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How to set up pointer actions in macOS 10.15 Catalina

How to set up pointer actions in macOS 10.15 Catalina

To find out how to enable and use the head pointer, see How to enable the head pointer in macOS

Short guide:

  1. Click the Apple icon  in the top left corner of the screen, then select System Preferences.
  2. Click the Accessibility icon, then select Pointer Control from the let-hand column.
  3. Click the Alternative Control Methods tab.
  4. Tick the checkbox next to Enable alternative pointer actions, then click Options….
  5. Click the + (Plus) button to assign a new pointer action.
  6. Select Facial Expression, then click Next.
  7. Select an expression from the Facial Expression drop down menu.
  8. Select an Action to assign it to the Facial Expression you picked. Click Done. You can repeat the same steps to assign other expressions to other useful actions

Before and after

This section takes you step-by-step through assigning pointer actions to facial expressions in macOS, complete with pictures of the screen to help.

Launch System Preferences

1. Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of the screen, then System Preferences.

Click the Apple icon and select System Preferences

Find the Pointer Control options

2. Click the Accessibility icon to launch the Accessibility settings, then select Pointer Control from the list on the left.

Click the Accessibility icon then select Pointer Control from the list on the left

Click Alternative Control Methods

3. Click the Alternative Control Methods tab on the right.

Click the Alternative Control Methods tab

Open the Pointer Actions

4. Tick the checkbox next to Enable alternative pointer actions, and click Options….

 Click the checkbox next to Enable alternative pointer actions then click Options

Set-up a new pointer action

5. Click the + (Plus) button to assign a new pointer action.

Click the + (plus) button

Select Facial Expression

6. Select Facial Expression from the menu, then click Next.

Select Facial Expression then click Next

Choose an expression

7. Now select an expression from the Facial Expression menu. This will be the expression you'll use to activate the action.

Select an expression from the Facial Expression menu

Choose an action

8. Now select an action from the Action drop down menu. This will be the action you will activate every time you use that expression. Click Done to assign the facial expression. You can repeat the same steps to assign a facial expression to other useful actions, such as a right click or a drag-and-drop.

Select an Action from the drop-down menu then click Done

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings are managed by someone else (an IT department or administrator for example). If this is the case, you will need to contact them to access these settings or for further help.

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