If you’ve used a Mac within the last 3 or 4 years, you’ll probably have experienced Apple’s “multitouch trackpad”. With one, you can perform a variety of gestures on the trackpad surface, such as pinch-to-zoom, two finger rotation, and many more. However, while pinch-to-zoom is is great for some apps (such as zooming into images in preview), it isn’t so great for, say, a web browser, where zooming can be characterized as “that thing that messes up the page layout that you shouldn’t ever do unless the web designer was insane and used 8pt font everywhere”. In addition, since Mac OS 10.7 (Lion), the default multitouch gesture for “back” is a two finger swipe to the left — something that the gesture recognizer has a habit of mistaking for a pinch. As such, it’s fairly easy to accidently zoom the page in or out.
Unfortunately, the Google Chrome developers seem to have a “configurability is for losers” mentality, which means that they have repeatedly denied calls for a hidden switch somewhere to disable pinch-to-zoom. In the quest to disable pinch to zoom, someone even made a Mac OS hack that would supposedly disable the function for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari (it didn’t work for me).
Luckily, there is a way to banish pinch-to-zoom! The trick is to use BetterTouchTool; if you haven’t heard of it, it’s a program that lets one add new multitouch gestures with actions. Here’s how you do it:
- Download and install BetterTouchTool from here.
- Once you have it installed, open the preferences, and click the “+” button next to “app specific”.
- Select Google Chrome in the window that appears.
- Making sure that Google Chrome is highlighted on the left side, click “add new gesture”.
- Click the dropdown labeled “Please Select a Gesture”, and select “Pinch In”
- Now, repeat steps 4 & 5 again, only this time, pick “Pinch Out”.
…and that’s it! After doing this, Chrome will no longer respond to the pinch in or out gestures! As an added bonus, this process also works with any other app.