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How to use Split View on a Mac

  Macbook Air (2018) Review
Riley Young / Digital Trends

Split screen modes divide your computer screen into two different halves so that you can view two different windows simultaneously. This is extremely useful for research projects and more complex work assignments (especially on laptops), which is why so many students and professionals are looking for ways to split their screen when they get a new Mac.

Now for the good news: In newer versions of MacOS, there is a very simple split screen mode called Split View that anyone with an updated Mac can use. In this guide we will teach you how to use Split View on a Mac to get the most out of your system.

Although connecting multiple external monitors is always a possibility for larger projects, you can divide your screen at a lower level, at any time.

Getting Started with Split View

  Split View Green Button

Step 1 : Start by opening two or more Mac windows that you want to split into a split screen. Browser windows, apps, documents – whatever you want. Choose a window to start with and look in the upper left corner. You should see three colored dots: red, yellow and green. They can be used to control the window.

Step 2 : If you hover over the right green dot, you will see that it has two small arrows. This is the button that you want. Hold down the green dot and you get a number of options: Go to full screen Tile window to the left of the screen and Tile window to the right of the screen . Select the second or third option and the window fills that part of your screen.

  Green Close Up button

Step 3: Half of your split view is ready. You will see the first app on one half of the screen, with thumbnails of other open windows on the other side. Now select the other window that you want to use in Split View mode. The size of this window is adjusted on the other side of the screen, completing the Split View experience. You can tap on either of the windows to switch the focus back and forth as needed.

Adjusting Split View

Your split view does not have to be half a deal. Instead, you can choose which window gets more screen time. Look for the black bar in the middle of the screen. Click and hold that bar and you can move it to the right or left to give one of the two windows more real estate. This is especially useful if you are trying to view a large web page with a strange design or need extra space for a large spreadsheet. Keep in mind that some apps (such as Apple & # 39; s Photos for example) have minimal widths, so you may not be able to adjust the bar (or even completely).  how to use split view on a mac macos catalina

If you realize that you prefer windows on different sides, hold down the title bar of an app and drag it to the other side. The windows automatically switch places.

Not sure where your menus have gone? The split view automatically hides the menu bar, but all you have to do is move your pointer to the top of the screen and it reappears while your pointer stays there, giving you access to the & # 39; s menus of each app while you split view used. [19659004] Finally, if the windows are too small for you, you can adjust your resolution to improve things. When you are ready to leave Split View mode, click the green dot in either window or press Esc . This will restore both windows to their original state and allow you to resume what you did before using Split View.

Split View Options

If you hold Option (labeled as Alt on some Mac keyboards) and click the green button in the upper left corner of a window, u gets three new options: Zoom Move window to left side of screen and Move window to right side of screen. While Open full screen hides the Dock and menu bar, Zoom holds it in place. The difference between placing a window side by side and moving it is similar – hiding the Dock and the menu bar side by side does not move. Moving also does not come in Split View – there is no moveable black bar when you move a window to either side of the screen, and you do not have to link a second app.

Window snapping

  MacOS Catalina window snapping

Mac users have had to wait many years, but MacOS has native window snapping in MacOS Catalina, just like in Windows 10. Click and drag a window to one of the four sides or four corners of your screen and a translucent one will appear behind it. This indicates the shape that the window will take; release the mouse button and it clicks automatically in this position.

MacOS Catalina gives you a total of ten different options:

  • Drag a window to a corner and it takes up 25% of your screen. [19659024] Drag it to the upper part of the left or right side of the screen and it fills the upper half of the screen; do the same for the lower part of the left or right side and it fills the lower half of your screen.
  • Drag the window to the left or right of the screen without moving near the corner of your screen and the & # 39; fill the left or right half.
  • Drag this to the bottom of the screen to fill the middle third.
  • Drag this to the top of the screen to zoom in. Note that if you then drag a little further upwards, you will enter Mission Control, so you must be careful with this.

Since there are so many choices, it can take some practice to find the different sweet spots. But adding this functionality to MacOS is a clear boost for Mac users, who have been deprived of this useful feature for far too long.

Note that window prints are not the same as Split View – apps do not go full screen when you drag them into place and there is no black bar to adjust their size.

A brief word about Mission Control

  MacOS Catalina Mission Control

Have you opened many windows at the same time and do you want something more extensive than Split View to view them all? Mission Control can help. In this mode, all open windows are displayed in a fast remote view that allows you to quickly change the focus to one. With Mission Control you can also create multiple virtual desktops (called "spaces" by Apple) that you can switch between, each with their own apps and open windows; these are displayed in the bar at the top.

You can access Mission Control in many ways, but one of the easiest is to simply drag a window to the top of your screen, which should automatically open Mission Control mode. Alternatively, Apple keyboards are usually supplied with an F3 Mission Control button, or if you have a trackpad, you can swipe up with three or four fingers (depending on your trackpad settings). You can open Mission Control in Split View if you want, which is an easy way to switch windows.

Mission Control can also help you switch to Split View when you have two full screen apps open. Simply activate Mission Control and then drag your app window to another window or app icon. This should activate Split View immediately.

Cinch, a third-party alternative


If you're really not on board with Apple's implementation of Split View, that's fine! There are alternatives to creating a split screen: one of our favorites is the Cinch. It creates hot zones in the four corners of your Mac screen and two hot zones on the right and left. You simply drag a window to one of these zones and it clicks into place. If you drag it into a corner, it will automatically be fixed to a quarter of your screen. If you drag the window to the side of your Mac, it will snap to half the screen.

Some users find this easier and more intuitive or useful to view multiple windows at the same time. If you're interested, Cinch does a pretty good job keeping up with the latest MacOS, and there's a free trial version that you can use to experiment with the app – the full version is only $ 7 if you decide you want it . Download it from the official site or directly from the App Store.

Some functions do not work on MacOS Mojave

Are you still using MacOS Mojave? Split View is largely the same as on MacOS Catalina, but there are a few noticeable differences. To begin with, you will not be able to use the functions for snapping windows built into MacOS Catalina; instead, using an app such as Cinch or Magnet can produce similar results.

The second thing to note is that you do not get the Zoom Move the window to the left side of the screen and Move the window to the right side of screen tools like u Hold down Option and click on the green button in the top left corner of a window. This is a new feature in Catalina and was not present in Mojave.

If you are considering upgrading to Catalina but have not yet made the leap, do not be afraid – we have all the information you need to install MacOS Catalina and get started with the latest operating system from Apple.

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