrement: decreases the value of the UI element
Show alternate UI:  Show alternate or hidden UI. This is often used to trigger the same change that would occur on a mouse hover.
Show default UI:  This is often used to trigger the same change that would occur when a mouse hover ends.
Show Expose (Dock only): Invoke Expose for the application under the cursor (on a Dock application icon).
Not every UI element supports each action, and most only support one or two.
If the action is not supported by the UI element (for example sending a "press" command to a text label) then the gesture action has no effect.

Each Action will have standard and advanced settings to tailor its behaviour,  as per these examples:

Standard Advanced 
Action settings notes

Clickable UI element

Some MacOS controls are small and can be difficult to accurately select with a touch screen, especially when using a large stylus such as a finger, so we have introduced a 'Click nearest clickable UI' option for each click action to locate the nearest clickable UI element within a defined pixel radius to the point of touch and direct the click to that control. This will distort the touch if a click UI is near the point of touch and can be disabled at an individual gesture or system wide level.