[⏫ v3.6.6] AquaTouch -- Powerful, Flexible, Contextual. Supports 55+ Apps and Websites.

I'm gradually updating this post to reflect the huge new v3.6 update! Some screenshots and descriptions may depict an older version of AquaTouch.


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Way more features, Intuitive Design.

AquaTouch is a BetterTouchTool preset that redesigns how your TouchBar works.

A careful balance of information.

Already Available information by the system like Clocks, Weather, Spotlight, Siri, and other controls like volume and brightness are not displayed because you can already access them easily with gestures or see them on the screen. This avoids duplicate controls or information and thus reduces clutter in the Touch Bar.

See the clock in the menubar, Hold command-space for Siri. Leave that as it is. Two, three and four finger Touch Bar gestures are used adjust volume, brightness and the keyboard backlight for sightless controls which free up more TouchBar space. They are much quicker and easier to reach, they do not require a look to adjust and are much more natural to control. They even have haptic feedback, you can literally feel every level the volume goes up.

No compromise on functionality

Many quality, complete sets of tools for many apps are now right under your fingertips, my favourites are Adobe Illustrator, OneNote and Stickies! These allow you to work_flow_, without ever mousing around for a particular button anymore. It's all right under your fingertips.

Even websites are supported, Quickly access chats, search for friends and switch between your timeline and other views in Facebook, watch YouTube without using the mouse or format your Google Document with ease, just to name a few.

Don't like the constantly changing TouchBar?

Although AquaTouch is a dynamic and adaptive preset, it is very carefully designed to be predictable, and puts you in control. AquaTouch only changes when you switch apps, just like the macOS menu bar at the top of the screen.
Its automatic elements are designed to avoid assuming what you want, they only change when there is no assumption that you need a new UI for what's on screen. Otherwise, options are presented that do not disrupt your current interface.

Unlike apple's stock UI, it doesn't change when you select objects or windows.
Instead of interruptions, buttons which can be tapped bring these object or tool specific layouts to view. You control what tools you bring up. When opened, these won't close on you, and they're always there for you to open up.

It's so predictable that I've managed to develop a muscle memory for each app! For example; When I switch to Caprine Messenger, the chat switch buttons show up as I remember and I just move my hand up to click them and switch to the latest chat. When I switch to Adobe Illustrator, I tap the 'Path Tools' group autonomously to bring up all my path tools in the TouchBar, and tap away at those anchor point tools as if I could feel them.

In contrast, Apple's implementation tries to guess what you want. As an example; automatically showing you options to change text formatting when you really just want to format the text box.

View AquaTouch Layout Preview βž”

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:large_blue_circle: = Replacement Layout
A complete set that is capable of replacing the stock TouchBar

:white_circle: = Extension Layout
The stock TouchBar is the main interface for these apps, but AquaTouch adds more tools!

:large_blue_circle: Adobe After Effects
:large_blue_circle: Adobe Photoshop
:large_blue_circle: Adobe Illustrator
:large_blue_circle: Adobe InDesign
:large_blue_circle: Adobe XD

Web Browsers:
:large_blue_circle: Safari
:large_blue_circle: Chrome
:large_blue_circle: FireFox
:large_blue_circle: Opera
:large_blue_circle: Brave

Safari Widgets - Tools for Websites
:large_blue_circle: YouTube Web Widget
:large_blue_circle: SoundCloud Web Widget
:large_blue_circle: Twitch Web Widget
:large_blue_circle: Netflix Now Playing Widget

:large_blue_circle: Google Docs Web Widget
:large_blue_circle: Google Sheets Web Widget
:large_blue_circle: Google Slides Web Widget
:large_blue_circle: Google Drive Web Widget
:large_blue_circle: Gmail Web Widget

:large_blue_circle: Facebook Safari Widget
:large_blue_circle: Kahoot.it Safari Widget

Messaging and Meetings:
:large_blue_circle: Whatsapp
:large_blue_circle: Facebook Messenger
:large_blue_circle: Caprine for Facebook Messenger
:large_blue_circle: Discord
:large_blue_circle: Skype
:large_blue_circle: Telegram
:large_blue_circle: Textual
:large_blue_circle: Zoom.us

:large_blue_circle: iTunes
:large_blue_circle: Music
:large_blue_circle: Spotify
:large_blue_circle: VLC - featuring @vipersonic's time scrubber, playback speed and fullscreen toggles!
:white_circle: IINA
:white_circle: QuickTime Player

:large_blue_circle: Microsoft OneNote
:large_blue_circle: Ti-Nspire CAS Software

Documents and Presentation:
:white_circle: Pages
:white_circle: Keynote

:large_blue_circle: Microsoft Outlook
:large_blue_circle: Slack

Apple General:
:large_blue_circle: Preview
:large_blue_circle: Stickies
:large_blue_circle: Dictionary
:large_blue_circle: Digital Color Meter
:large_blue_circle: Photo Booth
:large_blue_circle: AppleScript Editor
:white_circle: Calculator
:white_circle: TextEdit

:large_blue_circle: Atom
:large_blue_circle: Brackets

:large_blue_circle: Blender - Numpad View Controls!
:large_blue_circle: Daisy Disk
:large_blue_circle: Gantt Project
:white_circle: 1Keyboard Switcher Widget

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The AquaTouch Control Strip is a persistent toolbox that is always displayed on the right of the touch bar. It consists of four segments; Media Controls, Schedules, Controls and App Actions.

Quick Media

This section contains media controls and Now Playing widgets.
If a supported app is playing media, they will show up within this group!

Additionally where available, the play buttons here directly control their app to play/pause.
e.g. you can pause YouTube, then play Spotify, all from this view, without switching or opening any apps.

Tap a widget to see more controls! Control your music without switching to the app!

You can also hold this button from anywhere to Play/Pause Music

Quick Schedules

Quickly check your Calendar and Reminders. You can also view the weather and time here.

Tap any widget to see a 10-event overview of what's next.

You can also hold this button from anywhere to Show Notification Centre

Quick Controls

Open this up to toggle system controls such as NightShift, Dark Mode or sleep your MacBook.
There's a connectivity pallete to the right that allows you to connect to AirPods, Beats Headphones and toggle toggle WiFi and bluetooth.

You can also hold this button from anywhere to Activate Siri

Quick Apps

Tap this group to open up an app switcher to the left, and to the right access shortcuts to frequent tasks such as:

  • Create new TextEdit plain text document
  • Make a new Sticky
  • Open the Calculator
  • Filedrop [not airdrop. see: http://www.filedropme.com]
  • ActivityTimer [3rd Party App]
  • Screen Record
  • BTT prefs
  • switch to Game Mode

You can also hold this button from anywhere to close the AQT Touch Bar

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AquaTouch has website-specific controls.

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Finicky Sliders begone, Flat, awkward touch buttons goodbye.

AquaTouch Uses Gestures.

Slide anywhere on the TouchBar to adjust what you need to adjust quickly, no more looking, aiming, spamming or extra clutter in the Touch Bar. And with haptics, you'll even feel every tick of adjustment.

Slide with Two fingers


Slide with Three fingers


Slide with Four Fingers

Keyboard Brightness

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Games take over the whole screen, and switching out isn't the best experience on Mac.

AquaTouch helps you stay informed.

Game Mode displays the time, battery, and extras such as CPU, GPU temps and Fan speed in Touch Bar for you to keep track of vitals while you immerse yourself in a full screen game.

Notification Badges still show here, you can remain undisturbed on-screen but still be aware of your gamer friends (or boss).

In addition to that, You can even set up your own controls to the left!
add a push-to-talk button, skill triggers, button combo reminders, shortcuts to HUD or whatever else that can give you an advantage!

Download AquaTouch

Visit the AquaTouch Downloads Page βž”

How would you rate this preset?

Shoot me a rating out of 5!

  • 1 - Not for Me
  • 2 - Needs Improvement
  • 3 - Acceptable
  • 4 - Pretty Good
  • 5 - Well Done
  • 6 - Amazing!

0 voters

Thanks for your vote!
If you voted a 1-3, It would be great if you'd comment and told me why! I'm looking to improve.

Follow AquaTouch:

If you have a bug report, feature request or if you have created something useful for AQT, you can now choose between the forums here or by submitting an issue at GitHub!

I'll also be loosely logging progress there so you can follow along as to what i'm up to.

Come join the discord for casual chats, creation sharing and AquaTouch development!

Support me as a Digital Design Student

Any support helps me get all that life stuff out of the way, allowing me to put my time into my passion of creating great things for everyone and you!

:bookmark: Need a BTT License? Get one here and I'll get 40%! - Win Win!
:gem: Send Appreciation through PayPal - This makes my day. And maybe my entire week.
:gift: Follow me on Patreon - Other projects are just waiting to materialise.
:love_letter: Share AquaTouch on your socials! - lets get this viral because why not.


Many features and widgets of this preset would not be possible without the community! Here's a thank-you list to all the people who let me merge and improve their stuff to put into AQT, Check them out!

And, finally,

  • @Andreas_Hegenberg, developer of BTT for putting up with and implementing lots of feature requests that allow AQT to work as it does today.

More from yuuiko

Visit my Profile Page!
For more of my work on this community.

Native Apple Icon Pack for BTT
An icon pack which contains a massive heap of apple's native icons.

[v1.0.2] Better-Touch BTT. For the Preset Pros.
BetterTouchBTT is a preset that you can add to your current whatever you have. It provides touchbar controls for BTT to more easily use and edit BTT. If you're an advanced BTT user, check it out!

Tips and Tricks for making BTT Editing Easier
A post with many tips for making your BTT editing much better. Learn how to copy/paste multiple items, make the advanced config panel faster and etc.

GoldenChaos-BTT: The complete Touch Bar UI replacement
Customise BTT touchbar icon
VLC & Discord: Simple, integrates with the default Apple preset.
Visual Window Snapping
Play Button Troubles
Connect to Airpods and show battery status
AirPods Information and connection for Macs without TouchBar πŸ₯³
VLC & Discord: Simple, integrates with the default Apple preset.
Player Controls for iTunes & Youtube (including slider widget for scrolling through track)
Take too long to respond after waking my Mac
Beginners manual
Outlook Touch Bar question
Hide GC Now Playing widget when media is paused?
The Caliguvara Preset
3 monitors on MacPro desktop
Touch Bar buttons for switching to recently-viewed Safari tabs
TouchBar functionality
A better AirPod Connection Widget: less space for the same information
Touchbar button/widget to show MacOS control strip?
Triggerable conditional activation groups
Button for adding dates to filenames.
A better AirPod Connection Widget: less space for the same information
Native Apple Touch Bar Icon Pack for BTT
GoldenChaos-BTT Support and Feedback Thread
[v1.0.2] Touch Bar Done Right!
Question: Is there a way to stop macOS native Now Playing β€˜widget?’
TouchBar Widget: Dividing Cluster
can gap on left side of first button be removed?
GoldenChaos-BTT Support and Feedback Thread
Turn GC-BTT notifications off when DND is enabled
Question: Does Adobe Lightroom have a TouchBar Set?
Question: Is there a way to stop macOS native Now Playing β€˜widget?’
Turn GC-BTT notifications off when DND is enabled
Trigger different actions on multiple presses of the same shortcut
GoldenChaos-BTT: The complete Touch Bar UI replacement
GoldenChaos-BTT: The complete Touch Bar UI replacement
VLC & Discord: Simple, integrates with the default Apple preset.
GoldenChaos-BTT: The complete Touch Bar UI replacement
Possible to remove the "X" / "Close BTT" button on custom TouchBar setups?
GoldenChaos-BTT: The complete Touch Bar UI replacement
GoldenChaos-BTT: The complete Touch Bar UI replacement
Gmail Body Formatting Touch Bar Controls
sidecar shortcut for markup on pdf files?
Can Multiple TouchBar Presets Auto-Inherit Another TouchBar Preset?
Widgets for music playing
Widgets for music playing
Som Good Google Material Design Icons
simple, efficient timer widget
Add to library (and download) button for iTunes
BTT 2.69x discussion - Problems with new features
AquaTouch -- Localisation Discussion, New BTT β€œLocalisation” Feature?
How to get media buttons with timeline for Itunes, spotify etc
auto expand control strip when no app specific controls are showing
Action to control Spotify only
Access Picture-in-Picture modus on YouTube

Whoa man, this looks great. As someone who spends half their life in Photoshop, this really catches my eyes.

In your experience, is this faster than using any of the photoshop shortcuts that already exist (or that you can map)? I built a bunch of Photoshop functionality as well, but I found that my KB shortcuts were faster to use.

EDIT: Also, how the heck did you make those longer "backgrounds" on your buttons??


Can't wait to try this out! Do you have a link to your preset or is it still being prepared?

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Yes, very, else I wouldn’t have made it XD
e.g. I didnt make pages, numbers and keynote replacements becaus I found they worked quite well, and I made β€œextensions” for apps that need a litttle boost in functionality but work well with their naitves.

I found that the photoshop controls are quite clunky to use, so I made my own.
Of course, all this is based on what I use, so it hasn’t been tested for what everyone uses.

As my tb design principals state, I don’t introduce useless clutter. Keystrokes that can be remembered and that aren’t used a lot aren’t included.

I do include heavy use tools into the touchbar such as the move tool, so my hands don’t need to go everywhere when I use photoshop. The move tool button also sticks, or persists when hopping into other tool groups, stayig there while you need it.

Quite hard to explain the experience design into this unless it’s field tested by you, but before that I would like to iron it all out and remove my personal private preferences before shipping out a beta.

Thanks for the feedback!

Awesome, can't wait to test it out!

Also - I figured out how you did the icons with larger boxes. Clever :stuck_out_tongue:

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Help me add more functionality to BTT by heading over to feature requests and voting some cool suggestions!

eheh I kinda spam that forum...
I do want the ability to assign to spotlight though... quick launcher on spotlight... aaaahh

*those are not all posts from me. I sinply replied to them.

How do you manage to keep a group open when you change from one app to another and come back to the previous one?

Could you explain your situation more?

I am trying to do the same you're doing but for Lightroom, right now I have two groups, library and develop, and it's horrible when you switch for lets say chrome and go back to lightroom and your group is closed, did you find a way to manage that with the other adobe apps? or do you suggest something/another approach?

Keeping groups open while switching apps will soon be possible.


@yuuiko are you any closer to releasing a beta? Personally I really want to try out integrating this into my preset since I use Photoshop heavily... I'd even take an alpha, I bet I could figure things out from there. If you don't want it released, you could DM it to me?

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No, my preset does not have this functionality (at the moment)

I didn't seem to realise this as an issue, haha~
i guess it would be convenient if they stayed open

GoldenChaos (and eveybody else)
I'm quite busy with schoolwork so expect very long delays.

A glimpse on it's condition:
Currently I'm just refining up the buttons and layouts as some sections where done on a whim and are very messy. Also I still have my personal buttons and things in here so gotta remove those

After that i'd need to figure out how to package this all in a neat way, with clear instructions on how to install (3rd party scripts and extensions, e.g. the game mode monitoring, etc.)

so yeh, It still has a lot of crude stuff going on.

GoldenChaos, I'll try send an 'alhpa' or 'development' copy to you if i get it up to a sendable standard, but don't expect it to come soon as i'm quite busy



@yuuiko you target the window itself in a special way with applescript or you just use the keyboard shortcuts from Adobe, for example the [ or ] to increase the brush size

i'm not too literate in scripts, so scripts are currently minimal... I would like to get more scripts in and do fancy stuff, but yeh, i'd need to learn.

An issue is i did change a lot of settings within apps to get the TB actions to match up with the app's keystrokes, and I don't quite remember the defaults or how to get others to set the same thing.

I think it would be great if some community improvements could be made as I feel it lacks polish in some areas that I wouldn't know how to implement an improvement, so when I get something up I would appreciate some help. Also about this, I don't regularly use some of the pro apps so button suggestions are appreciated!

Also, I'm still getting used to the whole 'how BTT works'

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Just a heads up, I've (attempted to) upload the preset for use.

It's my first time uploading and I have a messy feeling about it all right now, but hopefully it is testable.

Thanks for your support!


Does anybody know how to make a group appear while spotlight is shown?

Is there a way to toggle BTT's 'show macOS controls' option via a button action? (for game mode)

I'm not too strong in code and applescript, by the way, but i have a basic understanding of it, and i'm open to expanding this understanding.

You can use the "Toggle BetterTouchTool Touch Bar" action and assign it to a keyboard shortcut or button :slight_smile:

It's currently not possible to detect spotlight (might be in the future)

I've tried this method, but getting it to close properly is quite a pain.

It won't disappear with cmd+space. I tried making a 'close spotlight' button within that menu, but it will open spotlight if the user closes it using cmd+space. In this preset it would be used for the quick launcher currently assigned to the finder, which is not optimal.

Also while you're reading this @Andreas_Hegenberg, Is there a way to toggle the 'macOS control strip' setting?
Maybe make a new 'set BTT setting' action.
This would be used for game mode.

Heads up, there's a huge update coming!

This update rids the left side 'X' while keeping the control strip, and integration Widgets from GoldenChaos-BTT! (thanks to @GoldenChaos!)

I've also done a heap of design tweaks and expanded on various apps. Here are only some of the many changes!

I'm still sifting through for bugs, also some of the new elements are still being integrated into all apps. I hope I can release it soon! I hope this preset will be helpful to you.

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New Features

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Hello @yuuiko, I'm on latest version of BTT and I've configured settings as described in Aqua Info, but nothing happens .. I'm only able to use gestures, but no buttons/icons appears on my bar .... Where am i wrong? :confused: Thanks

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