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MacBook Pro Q&A - Updated June 29, 2006

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Is there a way to add "two-finger click" to the MacBook Pro 15-Inch, PowerBook G4, or iBook?

Please note that this Q&A refers to MacBook Pro models released prior to the "Early 2008/Penryn" line on February 26, 2008. The "Early 2008/Penryn" MacBook Pro models have a "multitouch" trackpad and subsequent models have even more sophisticated trackpads.

For readers who may not be familiar already with the "two-finger click" capability quietly introduced with the MacBook -- it allows one to place two fingers on the trackpad and click with a third and the notebook interprets this action as the same as a "control-click".

As noted on June 2, 2006, the "two-finger click" is a software function, rather than a hardware capability, and Apple could quietly add the feature to the MacBook Pro 15-Inch models with a future software update. As of June 29, 2006, the company has done so with MacOS X Update 10.4.7 so hacks are no longer necessary.

In addition to the "Software Update" function, which makes the process easy, Apple has posted the downloads as the following packages relevant to the MacBook Pro 15-Inch models:

Apple also released MacOS X 10.4.7 updates for PowerPC-based systems (Delta, Combo), but this does not add the "two-finger click" capability to the PowerBook G4 and iBook models.

Prior to updating your OS, regardless of the underlying computer, be sure to read the MacOS X 10.4.7 Reader Report on the always excellent MacInTouch. Some users have reported problems caused by the update. As with all system updates, it is absolutely critical to backup your entire system before proceeding.

To add "two-finger click" to the PowerBook G4 and iBook models, as well as other more advanced trackpad options to the MacBook Pro, you might like to try Raging Menace SideTrack, a slick US$15 shareware application that provides an alternate trackpad driver to the one provided by Apple.

The developer explains that SideTrack provides the following functionality:

Vertical scrolling at left or right edge of pad.
Horizontal scrolling at top or bottom edge of pad.
Map hardware button to left or right click.
Map trackpad taps to no action, left click, left click drag (with or without drag lock), or right click.
Map trackpad corner taps to mouse buttons 1-6 or simulated keystrokes.
Extensive control over accidental input filtering.

A helpful SideTrack FAQ is provided as well. Should you use the program, please be sure to register to support Macintosh software development.

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