Apple - How can I customize the Touch Bar interfaces for my tremor?

Many of us have difficulties with aspects of UI design, both in hardware and software. Look past the frustration and think around the problem.

A simple fix for me was to attach an external keyboard, wired at first, but then wireless using a Matias 101-key keyboard with the number pad on the right, a design I've been using since the DEC VT220 terminal keyboard came out a few decades ago. I also use Apple's wireless trackpad, which is larger, and sits where it should be - next to the keyboard.

I see Matias now has a backlit model! How cool!

Be well. Take a deep breath and center yourself.

Quoting from your comment to @IconDaemon's answer:

This answer suggests adding a usable keyboard and a usable touchpad. Oh, my aching back! I want those capabilities built-in to my luggable-around laptop, in the form of a usable UX

You can consider getting a recently introduced (released November 13) 16" MacBook Pro (or at least give it a try in one of the nearest Apple stores). Your issue primarily appears to be with the following things:

  1. Difficulty using the keyboard.

  2. Touch Bar sensitivity.

  3. Unintentional taps on Esc key and difficulty using it.

While #1 can be subjective, the 2016 - Mid 2019 Mac portable lineup with Butterfly key mechanism has been widely regarded as being not as intuitive as the previous 2015 and older, Scissor mechanism based keyboards.

Recently introduced Late 2019 16" MacBook Pro apparently fixes all the above issues (especially with regard to keyboard and the Esc key)to a great extent. They are discussed below respectively:

  1. The Scissor switch mechanism is back. The keys are marginally smaller in size and a tiny bit further spaced apart compared to one from Butterly era (2016 - Mid 2019). They have more key travel (approximately somewhere between older Scissor switches and the Butterfly switches), thereby giving better tactile feedback. The keys themselves are more stable and doesn't wobble as much as it did in the older Scissor switches (2015 and older). As an additional benefit, there's much lesser bleeding of backlight from the sides of the keys.

  2. Touch Bar is spaced further apart from the numeric keys row, thereby reducing the chance of accidental taps to a certain extant.

  3. Physical Esc key is back.

So if the keyboard is the major sore point with the MacBook, your can consider test driving a 16" 2019 MacBook Pro.

As far as the Trackpad is concerned, try tweaking the Trackpad settings under System Preferences and see if that resolves the issues to a certain extent. There are many 3rd party apps available that lets you further fine tune the Trackpad settings.

I would hate to just say - Sell it, take satisfaction that you learned from the mistake in time and money you spent, find a machine or tool that doesn't irritate / ruin the experience of the things you care about.

The first draft of your question shows you aren't new to using tech, have very reasonable expectations and very specific complaints about track pad sensing your tremors in digits and not your overall intentions to move the pointer.

I would map the caps lock key to be escape even if you have a physical escape key. That changed my life on my first TouchBar mac at work.


I wonder if mouse keys in accessibility plus disabling trackpad input is overkill, but it’s very worth exploring.


The voice control / accessibility keyboard is also something that with head tracking, might be awesome for cursor control and customizing input. But again, I don’t have first hand experience with these on Catalina and the fall 2019 hardware that’s now shipped.


I’m making assumptions that the keyboard fits your needs and tremor so these might not be the best solution for you and hope we can find a software to dampen the touch to track algorithm like better touch tool does for customizing gestures. (I linked to set app which offers a free trial / rental model since you might not know if it and the Mac will work long term for you)