Formerly among the most useful of techniques in Four Swords Adventures (although now in most places replaced by other techniques) is the formation hover, which utilizes the c-stick and the Links' various formations to cross chasms and skip switches and items that would normally require completing large swaths of the area. There are several methods for performing this trick, with the general shape and positioning of the gap/chasm determine the type of formation hover used to cross it.
One of the simplest types of chasms to cross with a formation hover is a "Vertical" gap--meaning that there is land "above" and "below" the gap, with walls on the its right and left sides. Examples of such gaps occur in 1-1 (Lake Hylia), and 2-2 (The Village of the Blue Maiden). To perform the hover:
*Note: From this point onward, you must hold up on the c-stick the entire time until after you press X and fall.
"Horizontal" gap formation hovers, as the name implies, cross chasms which have land on their left and right sides, and have walls "above" and "below" them. Crossing these types of chasms can be a bit more difficult, and less consistent than crossing "vertical" chasms. The most common of these chasms is found in 5-1 (Lost Woods) and 2-1 (The Coast)*.
*Note: Neither of these gaps are crossed using formation hovers any longer. For more information, please visit these levels' respective pages.
There are two main methods for crossing this type of gap. When crossing horizontal gaps, the technique to reach the other side varies whether you are crossing on the left or right side (as compared to "vertical" gaps where they are always crossed "upward"):
When crossing a gap to the right:
Note: Pausing between each attempt to roll onto land can make it easier to see when the links successfully get on land, and thus when to press X.
For crossing a gap to the left:
On particular levels (mainly in Level 8), by getting on the the edge in front of a chasm, and holding right on the c-stick, Link will get pulled off the ledge and continue moving right — essentially hovering without the aid of a wall. Once in the air, you can change the direction in which you are moving by quickly changed the direction you're holding on the c-stick (pauses are typically used to make this more feasible). This same method can be used to go down (with C-down) or in the "SSW" direction (with C-left).
Although typically touching land or performing any other action in additional to holding a direction on the C-Stick will cause you to fall, running into walls or scene transitions can allow you to skip certain areas and/or tasks. This is particularly helpful in Level 8-1 (Realm of the Heavens), where it can be used, at points, to skip entire screens.